The Future is GM

In his farming conference speech at Oxford, Mark Lynas opens with an apology to the crowd for being anti-GM and working against all of the GM company’s hard work. He goes on to say as a politician he went more in-depth into the science behind many topics like oceanography and climate, and eventually GM crops.  His viewpoints of being anti-GM before were all due to his lack of knowledge. Now armed with knowledge he comes to say he believes in the future of GM crops and continues to go on stating why GM crops will be vital. One of his main points was about land use; without GM crops it would take about the same landmass as two Africa’s worth just to produce food for India’s population; one could only imagine how much resources would be needed for the rest of the world’s population. This statement then segways into the amount of pesticides and herbicides needed to maintain that enormous crop size or even our crops today. To have a technology which would allow plants the ability to genome switch to help fend off disease and pests and not use it would be wasteful. Thus, going into why organic farming should allow GM products to be considered organic. The amount of organic pesticides, time, and money people could save from GM crops being organic is also too significant to ignore. Finally, a harsh reality point Mark used was how without the world accepting GM crops, we are no longer moving forward. Since many of the higher income populations support farming practices stuck in the 1950s, the market for GMs have been in decline and rejected. For example, Ireland completely turned away a GM potato with genes from a wild potato with the ability to fight blight. A country that suffered a massive population loss due to a potato famine because of a fungus refused a new option. Without GM technology we could start to see a whole new potato famine and other famines across the globe.

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