7 votes

Mark Lynas - renowned anti-GMO activist now in favor of GMOs

As a farmer that utilizes GMO technology, I wanted to present an article from an environmentalist that helped to start the anti-GMO movement and how turning to science and being objective has changed his mind on the subject.

As a libertarian, what I chose to plant on my fields should be my decision. If I pollute rivers, damage my neighbors fields, then I should be held liable. My production should be allowed to be sold to anyone that wishes to purchase it. If you prevent me from this right, then I do not have the right to my property.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Somebody got paid

probably a nice large sum.

Anti GMO movement strong in Hawaii

Inspirational video:


The person who is the subject of OP lecture is not someone that I would call credible. In the past or now. This mark person is a far left big gov socialist. At least that is what his past that is described in the lecture leads to me believe.

I have very little faith left in the mainstream academic scientific community. This post and the Oxford really do not mean much.

What I do know is I agree with is the OP on his property rights. No doubt he is correct that it is his right to grow whatever he wants and to sell to who ever will buy it.


Liberty = Responsibility



The GMO companies don't do much to support your argument friend.

Where GMO crops are known to infect non GMO fields and where the GMO producers use this to usurp rights of farmers, forcing them onto the GMO tit, this argument is running a bit thin.

Since the GMO producers demonstrated to their benefit that non-GMO fields are infected with GMOs, doesn't the burden fall upon you to insure your property and rights don't damage the property and rights of others?

If GMO biology enters our ecosystem, how exactly would anybody repair this damage? Pay a fine? Great, what does that do for the problem? Nothing. Damage done.

This has always been the weakest part of the libertarian platform. Suing a polluter after the fact does nothing to repair damage done.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

The solution isnt prohibition of a product.

Prohibiting a product like gmos isn't going to solve the underlying cause of why the courts were in favor of Monsanto. By utilizing the gov to achieve any specific goal other than protecting our natural 'god' given rights, then the system becomes corrupt as it is today.

Maybe one farmer should sue another, it is what we do if someone sprays chemicals that does any sort of damage to anothers crop. Monsanto offers a product and people choose or not to use that product. The users should be held responsible.

Unfortunately i think the usa has gone into a new era that is highly controlled by the gov and people and companies can take advantage of this power for their own interests.

"...how would anybody repair this damage?"

His GMO pollen will rape my heirloom plants and leave me with red-headed bastard seed that I do not want. All the money in the world will not fix it when ALL the seed is contaminated.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

So soybeans are ok?

Since soybeans don't cross pollinate you should be OK with transgenic beans, correct? What if a transgenic non pollinating corn plant is created?

It might be, for awhile anyway as long as we have

transparency and the people are freely given information so they can make an informed choice.

I personally believe that just because we can manipulate the genetics of living organisms it doesn't mean we should. I think our arrogance though will be a potential downfall in the making.. It's probably a better idea to leave nature alone since it has done a better job than man.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

This is the biggest problem

This is the biggest problem with GMOs. And it is a terrible problem.

I'd like to add, that it doesn't happen that way

every time and some things can be "fixed" but there are certain issues where it's too dangerous to take a chance.. Food and water are two.

Also, I'm fairly pissed because it's getting increasingly hard to get "organic non-gmo" without some contamination in it from GMO..

and to be honest, I'm behind the gun on this issue.. up until 8 years ago, I believe our food was somewhat "safe" to eat. The more I dig into it the more dire the grand picture becomes. GMO's are in a huge amount of foods so much so that even though I'm trying, I'm not sure I'll be able to get entirely away from it for awhile. I've made a great many leaps but it's just hard to trust your food anymore.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Permaculture and aquaponics

are both better solutions.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.


Aquaponics and permaculture is exactly how nature recycles nutrients through the ecosystem. The bacteria in the nitrogen cycle acting on organic matter is how plants get the fertilizer and micro nutrients they need to perform photosynthesis. The system has been self sustaining for millions of years and allows the miracle of life on planet earth.

GMO Crop Performance


“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
- President John F. Kennedy

good article

With large scale mono crops that we have today, the appearance of new agressive pests and weeds increases the price of conventional methods of control such as pesticides and herbicides. Yields don't change much bc we simply spray more, but our costs greatly increase and thus the food price increases. Also note that in areas where roundup resistant soybeans have been properly used one can return to using conventional crops bc the weed seed bank in the soil is diminished enough to allow conventional control methods. So when you see that conventional crops produce the same as gmos, well that is true, but not all fields can take on conventional crops, especially where there are sloppy farmers.

It is just one more tool for the farmers.

