Earlier this month, Greenpeace vandals, ah, activists, destroyed biotech wheat test plots in Australia. Heather McCabe, speaking for the criminal conspiracy against science, justified their destructive activity:
"This GM wheat should never have left the lab," said activist and mother, Heather McCabe. "I'm sick of being treated like a dumb Mum who doesn't understand the science. As far as I'm concerned, my family's health is just too important. GM wheat is not safe, and if the government can't protect the safety of my family, then I will."
What harms did the biotech wheat allegedly pose to her family? The wheat varieties had been enhanced to improve yields, use less nitrogen fertilizer, and boost nutrition. Clear dangers to the planet and her family specifically! Earlier this week, I reviewed eco-activist Mark Lynas' new book, The God Species. This is what he had to say about his former anti-biotech vandalism:
"I realized that throughout the entire time I had been anti-GE activist, donning biohazard suits and mounting night-time raids against test sites, I had never read a single scientific paper on the subject." After finally reading some science on the topic, he has now concluded, "Although none of the major environmental groups will admit it, the first generation of GE crops has almost certainly been beneficial both to the environment and to farmers."
Ms. McCabe would do well to learn some science too. Perhaps she could do this while serving time in prison as a fitting punishment for vandalism.
The good news is that the Australian authorities raided and shut down Greenpeace's offices in Canberra which is where the vandals' plot was apparently hatched.
Last week, German eco-criminals perpetrated similar vandalism. As ScienceInsider reports:
Vandals in Germany have destroyed two experimental sites growing genetically modified (GM) wheat and potatoes. On the night of 9 July, half a dozen masked attackers overpowered the security guard watching over test fields in Gross Lüsewitz, near Rostock. They then destroyed a field of wheat resistant to fungal diseases and a field of potatoes engineered to produce cyanophycin, an amino acid polymer that could potentially be used to make plastics. The fields were part of a trial funded by the German government to develop a more-efficient testing system for gm crops. Two nights later, a dozen attackers threatened guards with pepper spray and bats at a demonstration garden in Üplingen, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. They destroyed a field of potatoes and trampled wheat and maize. Police estimate the damages from the attacks at more than €250,000. No suspects have been arrested.
Researchers saved the state's papaya industry by engineering varieties of the fruit that were resistant to the ringspot virus. And now papaya farmers in Hawaii fear that anti-biotech crime has come to the U.S.