Author attacked on GM crops ‘reversal’

Mark Lynas

Mark Lynas

First published in News

AN Oxford environmental author who renounced his opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops has hit back at “lunatic” critics.

Wolvercote’s Mark Lynas says he has been subjected to a raft of criticism and accusations since he backed GM foods.

The 39-year-old’s speech at this month’s Oxford Farming Conference has been downloaded 250,000 times and translated into five languages.

He apologised for helping to start the anti-GM movement in the mid-1990s and “demonising” the technology.

More than 500 people have posted comments on his website including accusations he is in the pay of GM companies.

However, branding his critics a “lunatic” fringe, Mr Lynas responded, saying: “I am not in the pay of GM companies and did not even receive any money for the speech.

“ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.”

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3:03pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

The biggest crisis in this world today is food, or rather lack of it. And if GM crop can grow in the desert, withstand plagues of pests, and produce double the amount per acre, that is exactly what we, especially Africa and Asia, need. Well done for seeing the light now Mark, but unfortunately the damage has been done with your "frankenstein food" label. Although you are the perfect example for ignoring the know it all just out of university students (as you were at the time) for being the naive reactionaries that they are. Best you wait till your 30s at least, eh Mark.
The biggest crisis in this world today is food, or rather lack of it. And if GM crop can grow in the desert, withstand plagues of pests, and produce double the amount per acre, that is exactly what we, especially Africa and Asia, need. Well done for seeing the light now Mark, but unfortunately the damage has been done with your "frankenstein food" label. Although you are the perfect example for ignoring the know it all just out of university students (as you were at the time) for being the naive reactionaries that they are. Best you wait till your 30s at least, eh Mark. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

4:48pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

“ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.”

Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.
“ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.” Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
“ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.”

Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.
No Sandra, Mark has just lost his rebellious side that youths have, and come to see the realism. Did you not read my post. The world needs food, and GM crops can grow where unmodified crops cannot. For Africa and Asia that means a possible end to starvation. Can you not see that.
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: “ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.” Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.[/p][/quote]No Sandra, Mark has just lost his rebellious side that youths have, and come to see the realism. Did you not read my post. The world needs food, and GM crops can grow where unmodified crops cannot. For Africa and Asia that means a possible end to starvation. Can you not see that. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Grunden Skip wrote:
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
“ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.”

Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.
No Sandra, Mark has just lost his rebellious side that youths have, and come to see the realism. Did you not read my post. The world needs food, and GM crops can grow where unmodified crops cannot. For Africa and Asia that means a possible end to starvation. Can you not see that.
No I don't bother reading your posts they bore me and I am not interested in why you think he changed his mind I want to hear it from him.
[quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: “ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.” Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.[/p][/quote]No Sandra, Mark has just lost his rebellious side that youths have, and come to see the realism. Did you not read my post. The world needs food, and GM crops can grow where unmodified crops cannot. For Africa and Asia that means a possible end to starvation. Can you not see that.[/p][/quote]No I don't bother reading your posts they bore me and I am not interested in why you think he changed his mind I want to hear it from him. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Mon 14 Jan 13

rfr says...

Grunden Skip wrote:
The biggest crisis in this world today is food, or rather lack of it. And if GM crop can grow in the desert, withstand plagues of pests, and produce double the amount per acre, that is exactly what we, especially Africa and Asia, need. Well done for seeing the light now Mark, but unfortunately the damage has been done with your "frankenstein food" label. Although you are the perfect example for ignoring the know it all just out of university students (as you were at the time) for being the naive reactionaries that they are. Best you wait till your 30s at least, eh Mark.
The world has sufficient food. It's just that so-called developed nations waste colossal amounts. http://edition.cnn.c
om/2012/12/21/world/
food-waste-infograph
ic/
[quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: The biggest crisis in this world today is food, or rather lack of it. And if GM crop can grow in the desert, withstand plagues of pests, and produce double the amount per acre, that is exactly what we, especially Africa and Asia, need. Well done for seeing the light now Mark, but unfortunately the damage has been done with your "frankenstein food" label. Although you are the perfect example for ignoring the know it all just out of university students (as you were at the time) for being the naive reactionaries that they are. Best you wait till your 30s at least, eh Mark.[/p][/quote]The world has sufficient food. It's just that so-called developed nations waste colossal amounts. http://edition.cnn.c om/2012/12/21/world/ food-waste-infograph ic/ rfr
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Alfie Nokes says...

Maybe he thinks leading GM companies like Monsanto patenting their strains, having farmers whose heirloomed seeds are cross-pollinated by Monsanto's GM sued for patent infringement, and in some cases face either handing the crop over to the company or destroying it is somehow helpful. Or maybe it's progress that as of July 2011, farmers are having to older, more toxic chemical sprays, in heavier volumes and more frequently to deal with the superweeds that have become so powerful as a result of resistance build-up that farmers are being forced to use more labour to chop out the plants (as their stems are growing up to 4 inches thick in diameter, inches height a day, which is now damaging conventional farm machinery. Or maybe it's better that, as of May last year, weed control is “back to where we were 20 years ago.” after paying for the privilege to purchase the special seeds, pay again to purchase ever-increasing volumes of special weed-killer, all to no avail.

