I try to be a tolerant man. If people want to believe stupid things, that’s one thing. If people want to engage in suboptimal behaviors because of those stupid things… well, I may not like it, but I can’t save the world. But when the scientific illiterates at Greenpeace decide (in classic bloody I’m-a-Western-progressive-here-to-take-up-the-White-Man’s-burden-so-all-you-natives-just-shut-up-now fashion) to condemn poor people to what would otherwise be an easily-preventable blindness? Yeah, there’s a limit to tolerance.
On August 8th, 400 protesters ripped out seedlings of a new genetically modified plant called golden rice at a testing ground in the Philippines. Genes from bacteria and corn have been added to the rice to make it a source of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to blindness and weakens the immune system, contributing to 2 million deaths every year. (Golden rice is being developed by a non-profit organization, not Monsanto.) As the Philippine government prepares to rule on whether or not to allow farmers to grow the wonder-crop, the anti-GMO movement is digging itself in for a fight.