"Eight Million Children Dead" – that tragedy was laid directly at the feet of Greenpeace as a crime against humanity on a big golden protest banner unfurled last week in front of Greenpeace Canada’s offices in Toronto.

The World Health Organization reports that about 250 million preschool-age children die each year of chronic vitamin A deficiency in urban slums in Asia and Africa, where they have little more than a cup of rice to eat each day.

This horror could be alleviated by switching from conventional rice to so-called “golden rice,” genetically modified with vitamin A, necessary for eyesight and the immune system.

Anti-GM Greenpeace has delayed the introduction of golden rice with scaremongering about nonexistent toxicity and violent destruction of test crops for 12 years, during which time eight million children needlessly died for a Big Green ideology.

The golden banner in Toronto heralded the launch of a mercy mission led by Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore to convince Greenpeace to “Allow Golden Rice Now!” -- the name of his new global campaign -- and stop the famous environmental organization's fanatical attacks on a critical humanitarian undertaking.

Moore calls himself a “dropout” from the group after 15 years — 1971 to 1986 — as a leader. “Greenpeace has lost its moral compass,” Moore wrote in Canada’s Globe and Mail, “changing its concern for the welfare of people to a belief that humans are the enemy of the earth.”

On Aug. 8, Greenpeace activists destroyed a test field of golden rice in the Philippines under the pretext that it was an uprising of 400 local farmers who had been bussed to the government rice research institute, according to Slate online magazine.

But some 50 Greenpeace thugs broke from the crowd of dismayed farmers to tear down containment nets and trample and uproot the test planting.

Local police were outnumbered and didn’t intervene, said Slate. Big Green’s lapdog media — the New York Times, New Scientist, BBC News, etc. — uncritically ran the false Greenpeace “uprising” propaganda.

One can only wish Moore success in taking on Greenpeace for those needlessly endangered children.

In Russia, the police are not outnumbered and don't hesitate to intervene. That's what 30 Greenpeace sign-hangers discovered while protesting offshore drilling in the Arctic on Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Barents Sea.

According to the Moscow Times, Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise’s captain, Peter Willcox, was arrested over his alleged refusal to obey orders from the Russian Coast Guard.

The ship was seized and towed to Murmansk, a port city near the Norway and Finland borders, with the activists on board.

The news went worldwide when all 30 crew members were put in pretrial detention and charged with piracy, a crime that can carry a penalty of up to 15 years behind bars.

Much was made of Russian President Vladimir Putin's stepping forward to play the "good cop" by disputing the official findings of piracy.

Anyone who thought Putin was signaling leniency never covered news from inside the old Soviet empire — the former KGB colonel was just distancing himself from any law enforcement “excesses.”

Judges denied bail for everyone, piracy charges are sticking and new charges of drugs on board the Arctic Sunrise are looming. Greenpeace has kicked a geopolitical hornet’s nest.

Russia has major plans to develop the natural resources of the Arctic. Remember, oil is Russia’s biggest export. The Prirazlomnaya project is Moscow's claim to sovereign rights in the Arctic shelf.

The Moscow Times said, “Putin believes he should make a public example of the Greenpeace activists so that the whole world will know it does not pay to interfere with Russia's interests.”

The newspaper’s concluding remark: “The Russian leadership as a whole sincerely believes that members of the organization are paid to 'carry out the orders' of Russia's enemies — in this case, its rivals for the natural resources of the Arctic.”

Greenpeace won't grasp it, but the Arctic is not a good place to mess with Vladimir Putin.

Ron Arnold, a Washington Examiner columnist, is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.