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GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

A continent chokes on its kale

In a rebuke to environmental activists worldwide, the biggest scientific metastudy yet conducted of genetically modified foods has concluded they’re good for human health and the environment.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an advisory body of scientists, found no evidence of risks over conventional crops, and huge benefits in the shape of increased yields in poor countries, and healthier crops. Nor did the boffins find any evidence of the catastrophic environmental risks touted by scaremonger green groups.

More resilient GM foods reduce reliance on pesticides.

It’s an implicit rebuke to the unofficial European Union moratorium – between 1998 and 2004 – on the import and sale of GM foods in the bloc.

Since then, it has merely tried to strangle them by heavy regulation, giving member states the right to impose their own obstacles in the shape of temporary bans (so much for single market harmonisation). France was fined in 2011 after the European Court of Justice found no evidence justifying its own ban.

In the UK, an unholy alliance of the yoga-practising classes; the Prince of Wales, who appears to advocate a medieval approach to agriculture; and Daily Mail articles helped create a wave of fear against biotech. Paul Dacre's "Frankenfoods" disinformation campaign, and the media’s promotion of work by the now discredited scientist Árpád Pusztai were instrumental in fuelling revulsion against GM crops.

Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore now promotes vitamin A-fortified blindness-fighting Golden Rice, which Western NGOs are attempting to restrict in the countries that most need it. ®

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