Wrong For The Goose, Wrong For The Gander

Dave Killion — February 18, 2013

Bjørn Lomborg (The Skeptical Environmentalist) has an article in Slate, examining the losses humanity has suffered due to regulations that slow or prohibit the adoption of genetically modified (GM) food. Lomborg makes some important arguments that need to be made, but he starts off on the wrong foot

“Finally, after a 12-year delay caused by opponents of genetically modified foods, so-called “golden rice” with vitamin A will be grown in the Philippines. Over those 12 years, about 8 million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency. Are anti-GM advocates not partly responsible?”

Tempting as it would be to indulge in vilifying the anti-GM crowd for promoting policies that are fatal to tremendous numbers of vulnerable people, let us keep in mind how the very same approach was taken by gun-control advocates after the Connecticut school massacre. Remember the accusation that those of who have opposed ‘reasonable regulation’ have the blood of school children on our hands? So let’s not indulge ourselves in the same sort of cheap vilification in which our opponents wallow. Rather, let us remember that no anti-GM advocate ever deprived a farmer or consumer of GM seed or food. That was done by governments. They are the party responsible, the guilt is entirely theirs, and they are the bodies which must be held accountable. Lomborg provides cover for them when he suggests otherwise.

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