Are you saying that GMO is just one more tool

for the farmers? That's like saying low-interest loans of fiat money are just one more tool for the small business. We know that the money game is fixed, and leading to a collapsed dollar. I posit, that farming, based on the green revolution model, of which GMO is the latest offering (not unlike derivatives--astronomical stakes, benefiting the largest players, leveraged beyond the natural capacity of the market[environment], protected by the govt), is also a game that is fixed, leading to a collapse. If gas goes to $8 gallon, where does farming go? The sustainable agriculture people are like the goldbugs.

Green revolution and gmos are very different.

The green revolution was simply the selection of the best varieties for a given region. New varieties were created from cross breading two different varieties and so forth. This practice continues today and greatly improves yields worldwide.

Gmo is just a new technology and happens to be applied to crops. I wouldnt call it part of the green revolution.

As for the ag bubble, you bet there is one. Corn ethanol consumes half of the usa corn production. Artificial demand. Biodiesel, same thing. It will pop one day like all bubbles do.

The Green Revolution

also used WWII chemistry to grow crops: petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. It dramatically increased yields, but at great cost. Treating the soil like a sponge for petrochemical inputs, depletes the soil. Also, the food grown with petroleum inputs doesn't have all of the nutrients that are found in plants grown in balanced, living soil, so supplements are necessary for complete nutrition. Green revolution is monoculture, hybridization, and petroleum based inputs.

yes that is all good technology.

Pesticides are used in organic and non orgaric crops. Soybeans dont use fertilizers manufactured from natural gas, it pulls it out of the air. Contamination levels are going down not up. My soil is my life,without it i cant farm. We have been farming for over 40 years on the same soil and the fertility has gone up, erosion down, and that leads to less contamination in rivers. No one has more interest in keeping farm land productive and pollution free than the farmers who live and work on it.

Why have so many small farmers

gone out of business?

Bad farming practices. My

Bad farming practices. My father started with one acre and now has thousands. Many of his workers have hundreds of acres. But as you know i dont live in a police state like the usa. The freedoms here allow small business to flourish. Even new car companies are set to open up.without the help of big gov, small companies and farmers often have the advantage.

I only wish i could have you visit and see what we are doing here, how modern farming is the cleanest type of farming yet. Maybe one day...

Well, that sounds awesome

There was a fellow outside my bank, he was asking everyone that went in, would they give him seventy five cents for a dollar. I said, "What are you doing?" He said, "Beats farming."

I would like to be able...

I would like to be able to choose not to buy GMO products when I shop. I would like to look at the label and be informed if it is a GMO product or not. Having a product labeled so that I can make an informed choice is not unreasonable or asking too much. For example products containing peanuts are labeled to protect people that are allergic. If GMO products are so great they should not have any problem with proudly identifying their origin. What I see is a big backlash against letting the customer be informed and make their own choice. What I see is GMO producers trying to trick people into buying their products. What are they hiding ? What are they afraid of? Is it possible without deceptive marketing and labeling that GMO products would have a much smaller market share? Of course! There is no doubt. This is just another example of corporate greed and corruption. I don't want to buy products from shady underhanded companies that don't have the courage to market their products openly and on their own merits. If GMO producers chose not to voluntarily identify their products then I do not see it unreasonable that they be required to. I have every right to know what is going into my body and and not be deceived by GMO producers. My right to an informed choice supersedes their position and preference of anonymity.


I, as Brigger below, agree

I, as Brigger below, agree with you mostly. I agree with about 98% of what you said. Where you and I part is significant. It is the fork in the road, where each path leads to conclusions polar different. Here is what I disagree with:

If GMO producers chose not to voluntarily identify their products then I do not see it unreasonable that they be required to.

One, you used a word in way that the rest of your sentence clashes against: voluntarily. I like the word voluntarily, but your use of it is misplaced, because the second of two tracks on this issue is where that word should be. The second track? Answer: That NON-GMO producers from their volition, their voluntarism, label their products nonGMO without regard to law good or bad, that is, without success or attack/failure because of government (or, really, any other third party) involvement.

Because, where freedom lies is in the individual, who is the market, who decides who wins (his business, his money). The customer is who the farmer should market to, a direct process. But for quite some time now the farmer has marketed to the customer indirectly, indirectly meaning the farmer markets to law and chain grocery stores because their existence is contingent on law.

When someone intervenes, manipulation begins and grows to abundance, stifling everyone except the person who intervened, showing that he is controller and that the farmer (or any business person) the government gets involved with gets solidified into the market place, intrinsically being a barrier to who wants to farm (or enter whatever the business is the government has involved itself in).

