Former Greenpeace Member Speaks To Growers

Published online: Jan 20, 2005
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It was an unusual twist for the annual University of Idaho Potato Conference  concluded today as Dr. Patrick Moore, former Greenpeace member, addressed environmental concerns--but from a "save humanity" perspective.

His speech drew nearly 400 growers and allied industry which was the highlight of the annual meeting held on the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID.

Moore, who will also speak at the Oregon Potato Conference starting next Thursday, January 27, and at the Washington Conference set for February 1, surprised the growers with his honest candor about extreme radical environmentalists and the wrong way they are going about "saving the planet."

He said, for example, that when Vitamin A was genetically inserted into rice to save the sight of half a million children in Asia who were seriously lacking it in their diets by eating white rice, environmentalists activitists blocked it. They have spread falsehoods about the result of eating such genetically enhanced crops as being "frankenfood," he said.

Moore, who was a founding member of Greenpeace and got his picture in thousands of newspapers around the world for trying to protect a seal from annual "butchering," said the attack on forests, as one example, exposes the false information they are giving the public.

He said a Harvard professor has a list of 50,000 species that have gone extinct by harvestering of the forests' timber. However, when Moore asked for just one species, the professor couldn't give him one. "They were all [traced back] to his computer," Moore stated.

He said the fear of global warming is another faleshood being given the public and mdia. Taking the last 100-plus years in the context of the last 6,000 years, the warming taking place now is miniscule in comparison. He said the earth's temperatures have fluctuated over the years and the present few degrees being experienced now are only a small blimp in history.

During the conference, growers and agricultural consultants heard from many  University of Idaho researchers. They updated large audiences on the latest findings in many aspects of potato production.

Of course winding up today's meeting, was a session on marketing--one of the industry's toughest challenges. United Fresh Potato Growers of Idaho represenatives spoke along with others about the problem.