Tag Archives: Mark Lynas

Extra Credit #2- Mark LYNAS, 2013 – Reflection

During our October 7th Class on Agricultural Bio-tech, we were asked to post an Extra Credit assignment to the blog on Mark LYNAS and his apology at the January 3, 2013 Oxford Farming Conference for condemning GMO’s.  We were asked to reflect upon his amendment of earlier statements condemning the technology after reviewing and valuing the scientific findings for the methods over his personal opinions.

A self-professed environmentalist, Mr. LYNAS originally condemned the use of the technology in 1995.  He reacted to the technology based on fears that were perpetuated by non-government organizations and special interest groups to ban the technology and it’s use across the globe.

He then found that his very anti-scientific message on GMOs clashed with his pro-climate change stance establish in 2008, where he became an expert on the topic by reviewing peer-reviewed research and gathering his own data and imagery.  He found he was being hypocritical however, as he lectured others on their dismissal of a phenomenon he knew to be true through extensive scientific investigation, he was also dismissing the science of GMOs in favor of propaganda and fearmongering.

He sat down to do some reading and found GMOs decreased the use of inputs like pesticides to farmers, saving them money, and that countries were clamoring for GMO seeds to increase their productivity and profits. He also found to his surprise that gene flow, or the mixing of genes between species, occurs as part of natural processes all the time.

By 2050, the global population is projected to reach 9.5 billion that’s to decreasing infant mortality and increasing infertility rates.  The amount of food produced today will need to increase over 100% to meet the growing demand for food, especially in developing countries. Growing environmental challenges include preserving biodiversity and growing more with less water, land and land conversion.  Population grown is not a new concern, but scientists like Norman BORLAUG decided that biotech should be used to feed the world, resulting in countries like India becoming food self-sufficient.  But when affluent countries starts speaking against biotech simply to further political views, the pursuit of knowledge becomes, ‘prohibitively expensive’ and people could needlessly die.

The acceptance of new technology and advancements in general serves as more of a barrier to global food security than the technology itself, according to LYNAS.  Affluent countries willing to pay a premium for ‘organic’ food and aesthetic farming practices of old may be prohibiting the advancement of biotech as well. Organic is not more nutritious or beneficial for the environment- it simply stays tech advancement in the 1950s. The use of chemicals also purportedly saves land that would have been used for farming. Mr. LYNAS suggests that land would go untouched and not structures of any sort might be placed on it, however.

Mr. LYNAS uses the example of ‘Golden Rice’ as a shameless example of an affluent country preferring their standard white rice over the healthier GMO variant designed to protect children from Vitamin-A deficiency in developing countries.

Mr. LYNAS ends his apology in a plea for those of all viewpoints to question their beliefs and see if they stand up to science.  He desires to quash the anti-GMO lobbyist in favor of biotech advancement that to his mind, has been delayed far too long.



Reflection of Mark Lynas lecture on Farming in 2013 Oxford

I watched a movie today that Mark Linus talked about why he changed his mind from an anti-GMO to support GMO in 2013 Oxford conference. Before I watch Mark Lynas’ s speech, I have heard about many countries opposed GMO. There are many concerns about the GMO will pollute GenBank of whether organism’ s or our human’ s in nature. Some claims that GMO is against to God, or human has no right to change the nature. The thing surprised me is how those people opposed GMO. In Kenya, if you plant GMO crop, you will be sent to prison for 10 years, even though GMO crop have higher yield. People refuse science because of religion. I can’t imagine that thing happens in the 21th centuries. It recalled me the conflict between geocentric theory and heliocentric theory. The global population are growing, and it need the innovative and advanced technology to improve the yield of crops. The anti-GMO organizations support organic food, they believe organic food are healthier. But it has been proven that organic food is not healthier than other food and it is expensive and has a low yield. In the other word, the GMO crop can have higher yield in less land, pesticide, time, and money. If there is a ban for GMO all over the world, millions of people will be died by starving, and more land, like rain forests, will be used to grow crops. I do not think that will be a good result.

