On Leaving The Anti-GMO Movement

Illustration for article titled On Leaving The Anti-GMO Movement

In this week’s NYT Sunday Review, British author, journalist, and environmental activist Mark Lynas recounts how he was converted to genetically modified food.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A lifelong environmentalist, I opposed genetically modified foods in the past. Fifteen years ago, I even participated in vandalizing field trials in Britain. Then I changed my mind.

After writing two books on the science of climate change, I decided I could no longer continue taking a pro-science position on global warming and an anti-science position on G.M.O.s.

There is an equivalent level of scientific consensus on both issues, I realized, that climate change is real and genetically modified foods are safe. I could not defend the expert consensus on one issue while opposing it on the other.


Read the rest at the NYT. See also Keith Kloor’s 2012 piece for Slate, which continues to be relevant: “GMO Opponents Are the Climate Skeptics of the Left.”

Contact the author at rtgonzalez@io9.com.


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There is a certain level of “missing the forest for the trees” going on in the anti-GMO argument. The problem is not the GMOs technology itself, it’s the fact that they are controlled by multi-national cartels.

By making sure the argument is focused on consumer-safety, the Monsantos of the world kill two birds with one stone, 1) by making their opponents look like ignorant Luddites, 2) drawing the focus away from their monopolistic business practices.