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March 5, 2001




Moore Criticizes Colleagues for Opposing Agricultural Biotechnology

AUBURN, ALABAMA March 6, 2001—Dr. Patrick Moore, ecologist and co-founder
of Greenpeace, stated today that “the campaign of fear now being waged
against genetic modification is based largely on fantasy and a complete
lack of respect for science and logic.” Moore joined over 3,000 scientists
from around the world in signing a Declaration in Support of Agricultural
Biotechnology, saying that, “In the balance it is clear that the real
benefits of genetic modification far outweigh the hypothetical and
sometimes contrived risks claimed by its detractors.”

Moore, who is now an environmental consultant, was a founding member of
Greenpeace. He served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and
seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. Recently, however,
he broke with Greenpeace, accusing it of abandoning science and following
agendas that have little to do with saving the Earth.

Reiterating comments he made to the New Zealand Royal Commission on
Genetic Modification, Moore said, “Genetic modification can reduce the
chemical load in the environment, reduce the impact on non-target species,
and reduce the amount of land required for food crops.” He added, “There
are so many real benefits from genetic modification compared to the
largely hypothetical and contrived risks that it would be foolish to ban
genetic modification.”

Moore also criticized his former Greenpeace colleagues for claiming that
there was “zero benefit” even from such modified plants as Golden Rice, a
variety with added pro-vitamin A. Golden Rice was developed by Swiss
scientist Ingo Potrykus to help address the severe problem of
micronutrient deficiencies in developing country diets—a problem that
results in half a million cases of childhood blindness and millions of
deaths each year. “Let someone come forward and state that the possibility
of saving 500,000 children from blindness is a zero benefit,” Moore said.

Moore was joined by Potrykus and Tuskegee University biologist C.S.
Prakash in rebuking claims that Golden Rice does not include enough
pro-vitamin A to be beneficial. According to Potrykus, “the amounts
required for preventing severe symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are
significantly lower than given by RDA-values,” and he noted that Golden
Rice’s vitamin A equivalence is “already in the 20-40 percent range of the
daily allowance.” Dr. Prakash added, “We also know that the vitamin A
dosage in Golden Rice can be increased over time. So, we have good,
scientific reasons to be hopeful.”

Other signers of the Declaration of Scientists in Support of Agricultural
Biotechnology (www.AgBioWorld.org) include Nobel Prize winners Norman
Borlaug, James Watson, Paul Berg, Peter Doherty, and Paul Boyer. The
AgBioWorld Foundation is a project of Professor C.S. Prakash. For more
information, please contact Professor Prakash at (334) 727-8023.