This is a (mostly) true story about how Julie and I reacted to the exciting news that Nobel Laureates were uniting to tell Greenpeace to knock it off with their GMO opposition:
Julie: *bounces* I have scoop. Over 100 Nobel laureates are getting together to tell Greenpeace to stop being assholes about GMOs and Golden Rice.
Amy: *seal claps* I love Golden Rice. Maybe Greenpeace will finally stop being assholes about it.
Julie: *rolls eyes* Greenpeace will never stop being assholes about GMOs and Golden Rice.
Julie: Buck up, Buttercup. This will be huge news.
Amy: Yes! Nobel laureates telling Greenpeace to stop being assholes about Golden Rice will be the biggest story ever!
Julie: The laureates are even giving a press conference in D.C.!
Amy: Oh my god. This is so huge.
Amy and Julie: Hooray for Nobel laureates! This will change everything!
Day of Nobel Laureate Announcement…
Amy: *wakes up early* It is Nobel Laureate Day! It is just like Christmas!
Julie: *calls Amy* Happy Nobel Laureate Day!
Amy and Julie: *Stream press conference*
Amy: I cannot wait to see Twitter reactions.
Julie: I cannot wait to read all of the front page stories.
Amy: *refreshes Twitter*
Julie: *refreshes Twitter*
Amy: Maybe reporters are busy writing their stories.
Julie: Yes! There will be 100 front page stories tomorrow.
The Next Day…
Amy: Where are the front page stories?
Julie: There are no stories.
Amy: *cries* The is the worst Nobel Laureate Day ever.
Julie: I am going to go fight with people on Twitter.
Amy: I am going to go write passive-aggressive satire about Greenpeace.
In other words, it was just another day in the world of GMO drama. We were naive to think this day would be any different, after all, the National Academy of Sciences came out with a report a few weeks ago that should have put an end to the nonsense coming out of the anti-GMO camps but it didn’t. The usual suspects just followed the same old script:
Most Prestigious Scientific Organization Ever in Existence: GMOs are fine. This argument is stupid. Knock it the fuck off.
Anti-GMO Activists: *rend garments* Seralini! Lumpy Rats! Monoculture!
Scientists: *massive collective sigh*
Anti-GMO Activists: *foam at mouth* Shills! Monsanto! Bleeaaarrrrgh! *hack up hairballs*
News Organizations: *snore* This again?
Why we thought the Nobel Laureate announcement would be some huge breakthrough is the big mystery. God himself could come down from a mountain holding an ancient tablet carved with the words “GMOs are fine. Knock it the Fuck Off.” and these people would not care. Here’s how the big Nobel laureate announcement basically went:
109 Nobel Laureates: GMOs are fine. Knock it the fuck off. Oh, and this bullshit of yours could be killing people. Love, Literally the Smartest People Alive
Anti-GMO Activists: *yank out eyelashes* Nobel Laureates are stupid! Shills! Monsanto!
Nobel Laureates: *massive collective sigh*
News Organizations: 109 Nobel laureates? Never heard of ‘em.
Julie and I cried but there was a silver lining because the only rebuttal that anti-GMO activists had besides the “Monsanto Shill Slow Jam” was a press release which claimed that an academic paper by a known GMO-skeptic had shown that Greenpeace and other GMO opponents had nothing to do with stalling Golden Rice. (It didn’t show that at all but that’s another story.)
Greenpeace: *whining* This paper proves that our massive, well-funded campaign against Golden Rice was meaningless.
Paper’s Cited Sources: That’s not what we said.
Greenpeace: Yeah huh. The one gazillion dollars we’ve spent fighting GMOs and Golden Rice have totes been a waste. *sticks out tongue*
At least it’s been amusing to watch these people pass around an article that tells the world how fucking useless they are. So, there’s that.
In spite of our disappointment that this wasn’t nearly as exciting to other people (or news outlets) as it was to us, the laureates did an incredible thing in using their influence to shed light on an important humanitarian issue (Vitamin A Deficiency) and calling out the organizations making it more difficult to address. It’s still early so maybe this story will get some traction; maybe a breakthrough in the GMO debate will still happen because they took a stand. No matter what, the laureates have our deepest admiration. And we were just kidding, it was actually a pretty great Nobel Laureate Day, even if it didn’t get the parade it deserved.