One person dies of malnutrition in Africa every four seconds. In Zimbabwe, a country that should be the ideal of progressives because the land was taken from the haves and given to the havenots, a drought has turned into murder. Robert Mugabe and his gang have fallen for the anti-science of the Europeans that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are harmful to health.
Not only are Zimbabwean farmers prevented from growing higher yielding or drought resistant crops, any food aid containing GMOs is blocked from saving starving people every day.
I suppose it has to be mentioned here that there is no conclusive evidence of harmful effects from GMOs at this time. It also is important to be cautious. There is a lot of history that suggests bad effects could manifest themselves sometime in the future. The science is very young. But as “settled science” has been an overused phrase lately, lack of food as a cause for starvation can’t be disputed. Unicef estimates 21,000 people die from starvation and malnutrition every day, almost all of them in Africa.
Here in Iowa a petition was signed by 57,000 people protesting a trial at Iowa State testing the vitamin A producing qualities of genetically modified bananas. This, in spite of the fact that bananas grow well in the developing world and vitamin A deficiency is a major cause of sickness there. Fifty-seven thousand people is an impressive army of ignorance.
That army is aligned with ignorant armies on a broad range of issues. The one thing they all have in common is an irresistible urge to meddle in the affairs of others for their own good. We should not fund and supply an army in Zimbabwe to overthrow Mugabe nor should we align with him to prevent his people from being poisoned by GMOs. Especially in international affairs, details cloud the big picture, making the meddling risky because there will always be blowback from the opposition.
Will the use of GMOs in Africa benefit big corporations at the expense of the victims of reckless science? Is Mugabe’s opposition to GMOs a path to genocide of opponents or to take a load off of social security?
The powers that be will have us believe that either way we look at it, government action is required. That is where we should get real skeptical.
Government action was required to stop the spread of communism in Vietnam. It cost us about 58,000 young lives and a million Vietnamese lives. Our presence was supposedly required in Saudi Arabia and it cost us the 9/11 attacks and subsequent turmoil. The war on drugs and the welfare state are both well intentioned but a look back reveals little benefit from either one compared to the gang wars and broken homes they have wrought.
It is always best to keep our noses out of other people’s business and let them fail and move on while still being ready to lend a hand.
As C.S. Lewis said:
“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”