Mark Lynas and GMOs

Holding a super unique perspective of the agricultural industry, Mark Lynas’ speech was an enlightening and encouraging one that strongly supported the use of GMOs.  Once a man who was entirely against GMOs, Lynas believed he knew enough based on information he simply heard about GMOs to come to the conclusion that they were “Frankenstein’s monster”, and actively campaigned against them.  However, after educating himself, he realized that the real “Frankenstein’s monster” was the movement against it. He discovered that GMOs did not in fact increase chemical use, but actually required less of it. He was also under the impression that the billions of dollars of profit went to the corporate companies, when, in fact, much of the money goes to farmers, especially ones from developing countries who need it.  He thought no one wanted GMOs, that everyone was anti-biotechnology in the realm of agriculture; meanwhile, farmers in places such as Brazil and India were pirating them, eager for the many benefits GMOs actually have. Most of all, however, he thought the mixing of genes from different species was an unnatural process. What he didn’t know was that this mixing of genes, called gene flow, occurs in viruses, plants, insects, and humans alike.  All in all, Lynas had previously entirely misunderstood the idea and science of GMOs, and once learning the truth, he did a complete 180, and began advocating for them. During his speech, he went into how necessary they are for the future, and disproved other theories of ways to feed the growing population such as organic farming. His change in perspective and understanding was a drastic but promising one. As someone who has a basic understanding of GMOs, I personally agree with Lynas that they are a necessity and extremely beneficial to all of those who support and use them to their advantage.  I do not believe that organic farming will sustain our rapidly increasing population, albeit it being a great way to produce crops. It simply won’t be enough, which is okay, because GMOs will be, if society is willing to accept them.

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