An environmental activist who helped start the anti-GM movement back in the mid-1990s has now apologized for his role in demonizing genetically modified crops. Mark Lynas says he has come to realize GM crops are safe to eat and are essential to feeding a growing world population. He made his comments at the Oxford Farming Conference in England – where he called genetic modification an important technological option that can be used to benefit the environment. Lynas says he educated himself on science as part of his study of climate change and came to realize the arguments against GM crops are mainly green urban myths.
Citing what he called rock solid scientific consensus backed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society, health institutes and national science academies around the world – Lynas noted he found GM isn’t dangerous – but is actually safer and more precise than conventional breeding. He added that three-trillion GM meals have been consumed over a decade-and-a-half without a single substantiated case of harm. But according to Lynas – anti-biotech activism and regulatory barriers are having a negative impact on innovations like golden rice. He said golden rice could save thousands of children from vitamin A deficiency-related blindness and death each year – but may never be made available because of the activities of groups like Greenpeace.
So his message to the anti-GM lobby? You are entitled to your views – but they are not supported by science. For the sake of people and the planet – Lynas says it’s time for them to get out of the way and let the rest get on with feeding the world sustainably.