Focus Point - The Green Dilemma

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Imagine you're a hardcore environmentalist, and I come to you and say, "I can reduce pesticides by millions of pounds every year."

You'd cheer.

I'd say, just plant genetically modified crops.

Oops.

And that's the dilemma for greens. Pesticides, they've said for years, have caused every ill up to and perhaps including reality tv. But gm foods are the tool of Satan. What to do?

My advice? Wake up and smell the genetically modified strawberries. The ag department reports a reduction of more than eight million pounds of pesticides from 1997 to 1998 by planting gm crops. That should appeal to environmentalists. But so many people - especially Europeans - have fallen for non-scientific fearmongering about gm crops, that the good news is likely to fall on deaf ears. Environmentalists have railed for decades about the evils of pesticides. So now it's time for them to come out of the dark ages, and embrace a good idea.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, cato for moderns.