I haven't read the article, but my guess is Mark, the man in the story, saw the error in advocating laws on GMOs. One, that's good. But more important than his change is, if its true, the moral of the story that activist mode should be refrained from until that would-be activist understands these two states -- unwelcomed intervention and freedom.

A world exist between those two states, and it's unfortunate, very unfortunate, when someone gets in activist mode about an issue involving those states (and most issues do involve them) when that person doesn't know those states. Ill conceived activism is yet another reason I yearn for freedom.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

Agree with 90%

My argument is that non-gov solutions are the best. Gov allowed for GMOs to have such a large share of the market. Gov made conventional crops enviable with regulation on herbicides etc. Organics are expensive because gov regulation and obviously some other issues. But essentially my point is that through our insistance on gov being the solution to everything, well the gov becomes happily the solution to everything.

Gov should never decide what can and can't be sold. That is not a function of government, at least not of a libertarian one. Our constant looking to gov to solve our problems has led to the behemoth monster we have today.

You imply that those of us

who think companies should not have ownership rights to the biosphere, are not objective, or base our thinking in science.

Before I listen,

Part of my objection to GM crops is the sloppy process by which genes are inserted (the word 'splicing' is worse than propaganda).

Another concern is the probability of unintended expression of traits, and the creation of bizarre proteins, with the potential to create new diseases, or disrupt long developed symbiotic relationships in nature.

A third concern is that any, "Oops! We didn't anticipate that!" moment is irreversible, and becomes part of all future generations.

A fourth alarm is raised by the dishonest and under-handed character the biotech companies display by co-opting federal agencies, sending legal teams against states in opposition to sunshine-seeking legislation, driving seed sorters and family farms out of business, destroying the careers of independent researchers, establishing aggressive legal precedents (my seed pollinates with your crop, I own your crop), and swallowing seed companies all over the world to corner global markets. It's no way to do business..

A fifth consideration is the link between the profit motive of demonstrably corrupt corporations and the release of organisms with manipulated traits, insects for example, into the world, without independent science, no means of redress, and no check or balance. It's a recipe for disaster.

so the solution is more government?

What you do with your life is your choice and that includes purchasing a product be it good or bad. There is no room for gov in this aspect of society, or at least a libertarian society. Free markets can sell and buy anything they choose.

Cross pollination, in my opinion, that alters the value of another's product should be illegal, however, because we live in a non libertarian society, then large companies with the backing of the government can do essentially as they please. End the power of the gov and the problems will self resolve. Ask the gov for help/regulation and you feed the beast.

I think that's a very good argument

The government, in this case, has granted legal ownership of the organisms, through the patent office. The companies claim that the organisms are unique enough to create ownership, yet claim they are 'substantially equivalent' in order to avoid existing regulations. That's disgusting. They get out ahead of the law, upend the purpose of the agencies, and create a monopoly in perpetuity (future generations of organisms).

Aside from the 3-card monte of the biotechs, American agriculture is a government game. There's no more regulated industry than farming. It's not a free market. The farm bill largely controls profit and loss year to year. Is that a fair statement?

Farmer Joel Salatin rails about this. Have you read his book, Everything I want to do is illegal?

We can't let criminality go unanswered. I agree with your thinking: If the government obeyed the law to the degree that Ron Paul was satisfied we had constitutional government, the problems would look much different. To accept a multinational wave of corruption, with the libertarian argument, "I should be able to do what I want as a farmer," seems like a horrible capitulation. It's the same problem I face as a shopper, and why I now shop close to the farm. If you're growing GM, I wouldn't buy from you, though you were my neighbor.

Because of the criminality my choices are sharply limited. Guess what? My health is better! I'm supporting local businesses, and the food tastes better!

He's as unfair to the opposition

in his new position, as he admits being to the opposition of his old position. He's not offering science to support his change of positions, but blanket pronouncements of the industry, which, after reading much analysis, is supported by manipulated science: to the degree that Russia is proposing science on GMO done in public (via video stream). He uses straw men, equating opposition to GM with Greenpeace (that's where he gives a bit of science, giving the impression that the rest of his thinking is based on science). His only metric for success is yield. He does say reduction of pesticide use is a good, but glyphosate use has way increased on round-up ready crops, hasn't it? His blanket statement GM decreases pesticide is contrary to my information.

He casts organic as obstructive, which is very aggressive, much in the character of the biotech companies. Organic is still a tiny percentage of the market, though growing steadily. That rings of a preemptive strike.

He claims GM can feed the world's growing population, a dubious claim. The current problem with feeding the world is not production, but distribution. I've seen the Ted talk of Hans Robling who predicts population will level off at 10 billion. He's kind of spreading alarm to support his new claims.

He completely ignores the legal framework of ownership of life.