Mark Lynas on Genetic Modification

Mark Lynas, an environmental expert, gave a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference in 2013 on the topic of genetic modification of crops. Upon initial development and implementation of genetic modification in the 1990’s Lynas began to advocate against the technology. As time progressed, Lynas continued to push against GMO development. A critic of Lynas’s writing on the topic of GMO’s prompted him to research the subject and learn more about the scientific aspects of it. Lynas discovered the purpose and importance of the use of genetic modification to support food growth in a challenging environment. Crop producers must face the challenge of limited water, climate change, insects, weeds, fungus, and a variety of other factors that inhibit the success of a crop growing operation. Genetic modification allows crops to be more successful despite these factors. GMO crop fields do not require as many pesticides and are more successful in hot and dry environments. In order to face the expanding world population, producers must identify challenges and adapt to them by working with genetic modification technology. GMO crops also aid in protecting the environment by producing more product with less land and reducing the amount of pesticides that have to be used on the land. Lynas also acknowledged the methodology of organic crop farming by commenting on how this method has been a health safety issue in the past and how some of the organic methodology is useful in some instances. GMO crops have not been scientifically proven to cause health safety concerns and this technology is the key to providing for the growing world population.

Based on this speech and what I have learned so far, I am at a crossroads between the support and rejection of genetically modified crops. I understand the reasons why individuals support GMOs, they allow producers to be successful with a long list of challenges to growing crops in today’s environment. At the same time, I also acknowledge the concerns of individuals who are not in support of GMOs. I plan on learning more about this technology before taking a side on this issue.

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