Ireland is, by heritage, a potato culture - and nothing is worse for potatoes than blight. Who wouldn't want a science solution that could safely prevent blight? Scientists agree, and so does Ireland's environmental protection agency because they understand, you know, science.
Irish anti-science hippies are outraged.
Scientists want to stave off a chemical arms race as blight becomes more resistant to herbicides. Apparently activists prefer that and its $20 million per year in crop damage. The Organic Trust in Dublin says the trial has "grave ramifications for Irish food and farming". The Trust' s Gavin Lynch told BBC News "Ireland's status as a GM-free country is being risked here."
That's a risk? Scientists in Ireland actually don't want to be regarded as a nation full of backwater savages who see airplanes as aliens and science as evil voodoo.
What is the big fear? The potaoes contain a resistance gene taken from Solanum venturii, a wild south American relative of the potato. That's right, activists are worried about a gene from another potato mutating into a Frankenpotato that kills them all.
Don't you kind of wish for the first decade of the 2000s, when relatively harmless right-wing people only wanted to limit stem cell research and deny global warming? The left-wing nuts of this decade, and their anti-vaccine and anti-GMO agendas, are determined to kill people instead.