I have less patience. There is more than a hint of cultural imperialism when Westerners — grown fat on the success of modern farming — lecture subsistence farmers on the benefits of heirloom breeds and organic methods. The greatest need among farmers who spend part of the year hungry is increased productivity. Plant varieties engineered to resist cassava brown streak, banana bacterial wilt or maize lethal necrosis can be a matter of life or death. New, drought-resistant crops will be essential as the climate continues to change. And crops designed to resist insects require the use of far less insecticide — which reduces the risk of pesticide poisoning.
As with the anti-vaccination movement, a contempt for science can have a human cost. The risks are very real when societies become detached from reality.
The anti-GMO movement is best described as a religious belief. Such beliefs have their uses. Theology can determine the values we bring to the world, but it can’t be allowed to dictate our facts. The anti-GMO packaging of Triscuits has the same factual basis as the claim: “No plants or animals produced by evolution were used in the production of this product.” It is the victory of anti-reason. As close as your nearest supermarket.