Efforts at obfuscation and fomenting false concerns by kooky anti-science food activists aren't working.  They spent the better part of the last decade blocking science advancements in food security insisting 'the science isn't settled' and muttering Frankenfood denialist jingoisms, but it seems to be failing. Farmland devoted to improved crops went up over eight percent last year, to 395 million acres. Agriculture strongholds like Brazil, India and Canada join the U.S. in picking science over advocacy.

No one has mastered blocking efforts at food security like Europeans, and why wouldn't they? 85% of the agricultural subsidies for the entire world are paid from European governments to European farmers and a cow in France earns twice as much money as a farmer in Africa.  As long as developing countries can't afford to grow food of their own locally, it is a win for Europe. Blocking cheaper food elsewhere makes good economic sense to them because the cheaper food is, the more they have to pay in subsidies to sell theirs.

That's why, despite a decade of crops optimized to grow in difficult climates and so use far less environmentally damaging nitrogen, or optimized to produce natural insecticides that make toxic pesticides unnecessary, Europe's contribution to the science of food and improving food security consists of 245 acres of potatoes and a handful of corn.

We've talked about the Aquadvantage Salmon in the past and how efforts by elites in the Democratic party to keep it banned have worked - but that's an American puzzle.  All the thing does is grow faster, which would mean less wild salmon being fished.  More people eating fish means better health which means lower costs for health services and better lives for everyone.  It's the most tested genetic modification in the world and carries no risk outside the never-ending precautionary principle run amok, which anti-science food people share with their anti-vaccine brethren. Still, efforts are on to have any food that is not 'natural', whatever they think that means, be specially labeled if they can't block it outright.  

In fairness to European scientists, they are not the ones against biology. They recognize it is difficult to rationalize why their fringe activists insist scientists are right on global warming but out to kill everyone on food. Instead, their concern is they will be also-rans in the future of agriculture - where they were leaders for 600 years. Science is coming up with solutions to improve food security for millions of poor people, which will be one of the greatest advancements in history, and European scientists recognize the conspiratorial stances of activists prevent their input on the world stage.

Like-minded people in the US insist that their irrational fringe is not anti-science, but are instead anti-corporation and defend them with shouts of false equivalence (Award Winner: Most Overused Science Media Cliché of 2011) but anti-science is anti-science.  We can't say wasting billions of dollars on solar power company subsidies to try and stick it to China is right but any company making money providing cheap food is economically and morally wrong.

Even more interesting, for those interested in a non-military Arab Spring and spreading democracy - genetic engineering may lead to a lot more freedom in the world.