Mark Lynas on GMOs

Mark Lynas was originally extremely anti-GMOs, or as he says, GM. He helped to start a successful anti-GM movement in the mid 1990s, which grew to a considerable amount of power and influence. Today however (or at least back in 2013),  Lynas is supportive of using GMOs in agriculture. He had held many beliefs about GMOs and was scared of them, describing them as a type of “living pollution” that he thought would spread and go terribly wrong. He believed that GMOs were incredibly unnatural and that this kind of technology was too powerful for humankind. His campaign was involved with a lot of anti-science themes, such as that scientists were “cackling demonically” as they tinkered with the backbones of life. Lynas was very pro-science when it came to proving climate change, so when a critic of his anti-GM mindset pointed this out and directly challenged one of his beliefs- that GMs were bad because it is marketed by big corporations, would he be against the wheel because auto companies market them- Lynas read up on the science of GMs. After reading the science, he realized that changing genes to make plants more pest resistant would mean farmers could use less chemicals, not more. He learned that genes from different species get mixed all the time thanks to viruses, so humans aren’t the only one messing with genomes. Even then, GMs change only a couple genes, where conventional breeding mixes up the whole thing. In short, Lynas read up on the science, and the science proved many of his fears wrong or unjustified, and he realized the incredible benefits of GMs.

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