Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Repent Ye Spreaders of Pseudoscience!

Green Is The New Yellow Journalism

Sun Star Cebu reports on the joyous reaction of "religious leaders" to a TRO on GMO rice:
KORONADAL CITY -- Oblates of Notre Dame Sister Pat Babiera, justice and peace coordinator of the Diocese of Marbel, assailed Bayer for trying to introduce genetically modified rice variety Liberty Link 62 (LL62) in the country. "Consistent with our advocacy stance for preserving the integrity of creation­-we laud the temporary restraining order issued by a court stopping the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Plant Industry from approving the application of the genetically-modified rice Bayer LL62," she said in a statement.
As a "religious leader" naturally Sor Babieri also teaches little children that they will go to hell if they don't believe her male colleagues in skirts and funny hats can literally turn Mompo into real blood and bread into human-divine flesh. I don't suppose her Greenpeace pals would care to question her sincerity and consistency in this regard? What Sor. Babieri and friends need to do is start eating a lot more of that Vitamin-A loaded golden rice GMO. It may improve their eyesight, if not their politically-addled brains.

The Manila Times' Dan Mariano quotes the RTC Judge Evangeline Marigomen's reasoning:
“With the unfavorable publications and debates these genetically modified organisms have spawned, it is but prudent that the approval…of the application of [Bayer] be restrained in the meantime considering that rice is a staple on the dining table of the Filipinos,” Judge Marigomen said.
Of course, Filipinos may freely eat as a staple on their dining table, all that rice from palay that has been dried on the roadsides, where asbestos particles from the brake-lining of buses, jeepneys and cars, and their lead-containing exhausts freely mix with the non genetically modified grain.

Seems that PDI's Rina Jimenez David may be trying to make up for all the free column space and open mike time she's been giving the anti-GMO campaigners of Greenpeace by pointing to the work of Dr. Nina Halos in introducing the DNA identification to solve criminal cases. Maybe all that late night television watching of shows like CSI has actually convinced her that science really is a good thing, on the whole, even though she had to first take a pot shot at GMOs by calling them "Frankenfoods" in her lead today. She forgot to mention, conveniently of course, that the Nobel Prize in Medicine this year went to inventors of a most wonderful and beneficial Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) -- designer mice. (But please, don't eat them yet, Sor. Rina). She needs to get the lead out of her lipstick.

All over the Philippines, the Greenpissers are setting up slick looking displays full of scientific and technologic sounding clap trap in shopping malls, doing everything they can to miseducate the Filipinos about biotechnology and genetic engineering, where Judge Marigomen probably picked up most of her information about these issues. But this story, about the approval of pest-resistant GMO corn in the Philippines (after 25 years of safe production all over the world) should drive them up a wall considering what spectacular failure their campaigns have turned out to be in stopping it.

Ah, but corn farmers in Mindanao and Visayas who annually lose between 50 to 100% of their corn crop to the corn-borer weevils, will certainly have plenty to rejoice, since the corn-borer resistant variety of corn will triple their annual yield and do more to raise their standard of living than going to shopping malls listening to all that strange drivel from the so-called environmentalists. Next time you see these fairy tale tellers at a mall, ask them if they really want diabetics to eschew the human insulin they get from genetically modified e-coli bacteria and go back to using pig insulin instead since it is so much more natural!


What these "campaigners" and "religious leaders" cannot afford to allow Filipinos to understand of course is that "genetic engineering" is no different from "plant breeding"--except that by understanding the science of DNA, we have replaced luck and chance with systematic biology and engineering.

The Gene Revolution is doing far, far more to solve the problems of hunger and poverty than these ideologically motivated troglodytes ever will, for whom the point is not really the dangers of biotechnology but the old fight against multinational companies and imperialism!

Though no technology is without its dangers, biology and medicine really ought to be left to the scientific community--who have always been the first to raise safety concerns, caveats and problems, only to have their warnings hijacked by brochure and manifesto writers whose expertise is in making green the new yellow journalism.

Now then, if they decide to go on a hunger strike again as they did against BT Corn a few years ago, we really must all insist that this time they don't give up once they get hungry.

Oh, and how dare those evil multinational corporations like Glaxo Smith Kline fight malaria without getting Greenpeace's permission.


Richard said...

I see you have these Luddites in the Philippines as well. I thought we'd cornered in the market on them in the US and Europe. Some of these pin-heads are just well-meaning dupes, but the ideological drive for this is coming from the left. It's funny how every time there is a technological advancement (from an evil corporation, of course) that promises improved lives for our poorer brethren, the left drums up some major agitprop campaign against it. It's almost as if they hate the most poorest and most vulnerable, their rhetoric notwithstanding. I think in addition to a general campaign against globalization and capitalism, many of the leaders of this movement are extreme elitists really do like the wide gulf that keeps generations in poverty.

There was a documentary recently about a similar phenomenon concerning leftists who were trying to prevent mines from opening in the poorest areas of Eastern Europe and South America because of 'Ecological Concerns'. The real reasons are shockingly selfish:



Amadeo said...

On the opposition by some sectors of the religious community, one is inclined that believe that an essential part of their concern may be that they may think, however erroneously, that the scientists responsible for these GMOs are devilishly “tinkering” with God’s creation.

The problem even in this late stage of the game is scientists are still puzzled about genes and whether these are the only hereditary markers passed on to the next generations. Now we are cautioned that DNA may not be the only determinants of the next generations and we are taught about the added mysteries of the epigenome.

Thus, an open and tolerant mind can do wonders to learn about and benefit from the unraveling wonders of the world around us, products all of God’s creation.

Richard said...

I do think you made the essential point by saying "however erroneously" in your opening sentence. The Christian church, long ago, realized how important science (the ultimate search for the truth by rigorous study of God's creation) is in fulfilling their ministry. Hence, the church's founding of all of the great Universities in the middle ages. If one were to judge the current religious opponents of GMO's severely, one would say they are in opposition to the nature of God and man by denying God's greatest creation, the human mind; and the peaceful and good applications that come from it. GMO's have been pursued in the last 3 decades for the sole purpose of alleviating one of the most fundamental of human sufferings: Hunger. That we have made such progress is a miracle in itself. To then deny the benefit of that progress to millions in the belief that God does not want it is such a distortion of Christian principles, that one has to question the fundamental competence (or, indeed, the motives) of those that oppose such a thing.