Opinion on Mark Lynas’ speech

It is apparent that Mark Lynas had a huge change of opinion. He, at one point, didn’t believe in GMOs and was 100% anti-GMOs. Over time, after doing some research, he determined that he was wrong, and only knew the myths. Through his research, he found many benefits of GMOs, but also several disadvantages to organic farming.

He makes a solid case for pro-GMOs. Several examples include increased crop yield, increased nutrient levels, increased drought resistance, etc. These are exemplary reasons for being pro-GMO, as they help many people in different ways. For example, he touches on the golden rice that would be beneficial to those who are poor and in need of beta-carotene—an essential precursor to vitamin A, which is important in vision. He also goes on to note that this would help feed more people since there yields are higher, less land is needed, and there is an increase in production.

Is his thinking justified? Sure. Do I agree with them? To a point. I think GMOs are essential to feeding the world, especially since there will be over 9 billion people in 2050. But I don’t think they are as positive as portrayed. For example, in my ENGL230 class—environmental literature—one of the books that touches on GMOs notes that those plants that do produce more, need more energy and nutrients. If a plant needs more nutrients and energy then we have to supply that in some way, otherwise the soil does become depleted. Not only this, but we have still cut down a large portion of land for such cropping, causing habitat deforestation and fragmentation.

I also think that organic also has its place. The consumer knows exactly what they are getting; there is no guessing about what is in the food or the processing it has gone through in the same way as a GMO food. Although this may be more costly in some manners, the farmer/ producer also gets to have a stronger relationship with the plants; that person/ people is interacting with the plant on a more “personal” basis.

Overall, both GMOs and organic have their place and are important for different consumers. All farming will be needed to help feeding the world’s hungry. Getting there will take time and a mental readjustment for many. It is undoubtable that GMOs will be the future.

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