That's not even questioning whether the underlying premise is at fault, who knows maybe it's really not because there isn't enough food, but because those below the poverty line cannot afford food, regardless of the availability.
Maybe he thinks leading GM companies like Monsanto patenting their strains, having farmers whose heirloomed seeds are cross-pollinated by Monsanto's GM sued for patent infringement, and in some cases face either handing the crop over to the company or destroying it is somehow helpful. Or maybe it's progress that as of July 2011, farmers are having to older, more toxic chemical sprays, in heavier volumes and more frequently to deal with the superweeds that have become so powerful as a result of resistance build-up that farmers are being forced to use more labour to chop out the plants (as their stems are growing up to 4 inches thick in diameter, inches height a day, which is now damaging conventional farm machinery. Or maybe it's better that, as of May last year, weed control is “back to where we were 20 years ago.” after paying for the privilege to purchase the special seeds, pay again to purchase ever-increasing volumes of special weed-killer, all to no avail. That's not even questioning whether the underlying premise is at fault, who knows maybe it's really not because there isn't enough food, but because those below the poverty line cannot afford food, regardless of the availability. Alfie Nokes
  • Score: 0

8:43am Tue 15 Jan 13

Floflo says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
Grunden Skip wrote:
Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
“ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.”

Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.
No Sandra, Mark has just lost his rebellious side that youths have, and come to see the realism. Did you not read my post. The world needs food, and GM crops can grow where unmodified crops cannot. For Africa and Asia that means a possible end to starvation. Can you not see that.
No I don't bother reading your posts they bore me and I am not interested in why you think he changed his mind I want to hear it from him.
Did you even read this story? It's a report of a speech given by Mark Lynas on GM foods and why he has changed his opinion.

The story states that already 250,000 people have downloaded his speech. Did it cross your mind that the answer to your question may be found there?
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: “ I find that allegation offensive and indicative of the lack of argument from the other side. “I think we have crossed the tipping point where it is now understood by just about everyone that GM foods are safe.” Before branding others with a different opinion to yours as 'lunatic critics' can you first explain what made you change your opinion. I suspect there may well have been a cash incentive somewhere along the line.[/p][/quote]No Sandra, Mark has just lost his rebellious side that youths have, and come to see the realism. Did you not read my post. The world needs food, and GM crops can grow where unmodified crops cannot. For Africa and Asia that means a possible end to starvation. Can you not see that.[/p][/quote]No I don't bother reading your posts they bore me and I am not interested in why you think he changed his mind I want to hear it from him.[/p][/quote]Did you even read this story? It's a report of a speech given by Mark Lynas on GM foods and why he has changed his opinion. The story states that already 250,000 people have downloaded his speech. Did it cross your mind that the answer to your question may be found there? Floflo
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

You beat me to it Floflo, and rfr, tell remote communities in drought struck parts of Africa and Asia that they have enough food, this could be the lifeline for them. Just because you and I throw away half the food that we buy does not mean that it will end up thousands of miles away to those in need.
You beat me to it Floflo, and rfr, tell remote communities in drought struck parts of Africa and Asia that they have enough food, this could be the lifeline for them. Just because you and I throw away half the food that we buy does not mean that it will end up thousands of miles away to those in need. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Alfie Nokes says...

Could someone quote me the strain number/name of the GM crop that some claim can grow in the desert, withstand plagues of pests, and produce double the amount per acre?
Could someone quote me the strain number/name of the GM crop that some claim can grow in the desert, withstand plagues of pests, and produce double the amount per acre? Alfie Nokes
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Alfie Nokes says...

Grunden Skip wrote:
You beat me to it Floflo, and rfr, tell remote communities in drought struck parts of Africa and Asia that they have enough food, this could be the lifeline for them. Just because you and I throw away half the food that we buy does not mean that it will end up thousands of miles away to those in need.
You claimed first that "he biggest crisis in this world today is food, or rather lack of it." but now you acknowledge that you throw and whoever you were talking to throw half your food away, sounds like a problem of distribution if we take that as true.

And suppossing you are in any way right about GMs increasing yield, how would you pay for your food when this glut is established if you are below the poverty line?
[quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: You beat me to it Floflo, and rfr, tell remote communities in drought struck parts of Africa and Asia that they have enough food, this could be the lifeline for them. Just because you and I throw away half the food that we buy does not mean that it will end up thousands of miles away to those in need.[/p][/quote]You claimed first that "[t]he biggest crisis in this world today is food, or rather lack of it." but now you acknowledge that you throw and whoever you were talking to throw half your food away, sounds like a problem of distribution if we take that as true. And suppossing you are in any way right about GMs increasing yield, how would you pay for your food when this glut is established if you are below the poverty line? Alfie Nokes
  • Score: 0

2:32am Tue 22 Jan 13

Alfie Nokes says...

No takers?

How about the more recent news then: from independentsciencene
ws.org January 21 2013

In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene. This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.

But don't take it from me, bother to read it, and further inform yourself.
No takers? How about the more recent news then: from independentsciencene ws.org January 21 2013 In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene. This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance. But don't take it from me, bother to read it, and further inform yourself. Alfie Nokes
  • Score: 0

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