When it comes to Golden Rice, the numerous layers of anti-science rationalizations about opposition to agriculture fall away. It is not controlled by a company -- which is why proponents have been unable to overcome the army of environmental lawyers and regulatory moats placed around approval -- and it is clearly needed by millions of poor children, showing that environmental groups opposed to it are in a war on developing nations. They are involved in what Nobel Laureate Sir Richard Roberts calls a "crime against humanity."
It's not new to people inside science, but it may be news to the public, which thinks Greenpeace must be about good works and wholesome environmentalism because it is a lot of better at PR than pro-science groups. To those who know the organization, its made up of Internet hackers and eco-terrorists using fearmongering to get uneducated people to do their dirty work for them.
If you are not familiar with it, Golden Rice is the name of a product created when scientists added three genes for producing beta carotene, a Vitamin A precursor, to the 30,000 already in rice. Obviously this is a good thing in countries where Vitamin A deficiency is common. Regardless, organizations like Greenpeace and Union of Concerned Scientists have labeled it "Frankenfood." In the time these groups have helped block its approval, nearly 20 million children have died and another 20 million have suffered preventable blindness.
That's blood on the hands of Greenpeace and the organizations they mobilize for support, not to mention Deniers for Hire like SourceWatch and US Right To Know, which use their dark money funding to attack farmers and scientists.
Why would Greenpeace be opposed to a vitamin-enriched bowl of rice? Its usual arguments against progress hold no water. It is not corporate-controlled and cannot cause health problems or upset ecosystems. Their only alternative is supplements. Supplements? Not really a surprise, since if you buy into supplements, homeopathy, anti-vaccine beliefs and that modern agriculture is scary, you are going to be a Greenpeace donor rather than one supporting the American Council on Science and Health.
Greenpeace is being singled out because it's the one which has used the most violence in advancing its goals. But the United Nations shares a big chunk of the blame, for not only catering to fearmongers, but in the case of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), putting activists on committees without disclosing the obvious conflicts of interest. Governments will share some of the blame, but officials represent voters, and voters are easily scared by environmental calls to action.
As we have known for all 38 years of our existence separating health threats from health scares, "your food is safe" is a terrible call to action by comparison. That is why Greenpeace raises hundreds of millions of dollars more than we do each year.