Mark Lynas, considered one of the key leaders of the anti-GM movement, shocked followers when he denounced the movement, apologized for starting it and for his role in demonizing it. He then proceeded to give a very lengthy speech about why genetically modified foods and crops were not only good, but the answer to our world’s woes.
Some Context for You…
Back in the 1990’s, Lynas spearheaded the anti-GM movement, which has successfully increased awareness and led to many countries increasing regulation or outright nixing GMOs.
As an activist, Lynas also spent significant time studying climate change – this is where he found science. It was his new understanding of science that forced him to about-face on his GM stance. Interestingly, he seems to ignore some of the discipline – like, that study where genetically modified corn fed to rats gave them massive tumours.
He also justifies his shift by saying that farmers want these seeds (who can fault a farmer for wanting to make more money?), that GM crops decrease the amount of pesticides being sprayed (yeah, because what kills the bugs is in the food!) and because world population growth means we have to do something in order to feed the world. Plus, apparently GM crops are good for the environment (unlike organic crops which he says are terrible for biodiversity) and that going GM could help reverse climate change.
Basically, he regrets bringing awareness to GMOs and wishes we would all “get out of the way and let the rest of us get on with feeding the world sustainably.”
Things that make you go WHAT?
Our first thought was, ‘how did they get to him?’ The beginning of his speech reads like the kind of thing you hear in movies when someone is being blackmailed or a loved one is being held for ransom. Had we been there, we might have been looking for hidden cameras.
Lynas ended his speech with, “The GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe – over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food.”
What do you believe? Is the debate over? If you’ve followed his charge against ‘franken-fruit’, are you willing to turncoat now and support big biotech companies like Monsanto?
If that’s just not in your genes, then keep buying organic, fight for your right to know what’s in your food (the audacity!), and put pressure on the government to encourage more scientific studies around the effects of GM on human health and the environment. That’s right, let’s fight science with science!
We want to know your opinion. Ours happens to be that the aliens have likely taken over Lynas’ body and he can’t convince us to eat the Soylent Green! Are we silly not to embrace biotechnology that could supposedly solve world hunger and help the environment? Do you buy his new science?
Share your thoughts below.