NEW DELHI: As many as 109 Nobel laureates, mostly scientists, have signed a letter urging the Greenpeace to end its opposition to the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and calling upon governments around the world to reject the NGO's campaigns that opposed biotechnological innovations in agriculture. Urging the Greenpeace, known for its anti-GM crops stand that led manyorganisations oppose to modern plant breeding, to stop its efforts to block introduction of a genetically engineered crops, the letter noted that "there has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption.
"Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity."
The letter campaign, supporting GMOs, was organised by the Nobel laureate Richard J Roberts who is currently chief scientific officer of the New England Biolabs. Roberts along with other scientist Phillip A Sharp had jointly won the Nobel prize in medicine in 1993 for their discoveries of split genes.
"We are scientists. We understand the logic of science. It's easy to see what Greenpeace is doing is damaging and is anti-science", Roberts told The Washington Post on Wednesday. "Greenpeace initially, and then some of their allies, deliberately went out of their way to scare people. It was a way for them to raise money for their cause".
A day later at a press conference in Washington on Thursday he sought to explain these points and expressed that he decided to take on the issue after hearing from scientists as to how their research was being impeded by anti-GMO campaigns from the Greenpeace and other organisations across the globe.
The letter, that includes a running list of signatories at supportprecisionagriculture.org, narrates in detail why "the opposition based on emotion and dogma contradicted by data must be stopped" when the world has to meet the food and nutrition demand of a growing global population.
It says, "Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production".
The letter notes that the Greenpeace has spearheaded opposition to Golden Rice -- a GM crop which has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD).
Anything which is not natural wil impact humans or the environment in a bad way. There is no need for GM crops when all you have to do is natural farming.
It says, "We call upon governments of the world to reject Greenpeace's campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general; and to do everything in their power to oppose Greenpeace's actions and accelerate the access of farmers to all the tools of modern biology, especially seeds improved through biotechnology...How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a crime against humanity?"
Calling upon the environmental NGO to cease and desist in its campaign against GM crops, the letter says, "We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against 'GMOs' in general and Golden Rice in particular."