Mark Lynas

Mark Lynas, a prominent environmentalist and anti GMO activist, reversed his opinion on GMO’s in 2013 at the Oxford Farming Conference, extolling the virtues of the revolutionary technology while fervently apologizing for his past behavior. He was considered one of the most ardent critics of genetically modified organics and his campaign against them during the 1990’s largely influenced public opinion on the matter for decades, swaying even some national governments to ban GMO’s to this day.

The stated reason for his drastic change of opinion is that he had not been examining GMO’s through the same scientific lens as he had been with his other areas of research. He had been unfairly and impartially judging GMO’s without researching them appropriately. He also mentions Norman Borlaug and how he helped saved millions from starvation through genetically modifying food.

Lynas stresses the importance of GMO’s today, with rising populations and increased environmental stressors demanding innovation in the field of agriculture.


Mark Lynas 180 Degree Change

I think Mark is very brave to admit his mistakes and be able to embrace them and come forward to such a large crowd. I think it was almost better for him to start out the way he did because it gave him a better understanding of why GMOs were good and it also showed him why people think they are bad. So now he can help inform those people and people around the world the right way and explain it to them how he learned about it and why he changed. He makes his case by saying when he thought about GMOs he just thought about evil scientists working in a lab making up these food concoctions. He didn’t trust them because they were marketed by big corporations and had really not looked into it more than that. But, finally when he did look more into it and got more of an academic understanding of what GMOs really do and their health benefits his Anti-GMO views started to fall apart. Another point he talks about is how he thought they would need more chemicals to take care of these GMO crops when really it would take less chemicals because the plants were meant to deal with it better. He hits beautifully on how GMOs genetics aren’t really as unnatural as everyone thinks and how this type of genome mix happens in nature and its called a gene flow. Mark Lynas states his case well and does a great job at saying why he  was wrong and exactly why he was by using facts.

Mark Lynas and GMO’S

The misconception of genetics and the important role they play in everyones life is huge. In Mark Lynas’s video I had the chance to view both sides of the argument “are GMO’s bad” which helps me understand the reason people tend to have different opinions. Mark was originally against genetically modified organisms because he did not know the actual science about them at first. But once Mark learned how important this technology is he quickly changed views. With the world growing at a rapid place Mark realized that there would be no way to feed everyone if farmers were not growing GMO crops, which was truly the reason Mark changed sides.

As a 4th generation farm boy I understand the importance of this technology and 100% support the use of GMO’s. I do believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but lets be honest there isn’t any proof that GMO’s are harmful to humans and as a matter of fact their good for us because their supporting our ever growing population. I thought Mark’s video was a good video to kind of open my eyes to other ideas but also teach me that people do not like GMO’s because they are ignorant to the subject and just need to be taught the facts just like Mark had to.


Mark Lynas help found the anti-GMO campaign back in 1995. He felt that GMO’s would act as pollution. He also felt that people were getting to much technological power since we were “mixing species.” During the 2013 Oxford Farming Conference he also mentions that it was very anti-science since they pictured scientist doing gene splitting as mad scientists. It wasn’t until he did more research and found information that he realized his thoughts were wrong. This change was started by a comment on his final anti-gm piece on the Garden. A critic told him “so you’re opposed to GM on the basis it’s marketed by big corporations are you also against the wheel since it’s marketed by big auto companies.” This led to him researching since the analogy caught his attention. In the end he found that GMO’s benefited people, farmers, and the ecosystem. It was interesting to hear how he was working on a Global warming project and informing people with science but wasn’t using any science in his campaign against GMO’s in 1995 and his pieces on the Garden.
My view on genetically modified organisms is pro GMO’s since they provide many benefits to people and the ecosystem. With GMOs we can grow crops that need less water, fertilizer application and can be more resistant to pest. This in turn means less pollution of waterways from fertilizer which can lead to eutrophication and less pesticide, fungicide and herbicide needing to be used. This helps protect the land and water we do have while protecting animals. The benefit other than saving money by using less fertilizer and control methods on pest is we get increased yield from the same farm. This in turn allows people to protect more forest from getting destroyed for the use of more fields. The decrease in cost is also helpful in developing countries since it reduces the cost for them making it easier to become self-sustaining.

