Home » , , » 128 Nobel Laureates Support Precision Agriculture (GMOs)

128 Nobel Laureates Support Precision Agriculture (GMOs)

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Monday, October 30, 2017

Letter Signed by 128 Nobel Laureates To the Leaders of Greenpeace, the United Nations and Governments around the world:

“The United Nations Food & Agriculture Program has noted that global production of food, feed and fiber will need approximately to double by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population. Organizations opposed to modern plant breeding, with Greenpeace at their lead, have repeatedly denied these facts and opposed biotechnological innovations in agriculture. They have misrepresented their risks, benefits, and impacts, and supported the criminal destruction of approved field trials and research projects.

“We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against ‘GMOs’ in general and Golden Rice in particular…..

“The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people suffer from vitamin A deficiency (VAD), including 40 percent of the children under five in the developing world. Based on UNICEF statistics, a total of one to two million preventable deaths occur annually as a result of VAD, because it compromises the immune system, putting babies and children at great risk. VAD itself is the leading cause of childhood blindness globally affecting 250,000 - 500,000 children each year. Half die within 12 months of losing their eyesight.” 

List of 128 Nobel Laureates Who Support Precision Agriculture (GMOs)

Consequences of Banning GMOs

“Back in the 1980s, the ophthalmologist Alfred Sommer was in Indonesia, trying to prevent a form of blindness that results from nutrient deficiencies. When people got vitamin A, it stopped them from going blind as expected, but Sommer was astonished to discover that they were also nine times less likely to die. It wasn’t clear at that time, but now we know that there are dozens of different bodily processes that require vitamin A.

“Without it, fetal organs like lungs don’t develop correctly, often leading to infant death. Children without enough vitamin A in their systems can’t fight off diseases, and common germs become fatal. Without vitamin A, mucus membranes in the eyes, throat, and lungs dry up and turn to skin. ‘The cornea will melt,’ Sommer said, bringing on blindness. And the purpose of the mucus in our lungs is to tangle up invading germs and prevent infections. The combination of a dysfunctional immune system and dry lungs is devastating. The World Health Organization estimates that 250,000 to 500,000 children go blind each year, and half of them die, because they aren’t getting enough vitamin A.

“'There has been an evidence-based obsession with solving vitamin A deficiency because correcting it averts 23 percent of mortality in children [between 6 months and 5 years old],’ said Shawn Baker, director of the nutrition team at the Gates Foundation who has worked on this problem throughout his career…..

“There’s just something about genetic engineering that stirs up passion. When scientists were boosting the carotenes in corn through traditional breeding, for instance, activists weren’t raising the alarm that it might be a danger to the people eating it. In the American mind, a ‘GMO’ is a symbol for profit-driven corporations, for big agribusiness, for endless uniform fields of corn, and restrictive thickets of patents.

“But it’s essential to look beyond that symbolic acronym if we want to weigh the good of individual genetically modified organisms. In this case, we have public scientists developing a crop to serve the poor, a crop that fits into diversified farm systems and would be controlled, bottom up, by farmers. When an American child is afflicted with terminal illness, we demand treatment, even if it’s not guaranteed to work. I haven’t been able to come up with a good reason to think of Ugandan children any differently. This banana might do a lot of good, but only if we give it the chance.”

A Farmer’s View

“There’s one topic in agriculture that I think is exceptionally riddled with myths, and that’s genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. We grow corn and soybeans and have been doing so for over 150 years as a family. We see firsthand the benefits of GMOs. Over 90 percent of farmers have been using this technology for decades. Why do you suppose that is?

“No, it’s not because we are forced to. No, it’s not a conspiracy. No, we aren’t using more chemicals than ever before. These myths, repeatedly endlessly by critics of GMOs, are just not true.  The reason why 90 percent of American farmers have embraced ag biotechnology is because it has substantially reduced our carbon footprint, while improving yields, farmer safety, and the environment at the same.  It’s brilliant technology, really.” 

Young Scientists & GMOs

Chris Barbey, PhD student in plant molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Florida:

“There is a canyon widening between scientists and public perception – a mistrust of science that has manifested prominently in disciplines like climate change and vaccinations.  And it’s happening with genetic engineering. As a graduate student researching plant genetics, I am constantly in the unpopular position of justifying genetic engineering to my own generation.

“Today’s crops made with this technology are safe to eat, advantageous for the environment, and more profitable to the farmer. The EPA, USDA FDA, WHO, the EU and other world­ agencies all support these claims. How is it possible that these facts fail to match public perception? While the public discussion is mired in non­-scientific internet memes and conflated arguments about multinational corporations, concerned people miss the compelling truths of genetic engineering’s great achievements.”

--How Genetic Engineering Revolutionized Insulin Production
--How Genetic Engineering Saved the Hawaiian Papaya
--How Genetic Engineering Could Save Florida’s Citrus Groves

In A Nutshell

“Genetic modification is literally the essential feature of all life on earth. Every GMO ever produced was derived using enzymes and techniques discovered by researchers who found them in nature. Genetic engineers figured out how to do what they do by studying the natural world, understanding it and learning how to emulate it. Researchers have discovered that the movement of genes between different lineages is commonplace and widespread. We see it in organisms such as corn and sweet potatoes with which we are very familiar, working in ways we never imagined. It is, in fact, a feature of our own, human, genetic makeup. We are all ‘GMOs’ as is every organism on Earth.

“This has important implications. It means that every effort to distinguish ‘GMOs’ from other organisms is factually incorrect. It also means that government ‘safety’ regulations that focus on ‘GMOs’ as distinct from ‘non GMOs’ are scientifically indefensible and based on a profound misunderstanding of biology.”

3 GMO Critics Have a Change of Mind

Stewart Brand is an icon of the modern environmental movement. The creator of The Whole Earth Catalog he says in his recent book, ‘I daresay the environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than with any other thing we've been wrong about... We've starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool’.

Stephen Tindale was for six years the head of Greenpeace UK. He has said ‘The reason I've decided to speak out on GM now is because I think it is necessary for people like me who've opposed it to say things have changed... The overwhelming majority of scientists think that it is safe. It is, in my view, morally unacceptable to stand out against these new technologies.’ Mr. Tindale singled out his own former employer for criticism over its continued anti-GM stance. ‘I worry for Greenpeace and the other green groups because they could, by taking such a hard line... be seen to be putting ideology before the need for humanitarian action.’

Patrick Moore ‘has been a leader in the international environmental field for over 30 years. He is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. As the leader of many campaigns Dr. Moore was a driving force shaping policy and direction while Greenpeace became the world's largest environmental activist organization.’ Over time he came to realize that the facts did not support many of the opposition campaigns he had worked on through Greenpeace and he is now a staunch supporter of Golden Rice and agricultural biotechnology.”

Additional Resources

Related Posts

Unassailable: Concisely Eloquent Overview Exposing GMO Hysteria http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/07/unassailable-concisely-eloquent.html 

17 Simple Truths That Make Anti-GMO Alarmists Squirm  http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/03/17-simple-truths-that-make-anti-gmo.html

30 Prying and Probing Questions To Bolster Critical Thinking http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/10/30-prying-and-probing-questions-to.html

Photo: http://naturalsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/gmo-word-white-735-350.png

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


Post a Comment

Feel free to leave any comments...