Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The left-wing war on science

Science writer Chris Mooney three years ago came out with a well-received and important though partisan book bashing the Bush Administration called, The Republican War on Science. This is what Paul Berg, Nobel Laureate in chemistry, said about the subject and about Mooney's book:
If left unchallenged, the Bush administration's deliberate misrepresentation and frequent outright disregard of science advisory processes will have serious consequences for the nation's economy, health and security. Chris Mooney has opened a window to reveal the extent of the anti-science bias in government policy making.

Yet, in reality, it's not only the right which has been at war with science. All over the world, including in the United States, large elements of the left ignore scientific consensus with regard to issues of vaccination, food science and farming. Others have used terror tactics against scientists who work with animals in research.

Joining up with the traditional religious nuts who have not vaccinated their kids, a left-wing group of boneheads has been falsely contending for years that vaccines are dangerous for children.

Many leftists irrationally (and unscientifically) believe in and spread the gospel of organic farming, even in cases where organic objectively causes more damage to the environment than conventional farming and due to its low productivity and high costs harms the ability of poor people to afford proper nutrition.

Another example of leftist calumny, fed by widespread public ignorance, regards food irradiation. Exposing fruits, vegetables and juices to ionizing radiation destroys dangerous microorganisms, bacteria, viruses and insects present in the food and is good for people. The left has actively campaigned to ban food irradiation, and supermarkets (like Whole Foods), in the face of campaigns by environmental groups, won't carry produce or juice products which have "been nuked," under the false presumption that "nuke" means scary and bad.

Nowhere is the left's war on science more insidious than with its worldwide campaign against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Not only have leftist environmental groups, to the detriment of the environment, successfully gotten governments to ban GMOs, but some leftist terror organizations have threatened the lives and research of scientists who are working on altering the genes of plants so crops can be grown safely without using so many harmful chemicals.

Today, it was announced that the German government, in a complete rejection of science and a bow to leftist pressure, will ban GMO corn:
BERLIN/HAMBURG (Reuters) - Germany will ban cultivation and sale of genetically modified (GMO) maize despite European Union rulings that the biotech grain is safe, its government said on Tuesday.

The ban affects U.S. biotech company Monsanto's MON 810 maize which may no longer be sown for this summer's harvest, German Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner told a news conference.

The move puts Germany alongside France, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg which have banned MON 810 maize despite its approval by the EU for commercial use throughout the bloc.

Ilse Aigner is a Dummkopf:
"I have come to the conclusion that there is a justifiable reason to believe that genetically modified maize of the type MON 810 presents a danger to the environment," Aigner said, stressing the five other EU states have taken the same action.

It really does not matter what the science says; it doesn't matter than GMO corn is safe:
The EU Commission, the bloc's executive arm, has tried without success to get the bans in other countries lifted and on Tuesday warned it would examine the German decision.

"The Commission will analyse the ban by Germany with the adequate scientific information support and the Commission will decide on the most appropriate follow-up towards this situation," Commission spokeswoman Nathalie Charbonneau told a regular briefing.

Monsanto spokesman Andreas Thierfelder said the decision was unjustified and no supportable scientific reasons for the ban had been given. Should the ban be confirmed, Monsanto would consider legal options with the goal of enabling GMO seeds to be planted for this year's harvest.

Ferdinand Schmitz, chief executive of the association of German seed producers, said the decision was arbitrary and would damage Germany as a location for research.

Schmitz accused Aigner of trying to score points with voters in the upcoming European parliamentary elections and said banning seeds already approved as safe could generate legal action for compensation.

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