Mark Lynas and GMO’s

Mark Lynas was one of the co-founding members of the anti-GMO’s that began campaigning back in the late 1990’s about how GMO’s are so dangerous and could be leading to the use of more chemicals in the crops now. But during the time he was writing his book he pulled a full 180 an began to relies that the dangers in the GMO’s are really not the more people have gotten sick from actually eating Organic food’s. Which don’t get treated with anything to help prevent pests or the disease in from attacking the plant. When he realized that the GMO plant’s didn’t have any backlash of people getting sick from his research and that they actually wont be spraying as many chemicals because the seeds and plants are able to defend themselves from the pests or disease.

Also he realized if we don’t continue to use these GMO’s the world will run out of food because organic farmers wont be able to keep up with the demands of crops needing to be produced. Where GMO’s are making the yields much higher for farmers that have minimal area to work with due to the increase of people in the country’s.

For all of these reasons that Mark talked about in this video he gave me more info to throw at people when they argue that GMO’s are bad and they hurt people. I can actually give evidence that Mark used it this video and back myself up. Also it keeps me still believing that GMO’s are not bad still because if it wasn’t for the crops we probably would have extremely expensive crops in the stores because there would be to much bad media behind GMO’s.

Mark Lynas’s Changing Opinions on GM Crops

Listening to Mark Lynas not only discuss how his opinions on genetically modified crops have completely changed but also to hear him apologize for bashing on on GM crops was quite interesting to hear. I think it is rare to hear such a strong shift from anti-GMO to pro-GMO. The basis of his switch was, in summary, due to the lack of science that supports GM crops are harmful. It was also aided by his recognition of what is actually causing the problems that people think GM crops are causing. The one point that really stuck out to me was when he said the threat of starvation and world hunger is much greater than the threat of consuming a GM product. Mark Lynas was a prime example of how someone can make an incorrect assumption based on social movements/lack of education on the subject. In his case though, he sought out the correct information and realized his prior opinions were completely invalid to what science was actually saying about GM crops.

My view on genetically modified crops is that they are a safe and sustainable way for farmers to produce the food that needs to be produced to feed the ever growing population. That being said, I don’t think organic farming is a bad thing either. I think organic farming is great, but not sustainable for the population. I also agree with the logic behind Mark Lynas’s opinion. I wouldn’t be in support of something that I thought had a chance of hurting people. Also from a farmer/producer standpoint, we would not grow a crop that would harm our consumers. In the end the consumer is who is determining our profit, so why would we produce something that would be harmful to them? That is why I support GM crops.

Mark Lyans Video

Mark Lyans help found the anti-GMO champaign back in 1995. He believed that GMOS would increase the use of chemicals, that they only benefited the big companies, that they robbed farmers of their seed, and that it was dangerous. However, as he wrote his books, he changed his mind. As he travelled around the world writing about climate change, he wanted scientific data to back up his research. So he learned how to read scientific journals and informed the world about climate change. However, he had some back lash from people who didn’t believe him to which he said “I have science to back this up”. A couple books later, someone finally called Mark out on his hypo-criticism saying something along the lines of “You call yourself an environmentalist as you lecture about climate change but you don’t agree with the use of GMOs.”

So, Mark did some research and found out that everything he believed before was untrue. It turns out that GMOs actually decrease the use of pesticides because they are modified to be able to fend for themselves, GMOs are beneficial to the companies and to farmers, that GMOs may or may not rob seed but the seed farmers are already getting does that anyway so it doesn’t make a difference, and that GMOs are actually safer than mutagenesis. Mark also found that there has never been an incident where GMOs hurt someone, however many people have gotten sick from organic foods.

