Let Them Eat Precaution - new book on GM (20/12/2005)



This new book (Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics Is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture) is published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) - a key promoter of the US's war agenda on Iraq.

Tellingly, the book, which is full of righteous indignation at the denial of the supposed benefits of GM to the world's poor, is promoted on the AEI's website alongside an advert for an article that blames America's black families for "the persistence of a large and criminal lower class"!

The list of contributors to 'Let Them Eat Precaution' reads at times like a rogues' gallery.

Take, for instance, Monsanto's former Internet PR chief - Jay Byrne. Byrne is widely credited with designing the notorious Monsanto/Bivings' "Fake Persuaders" campaign, which utilised fake e-mail identities and a fake agricultural research center to post poison-pen attacks on Monsanto's critics.

Then there's AgBioWorld co-founders, C.S. Prakash and Gregory Conko. AgBioWorld was also party to the "Fake Persuaders" campaign, while Conko is a leading light of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which takes money from Monsanto, Exxon and Big Tobacco to aggressively promote the interests of all three! The AEI, incidentally, also takes Exxon's money and has even had Exxon's Vice President on its Board.

From Britain there's Tony Gilland, part of the far-right (Rwandan genocide and Serb war crimes denying) techno-utopian LM network - remember this is a book which claims that the GM issue has been contaminated by extremist political agendas!!

And from Canada there's Patrick Moore. Moore is described in the AEI's press release (below) as a former Greenpeace man but as currently heading "the environmental group Greenspirit". What it doesn't tell you is that this particular "environmentalist" denies global warming, opposes Kyoto, supports nukes and the clear-cutting of old growth forests, and takes money from industry!

For more on the unsavoury American Enterprise Institute:

Profiles of other contributors to the book can be found here: http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile.asp

Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics Is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture
Edited by Jon Entine
AEI Press, 2006, $25
AEI Online (Washington)
Publication Date: January 25, 2006

More than one million of the world's poorest children die each year from a lack of Vitamin A. Another 100 million children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, which increases the risk of blindness, infections, and diseases such as measles and malaria. Yet a revolutionary solution to this malignant crisis--a vitamin-enhanced rice--remains unutilized, the victim of anti-science advocacy groups.

The sad fate of Golden Rice, the genetically modified version of the world's most popular staple, is one of many revelations in 'Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics Is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture' (AEI Press, January 2006). Bioengineering has created new kinds of soybeans, wheat, and cotton that generate natural insecticides (making them more resistant to pests and drought and increasing yields); nutrition-added fruits, vegetables, and grains; and futuristic "farmaceuticals"--life-saving medicines made by melding agricultural methods with advanced biotechnology. Countless scientific studies have found that biotech farming can dramatically reduce reliance on costly and environmentally harmful chemicals, and the products that result are safe and healthy.

Editor Jon Entine, along with ten experts from the United States and Great Britain, explain why cultural politics and trade disputes, not science, pose the biggest hurdles in developing these products. Instead of meeting the desperate needs of the world's poor with new medicines and vitamin-fortified crops, anti-biotech campaigners offer liberal doses of the "precautionary principle"--the controversial notion that innovation should be shelved unless all risks can be avoided. Well-funded environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth; organic advocates; religious groups such as Christian Aid; and "socially responsible" investors exploit anxiety about science, caricaturing genetic technology as inherently unpredictable and a "genetic Godzilla" that could usher in an age of "Frankenfoods."

Among the other findings in Let Them Eat Precaution

¥ Some 40,000 people--half of them children--die every day from hunger or malnutrition-related causes that genetically modified products could alleviate.

¥ International advocacy groups have intimidated the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments into rejecting donations of bioengineered grain that would have helped feed the 10.1 million undernourished people in those two countries.

¥ Biopharmaceuticals such as potatoes transformed into edible vaccines against diarrhea--a leading cause of death in the developing world--and tobacco modified to fight dental cavities, the common cold, and diabetes are caught in a regulatory jungle.

¥ Anti-biotechnology groups funded by tax-exempt foundations, the social investment community, and the organic and natural products industry masterfully exploit the Internet to spread their message.

¥ The misinformation campaign has turned one of the founders of Greenpeace into a determined spokesperson for the promise of biotech fa

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