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Another "Celebrity" Casts Aspersion on the GMO Concept

Why can’t Neil Young stick to the genre that he knows best and is widely recognized for–music? His song “Heart of Gold” is one of my all-time favorites and is arguably his most popular.

Now he fancies himself an expert on food production as expressed in the article Neil Young, Greenpeace work to starve the world’s poor written by Owen Paterson and appearing in the June 14, 2015 issue of the New York Post. He has released a new album entitled “The Monsanto Years” in collaboration with Willie Nelson’s sons. I haven’t listened to any of the songs on the album, and I won’t. But I have seen some of the lyrics (click here for lyrics in the song “Monsanto Years”), and they come down hard on Monsanto because of its protection of its seed traits which happen to be GMO’s.

It is not that I am protective of Monsanto; rather, it is that I am increasingly dismayed that these non-expert celebrities use the bully pulpit to disparage the companies that develop GMO seed traits that will improve yields, reduce use of pesticides, and improve food quality. Many use their celebrity status to spout untrue and unfounded claims that plants from these seeds are used to produce foods and feeds that are unsafe to consume and will result in harm to the environment.

Mr. Young is obviously a talented musician. He is 69 years old, and has released 35 albums over his 45-year span in the music business. He is a co-founder of the benefit concert Farm Aid. However, I can find no record of his receiving or having any formal training in science or his having knowledge of the cost of developing and sustaining new agricultural technology. Thus, maybe that is why he comes down so hard on a company that develops and markets GMO seeds. Maybe he should keep “searching for a heart of gold” until he realizes that his celebrity status and the attention he can garner for his views against GMO-seed-producing companies is an abusive use of that status.

Mr. Young’s stance as referenced in the above article also shows his lack of knowledge concerning the safety of GMO-derived foods, as well as his lack of compassion for the vast numbers of people in the world who are starving and would greatly benefit from the continued development of GMO food plants that will increase the food supply and enhance food quality.

I refer you to an earlier article that I posted on this website in April 2015. The content of that post can be appended to this post to show just how the stance against GMO seeds and the companies that produce them is misplaced, misguided, and downright counterproductive to increasing the quantity and quality of the food supply needed by a rapidly increasing world population.

Composed by Larry G. Heatherly, July 2015, larryheatherly@bellsouth.net