Patrick Moore has been flown around the world as an ex-Greenpeace leading light, once the president of Greenpeace Canada, committed to biotech and its value for the developing world. So what is the source of his conversion and expertise on this subject? The following comes from his testimony at the NZ Royal Commission where he also popped up to support the industry position:
DR MOORE: No, as I said, I'm not a genetic researcher. I have, however, recently had a full tour of the Monsanto labs in St Louis for example.
I have also been briefed thoroughly by the people in Novartis in Basel Switzerland on their progress
[see more on his testimony below]
Moore recently added his name to Prakash's AgBioWorld campaign and this support was press released to the world. Moore's attacks, however, aren't confined to GE - they take in the whole environmental movement which has, according to Moore, mostly been hijacked by "political and social activists who use environmental rhetoric" to push other "agendas".
For example, a recent piece in the Ontario Farmer, hosted on the Monsanto website, was headed, 'Co-Founder Of Greenpeace Speaks Out Against Eco-Activists' . Moore will be speaking on this theme on March 29th in London, Ontario http://www.biotechknowledge.com/showlib.php3?uid=4753&country=us
Apologies if this has already done the rounds and I missed it. I finally got around to checking this week on our friend Patrick Moore's testimony and cross examination at the New Zealand GE hearings. For those of you who have had or will have him touring your country as a supposed expert on genetic engineering, you might want to download the full document at http://www.gmcommission.govt.nz/inquiry/23FEB01.pdf.
In the pdf version, Moore's part is pages 38-56. The bit below begins on page 46 (page 4062 of the official transcript). This is very useful information for journos who are being told Moore is some sort of expert.
Patrick Moore's cross examination at the New Zealand commission hearings on genetic engineering
MR CURRIE: I'll be as brief as I can. Dr Moore; sorry, I didn't gather in your oral presentation, what did you gain your PhD in?
DR MOORE: Ecology.
MR CURRIE: And more specifically, in what area of ecology?
DR MOORE: I did an interdisciplinary thesis which includes the economics, the law, the biology and ecology of issues surrounding resource ecology, which is basically the study of how civilisation obtains the various resources it needs for its civilisation and survival. My PhD thesis was titled, The Administration of Pollution Control in British Columbia, in which I investigated the contamination of the ocean that was being caused by a large copper mining operation and did original research in that subject. My Bachelor of Science Honours, which I obtained prior to my PhD, was in forest biology and biology. I am effectively an interdisciplinarian and a generalist in studying the environmental aspects of the global ecosystem.
MR CURRIE: Have you undertaken any research in genetic engineering?
DR MOORE: No I have not, I am not a laboratory person.
MR CURRIE: Have you written any papers on genetic engineering?
DR MOORE: Yes, I have; some of the aspects of which were included in my brief.
MR CURRIE: Any of them peer reviewed?
DR MOORE: No, as I said, I'm not a genetic researcher. I have, however, recently had a full tour of the Monsanto labs in St Louis for example. I have also been briefed thoroughly by the people in Novartis in Basel Switzerland on their progress, I am a close associate of Klaus Amman* of Basel who leads the debate and discussion on genetic modification in food crops, so I'm fully versed on the issues up to the last e-mail which came through this morning.
* Note: further into the cross examination, it turns out that Moore and his "close associate" have some pretty serious differences of opinion.