Friday, May 28, 2004


Some 842 million people - 13% of the world's population - don't have enough food to eat each day. Millions of them face starvation in Africa because of droughts and armed conflicts in countries that include Sudan, Angola and Uganda. In one sense, that's an old story - so old, it makes even sympathetic eyes glaze over. But it could have a new happy ending that, remarkably, has yet to be written. While the script promises a reliable, cheap food supply for all who are hungry, some fear that outcome the way villagers were terrified by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein monster.

In fact, fearful environmentalists and their political allies call the solution "Frankenfood," crops genetically altered to resist disease, pests and drought, or staples engineered to add nutrients. Such crops could transform health in the poorest nations, the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization said in a report last week. Biotech rice alone could prevent 500,000 cases of blindness and 2 million children's deaths each year as a result of vitamin A deficiency.

Yet most of Europe, where a purist view of agriculture reigns, has banned biofoods because of health and environmental worries. That has caused some African nations to reject U.N. donations of foods containing bioengineered seeds; they fear their agricultural exports would be shut out of Europe.

The U.N. report challenged European myths about genetic modification, which has existed since our ancestors used microorganisms to make bread, wine and cheese. No serious illnesses tied to these foods have been documented, it notes. In the U.S., most foods are genetically modified in some way and must meet rigid safety standards. Technology is never risk-free, but given the minimal risks, denying the food to starving people defies reason and conscience.

More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

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