Mark realized that without GMOs, there would be no way to feed our growing population without wasting all of our resources and, being an environmentalist, that is against his morals. GMOs help conserve land and water while still producing high yields and without have to cut down more trees. They also reduce runoff of chemicals because less have to be applied.

For all of the reasons that Mark mentioned in his video about why he changed his mind about GMOs are the same reasons why I have been a fan of GMOs since I was a kid. We cannot feed the world by 2050 on just organic. Organic is a niche that has greta benefits but it is not sustainable. We need to be able to have GMOs and organics live together peacefully or else, quite frankly, a lot of people will die whether it be from malnutrition and disease or from depleting our resources. I try to talk to nonbelievers about GMOs in the hopes that they will see that we need GMOs around. You can eat whatever you want, but you need to realize that your way of living can’t be for everyone.

Mark Lynas Speech

The speech delivered by Mark Lynas to the Oxford Farming Conference was definitely enlightening. To hear someone who was once staunchly opposed to GMO’s make a one hundred eighty degree turn makes his case all the more convincing. I tend to agree with Mark Lynas regarding the use of GMO’s to feed the growing population. It was interesting to learn that less infant death and not in fact more children being born is the cause of rising population. I found it disheartening to learn that members of certain organizations including Green Peace could be so vehemently against GMO’s that they would be willing to destroy and sabotage studies.  I think his point is important that many folks against GMO’s do not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or about nutrient deficiencies in their diets. I do however think it is important for some of the bureaucratic restrictions to be lifted to ensure that not just the major corporations are able to develop and innovate.  If GMO’s can help to solve some of these issues, which it appears they can, then I am all for GMO’s and Mr. Lynas has made a believer out of me.

The Conversion from Anti to Pro GMO

When listening to Mark Lynas lecture about his conversion from being against GMO’s to being for GMO’s, he mentioned that while he was against GMO’s he never actually knew about the subject.  After researching and discovering that GMO’s are beneficial regarding society and the environment.  He decided to become pro GMO’s.  GMO can be defined as a genetically modified organism where labs extract genes from a species DNA and injects those genes into an unrelated object being a plant or an animal.  GM foods are genetically altered foods, with the population rising and climate change there are possibilities of crops that are depended on becoming scarce.  GM foods are cheaper, increase yields, extends the durability and edibility of the food, and decreases the likelihood of a crop being harmed by a disease.

Mark Lynas changed his viewpoint mainly because GMO’s help the environment.  GMO’s allow farmers to preserve land while doing more with less crops, preserve habitats and ecosystems, water conservation, and air quality for GMO’s help reduce greenhouse gases.  The main thing I’d take away from this video due to being pro GMO’s is that you should always regardless of what you’ve heard take the time to do your own research on a subject.  Mark Lynas is a very creditable and knowledgeable man in regards to climate change and the environment, if he’s able to see that GMO’s are beneficial then his word should help others become pro GMO as well.

Mark Lynas Video

With the words, Genetically Modifies Organisms, comes heavy debate nationally. Mark Lynas started the lecture off great by saying that he used to believe GMOs were bad but admitted to not doing any research on the tropic. I believe most people against them today have not done the necessary research to see the benefits of GMOs. I have always tried to ignore what the political campaigns are doing to promote anti-GMOs because most of their arguments are scientifically proven, but I do need to do more research to absolutely understand GMOs to be able to educate others on what great ways they could help our growing population. Mark said to always ask for evidence and to go beyond the self-campaigning in anti-GMOs and that’s advice the general public should follow.

