107 Nobel laureates bash Greenpeace for its stand on GMOs via a scathing letter

In a detailed letter reproduced below, the eminent Nobel Prize winners have asked the Greenpeace to cease and desist in its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general


New Delhi: At a press conference in Washington on June 30, the celebrated noble laureates came together in huge numbers to urge the governments around the world not to pay any attention to Greenpeace’s campaign against Golden Rice. This is for the first time that the environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) is facing the fire from the top scientists of the world.

In India, the Greenpeace’s registration was earlier cancelled by the government in April, 2015 by citing reasons such as undermining of national interest and unrelenting campaigns against various government programs. However, the Madras High Court had later in November, 2015, given relief to Greenpeace by staying the order.

Read the contents of the letter to the Greenpeace and the names of the 107 signatories below:

The United Nations Food & Agriculture Program has noted that global production of food, feed and fiber will need approximately to double by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population. Organizations opposed to modern plant breeding, with Greenpeace at their lead, have repeatedly denied these facts and opposed biotechnological innovations in agriculture. They have misrepresented their risks, benefits, and impacts, and supported the criminal destruction of approved field trials and research projects.

We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology, recognize the findings of authoritative scientific bodies and regulatory agencies, and abandon their campaign against “GMOs” in general and Golden Rice in particular.

Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity.

Greenpeace has spearheaded opposition to Golden Rice, which has the potential to reduce or eliminate much of the death and disease caused by a vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has the greatest impact on the poorest people in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people, suffer from VAD, including 40 percent of the children under five in the developing world. Based on UNICEF statistics, a total of one to two million preventable deaths occur annually as a result of VAD, because it compromises the immune system, putting babies and children at great risk. VAD itself is the leading cause of childhood blindness globally affecting 250,000 – 500,000 children each year. Half die within 12 months of losing their eyesight.

WE CALL UPON GREENPEACE to cease and desist in its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general;

WE CALL UPON GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD to reject Greenpeace’s campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general; and to do everything in their power to oppose Greenpeace’s actions and accelerate the access of farmers to all the tools of modern biology, especially seeds improved through biotechnology. Opposition based on emotion and dogma contradicted by data must be stopped.

How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a “crime against humanity”?


Zhores I. Alferov 2000 Physics
Sidney Altman 1989 Chemistry
Hiroshi Amano 2014 Physics
Werner Arber 1978 Medicine
Richard Axel 2004 Medicine
David Baltimore 1975 Medicine
Paul Berg 1980 Chemistry
Bruce A. Beutler 2011 Medicine
Elizabeth H. Blackburn 2009 Medicine
Gunter Blobel 1999 Medicine
Paul D. Boyer 1997 Chemistry
Sydney Brenner 2002 Medicine
Mario R. Capecchi 2007 Medicine
Thomas R. Cech 1989 Chemistry
Martin Chalfie 2008 Chemistry
Steven Chu 1997 Physics
Aaron Ciechanover 2004 Chemistry
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji 1997 Physics
Leon N. Cooper 1972 Physics
Elias James Corey 1990 Chemistry
Robert F. Curl Jr. 1996 Chemistry
Johann Deisenhofer 1988 Chemistry
Peter C. Doherty 1996 Medicine
Richard R. Ernst 1991 Chemistry
Sir Martin J. Evans 2007 Medicine
Eugene F. Fama 2013 Economics
Edmond H. Fischer 1992 Medicine
Jerome I. Friedman 1990 Physics
Andre Geim 2010 Physics
Ivar Giaever 1973 Physics
Walter Gilbert 1980 Chemistry
Alfred G. Gilman 1994 Medicine
Sheldon Glashow 1979 Physics
Roy J. Glauber 2005 Physics
Joseph L. Goldstein 1985 Medicine
David J. Gross 2004 Physics
Roger Guillemin 1977 Medicine
Sir John B. Gurdon 2012 Medicine
John L. Hall 2005 Physics
Lars Peter Hansen 2013 Economics
Serge Haroche 2012 Physics
Leland H. Hartwell 2001 Medicine
Harald zur Hausen 2008 Medicine
James J. Heckman 2000 Economics
Dudley R. Herschbach 1986 Chemistry
Avram Hershko 2004 Chemistry
Gerardus ‘t Hooft 1999 Physics
H. Robert Horvitz 2002 Medicine
Robert Huber 1988 Chemistry
Tim Hunt 2001 Medicine
Louis J. Ignarro 1998 Medicine
Elfriede Jelinek 2004 Literature
Daniel Kahneman 2002 Economics
Eric R. Kandel 2000 Medicine
Wolfgang Ketterle 2001 Physics
Aaron Klug 1982 Chemistry
Brian K. Kobilka 2012 Chemistry
Roger D. Kornberg 2006 Chemistry
Herbert Kroemer 2000 Physics
Finn E. Kydland 2004 Economics
Leon M. Lederman 1988 Physics
Yuan T. Lee 1986 Chemistry
Robert J. Lefkowitz 2012 Chemistry
Anthony J. Leggett 2003 Physics
Jean-Marie Lehn 1987 Chemistry
Michael Levitt 2013 Chemistry
Tomas Lindahl 2015 Chemistry
Rudolph A. Marcus 1992 Chemistry
Barry J. Marshall 2005 Medicine
Eric S. Maskin 2007 Economics
John C. Mather 2006 Physics
Craig C. Mello 2006 Medicine
Robert C. Merton 1997 Economics
Hartmut Michel 1988 Chemistry
James A. Mirrlees 1996 Economics
Paul L. Modrich 2015 Chemistry
William E. Moerner 2014 Chemistry
Mario J. Molina 1995 Chemistry
Edvard Moser 2014 Medicine
May-Britt Moser 2014 Medicine
Kary B. Mullis 1993 Chemistry
Ferid Murad 1998 Medicine
Erwin Neher 1991 Medicine
Ryoji Noyori 2001 Chemistry
Sir Paul Nurse 2001 Medicine
Christiane Nusslein-Volhard 1995 Medicine
Arno Penzias 1978 Physics
Stanley B. Prusiner 1997 Medicine
Jose Ramos-Horta 1996 Peace
Sir Richard J. Roberts 1993 Medicine
Bert Sakmann 1991 Medicine
Bengt I. Samuelsson 1982 Medicine
Randy W. Schekman 2013 Medicine
Brian P. Schmidt 2011 Physics
Richard R. Schrock 2005 Chemistry
Phillip A. Sharp 1993 Medicine
Hamilton O. Smith 1978 Medicine
Oliver Smithies 2007 Medicine
Thomas A. Steitz 2009 Chemistry
Joseph H. Taylor Jr. 1993 Physics
Daniel C. Tsui 1998 Physics
Harold E. Varmus 1989 Medicine
Sir John E. Walker 1997 Chemistry
J. Robin Warren 2005 Medicine
Arieh Warshel 2013 Chemistry
James Watson 1962 Medicine
Eric F. Wieschaus 1995 Medicine
Frank Wilczek 2004 Physics
Robert Woodrow Wilson 1978 Physics
Ada E. Yonath 2009 Chemistry