Let Them Eat Cake or Nothing-Biotech Wars
The Saturday NYT article "China's Problem With 'Anti-Pest' Rice" by David Barboza was typical pro-Green propaganda from the paper of record. Apparently, the staple crop of China has been given an incredible boost from bio-technology and can fend off pests without the need to apply chemicals to the farmlands. Planting and reaping become the major activities in rice farming. No longer is labor wasted on applying pesticides with this modern form of seeds.
One would think this is good news for ecologists. However, despite increased production and healthier crops, bio-tech foods go against the grain of the eco-lobby. And naturally, writer Barboza gave Greenpeace and their arguments against bio-tech rice ample voice. Using scare tactics, the greenies called the new rice "irresponsible and dangerous" as if starvation and economic failure is an approved alternative.
The big lie of the article is the claim that bio-tech crops are new. Reason's science writer Ronald Bailey has written consistently on the safety of such crops. In addition, he advises that bio-tech crops have been eaten in the USA for decades without side-effects as concocted by the greenies. Bailey refers us to a report by Daniel Botkin in the Western North American Naturalist on how commonplace and natural "biological invasions" are.
But a balanced approach to this subject would never appear in the NYT. That Greenpeace is looking to halt this agriculture in the name of safety and will pursue world pressure to reach that end is repehensible. In Barboza's defense, he does mention how the farmers themselves are eating the crops they have grown. Yet, we did not miss the snide message when he ended the article with this quote from a farmer: "I don't believe the government would poison its own people". I suppose starvation is a better alternative, according to the left.
Additionally, per Michael Fumento, the experience with corn is the bio-tech version is healthier for people to eat. The Bt corn does not hold the mycotoxins from mold reducing the incidence of birth defects. Meanwhile, he reports that organic corn was removed from the market in Britain due to contamination from 4 to 33 time the EU approved limit. As Fumento queries, the same recall of Bt corn would have gotten big headlines. And writer Barboza would have gotten the front-page splash at our paper of record, no doubt.