Mark Lynas brought up a great point about peaceful existence. Some many horrible things have happened where companies have destroyed or banning GM plants that had the potential to help the poor or children with deficiencies. For example, golden rice was stopped that was proven to help children with vitamin deficiencies. In Kenya, if anyone were to make a GM crop with high nutrition or high yield to help the poor, they would go to jail for 10 years that is a ridiculous regulation that has no scientific evidence to back up that GM is a health risk. I believe, just how Mark Lynas said, that farmers should have the right to choose what technologies they would like to use. The farmers that may be against GMOs do not have the right to stand in the way of people striving for doing things differently for the better. Everyone is entitled to their own views.

Another issue he brought up was that instead of helping the world by banning GMOs, people are actually doing more harm than good. With using GMOs for over a decade, there has been no harm from consuming them. I thought his statistic was comical that, you are more likely to be hit by a meteor than be harmed from a GMO. GMOs reduce chemical use like pesticides because they are made to be resistant by themselves. They would also help with raising yield because by 2050 we have to feed 9.5 billion in the same amount of land and GMOs are really the best way to do that. The people that are for organic are actually hurting us more than helping. Organic would require more land and is less productive. Organic is in the way of our progress by not allowing for innovation. If Biotechnology is stopped there might actually be famines that people predicted, not because of GMOs, but because farmers were stopped from progressing technology to help with the demand with increasing population.

My favorite part of the video that will always resonate with me is that the monster is not the GMOs themselves, it is our reaction against it that hurts us more.

Mark Lynas GMO Speech

I learned a lot from Mark Lynas’ speech at the Oxford farming convention. Like him, I did not know very much about GMOs when I first heard about them. I was also skeptical that they may not be a good thing. But after hearing his lecture, I feel much differently. Especially after he explained how much more food the world will need by 2050, all the while producing this food without using much more land, water, pesticides/fertilizers that could hurt the environment. Clearing more land would also increase global warming, and complicate an already difficult and changing climate globally. GMO’s could definitely be a viable source of the food that the world will need. By tinkering with the genes of crops, we could be able to get a higher yield and healthier fruits and vegetables to feed an ever increasing population. I enjoyed the lecture given by Mark Lynas and got a lot of useful information about GMOs.

Mark Lynas speech

When first hearing about GMO’s in high school i was totally opposed to them as well as the company monsanto, but after hearing Mark Lynas talk about the good outcomes of GMO’s , i was able to see a whole new perspective on GMO;s. In order for the world to survive and move forward, by 2050 were gonna have to increase our food % by 70% and a sufficient way to accomplish that is through GMO’s. Mark Lynas stated that, GMO;s are needed because the world will be harmed due to the shortage of food, but not by the use of GMO’s. Lynas also explained in his speech that GMO’s aren’t as harmful as the public perceive them to be.  With people assuming that the use of organic food are healthier, well lynas disagreed, stating that 53 people died and 3500 suffered kidney failure through the use of organi foods. Another great example Lynas used in his speech was that GMO’s are illegal in Kenya and can result in jail time if people were to use them, but would help the field yields allowing better results for farmers and offering more nutrition, which the country could greatly use. In conclusion i could not agree more with LYnas’s statements and points drawn attention to and will now be abel to look at GMO’s lot differently.

Mark Lynas’s Lecture at the Oxford Farming Conference

Whether you agree with genetically modified crops or not, everyone should watch Mark Lynas’s lecture at the Oxford Farming Conference. He was against GMO’s for years before discovering the science behind it, and admitted he assumed it was bad because it was under Monsanto, a big American business. After doing research, he realized GMO’s were actually beneficial, required less pesticides to be applied, were safer the traditional modified crops, and were necessary to feed the growing population on the amount of land we have. GMO’s have tremendously helped developing countries who need larger yields and more nutritional content. GMO’s also benefit the farmers rather than the big companies, contrary to what most people believe. Mark Lynas did a great job of explaining his ignorance to GMO’s and explaining that when you understand the science behind it, that they are necessary and beneficial.