Environmentalists Team Up With Armyworms

by John McClaughry

Matt Ridley is a noted British science writer who recently wrote in the Times of London, “Many Africans rely on corn, but it is threatened by a rapidly spreading pest called the fall armyworm. A native of the Americas, it has now turned up in Nigeria and quickly spread across most of Africa. This is fairly terrifying news, threatening to undo some of the unprecedented improvements in African living standards of the past two decades.”

“Fortunately, there is a defence. Bt maize, grown throughout the Americas for many years, is resistant to insects. Organic farmers have been using the bacterium as a pesticide for more than five decades, but it is expensive.”

“However, influenced by European environmentalists, most African countries forbid the growing of genetically modified crops. This is a pity, because unless they change their attitude fast, they will face the prospect of using far more pesticides, which small-scale farmers cannot afford, and which come with environmental and safety risks, or suffering famine, relieved by expensive imports of food.”

“Some years ago” Ridley concludes, “I spoke to the leaders of a large charity working with African farmers and asked them why they did not come out in support of biotechnology. They replied that they dared not do so for fear of retribution from the big environmental pressure groups, such as Greenpeace.”

Thanks to Greenpeace, Africa is facing a tradeoff between GMO corn and millions of starving people.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bob McDowell December 7, 2017 at 1:14 am

It would be consistent for GMO foes to go all the way and oppose the use of insulin produced by GMO microorganisms.

Before the 1980’s, insulin for treating diabetics was extracted from the pancreases of slaughtered pigs and cattle.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

Commentary: The EV Subsidy Train Picks Up Speed

July 16, 2019 By John McClaughry Chairman Anthony Roisman of the Public Utility Commission has made it official. Vermont is facing a “Pearl Harbor moment”. We in Vermont...

Solving the Border Crisis

July 15, 2019 By John McClaughry During May a record 144,000 people crossed into the United States along the Southern Border, seeking asylum in our country. Not surprisingly,...

Credit Agency: Show Me the People, Vermont!

July 12, 2019 By David Flemming The good news: one of the top major credit agencies applauded Vermont’s legislators for recognizing that Vermont has a population problem. The...

IPCC Hiding Truth on its Failed Models

Testimony of Prof. John R. Christy, U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology 29 Mar 2017 (excerpt) John R. Christy is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Alabama’s...

Tunnel vision on carbon reduction leaves Vermont vulnerable to next “climate storm”

July 10, 2019 By Guy Page July 10, 2019 – Vermont’s energy leaders often warn about the dangers of climate-change related extreme weather. But the solutions they propose...

Video