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Leading Activist Apologizes For Starting Anti-GMO Movement

Interesting read. It still doesn't justify the Monsanto Protection Act or any kind of special state protection, however I believe it should be up to the individual to decide what they put in their bodies, not a regulatory board. I went to an anti-Monsanto/gmo protest earlier this year and there was a lot of mis-information and exaggeration... As well as communists saying we need to join one big union and we're be able to ban GMOs after we seized all the private property or something insane..

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By Mark Lynas - I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologize for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.
As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.
So I guess you’ll be wondering – what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.
When I first heard about Monsanto’s GM soya I knew exactly what I thought. Here was a big American corporation with a nasty track record, putting something new and experimental into our food without telling us. Mixing genes between species seemed to be about as unnatural as you can get – here was humankind acquiring too much technological power; something was bound to go horribly wrong. These genes would spread like some kind of living pollution. It was the stuff of nightmares.
These fears spread like wildfire, and within a few years GM was essentially banned in Europe, and our worries were exported by NGOs like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to Africa, India and the rest of Asia, where GM is still banned today. This was the most successful campaign I have ever been involved with.
This was also explicitly an anti-science movement. We employed a lot of imagery about scientists in their labs cackling demonically as they tinkered with the very building blocks of life. Hence the Frankenstein food tag – this absolutely was about deep-seated fears of scientific powers being used secretly for unnatural ends. What we didn’t realise at the time was that the real Frankenstein’s monster was not GM technology, but our reaction against it.
For me this anti-science environmentalism became increasingly inconsistent with my pro-science environmentalism with regard to climate change. I published my first book on global warming in 2004, and I was determined to make it scientifically credible rather than just a collection of anecdotes.
So I had to back up the story of my trip to Alaska with satellite data on sea ice, and I had to justify my pictures of disappearing glaciers in the Andes with long-term records of mass balance of mountain glaciers. That meant I had to learn how to read scientific papers, understand basic statistics and become literate in very different fields from oceanography to paleoclimate, none of which my degree in politics and modern history helped me with a great deal.
I found myself arguing constantly with people who I considered to be incorrigibly anti-science, because they wouldn’t listen to the climatologists and denied the scientific reality of climate change. So I lectured them about the value of peer-review, about the importance of scientific consensus and how the only facts that mattered were the ones published in the most distinguished scholarly journals.
My second climate book, Six Degrees, was so sciency that it even won the Royal Society science books prize, and climate scientists I had become friendly with would joke that I knew more about the subject than them. And yet, incredibly, at this time in 2008 I was still penning screeds in the Guardian attacking the science of GM – even though I had done no academic research on the topic, and had a pretty limited personal understanding. I don’t think I’d ever read a peer-reviewed paper on biotechnology or plant science even at this late stage.
Obviously this contradiction was untenable. What really threw me were some of the comments underneath my final anti-GM Guardian article. In particular one critic said to me: so you’re opposed to GM on the basis that it is marketed by big corporations. Are you also opposed to the wheel because because it is marketed by the big auto companies?
So I did some reading. And I discovered that one by one my cherished beliefs about GM turned out to be little more than green urban myths.
I’d assumed that it would increase the use of chemicals. It turned out that pest-resistant cotton and maize needed less insecticide.
I’d assumed that GM benefited only the big companies. It turned out that billions of dollars of benefits were accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.
I’d assumed that Terminator Technology was robbing farmers of the right to save seed. It turned out that hybrids did that long ago, and that Terminator never happened.
I’d assumed that no-one wanted GM. Actually what happened was that Bt cotton was pirated into India and roundup ready soya into Brazil because farmers were so eager to use them.
I’d assumed that GM was dangerous. It turned out that it was safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis for example; GM just moves a couple of genes, whereas conventional breeding mucks about with the entire genome in a trial and error way.
But what about mixing genes between unrelated species? The fish and the tomato? Turns out viruses do that all the time, as do plants and insects and even us – it’s called gene flow....

Continue at http://www.hawaiireporter.com/leading-activist-apologizes-fo...

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Interesting

Total Bull$hit

.

Paid off

Obviously other other countries have banned or are banning GMO crops and organisms more and more, they are no benefit to humans or the environment

That was stupid if he didn't get paid to say that.

The whole reason why there is so much outrage in the first place was because everyone knows that good or bad, they are immune from litigation.

That is why there is so much outrage.

It is the same reason for the skepticism over FDA drugs, schools, and fracking.

If he got paid, more power to him.

If he didn't, he is an idiot.

God Bless.

So is Monsanto now claiming to be helping fight global warming?

Obviously this guy is a climate change zealot, and I can't help but wonder whether Monsanto is paying him by way of funding his global warming jihad.

Take back the GOP and Restore America Now.

No one has a right to this.

"As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing"

On the one hand these environmentalists believe in Eugenics. On the other hand they believe in keeping everyone alive with GMOs? I don't get it.

Pro GMO and Pro AGW $cam all in one article!

what is this doing on the DP?
Y'know which part of the 'science' these jerks forget about? POLLEN! You can't control where it goes and what else it corrupts.
I just logged on to downvote this ridiculous post. Apparently the guy learned you can make a lot of money pushing TPTB agenda. I would love to know sgray's affiliation with both scams, too.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

SF Official Bullshit

SF Official Bullshit Translation:

I led the movement against the mainstream scientific organizations pushing GMO crops but then moved my career to the UN conceived Global Warming scam at which time it became apparent that my anti-GMO past was prohibiting me from furthering my career including receiving funding as well as accolades for my books. So I henceforth decided that I needed to rescind my past for a more profitable future and that I why I am so eloquently writing this note.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Everyone is fat and

Everyone is fat and sick.

Everyone has been eating GMO corn their entire lives in one form or another.

Rocket Science?

A lot of words that say nothing...

My question to him is, how did they get to you what did they promise you ? I will never trust a company that created agent orange and did everything possible not be he held accountable for what it did to so many servicemen.

RickStone

I skimmed thru his article,,i don't see any

compelling arguments that GMO's are safe. I just saw a lot of arguments from effect. What's his argument about how tinkering with how plants have evolved for thousands of years is safe?

What a moron

This guys needs to give up activism altogether. While it may be possible to genetically engineer crops that are beneficial to the world, that is not what we have been getting. And while an argument can be made that consumers should be free to choose what they consume, an argument can also be made that the property rights of non-gmo farmers are being violated by contamination via gmo cross pollination.

And with regard to climate change, his new respect for "science" has him starting with his conclusion and working backwards to support it while ignoring all contrary evidence.

Funny

The comments on this post could have been written by this guy in 2008.

Sounds like he got a big sack of money.

And enough scientific knowledge to be dangerous.

Free includes debt-free!

GMO's are banned in Europe, African, India, and Asia???

I don't think so? I find that pretty hard to believe?

Do some research...

Do some research, (Google) here, I will help you so you don't look stupid. Read this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_genetically_modif...

RickStone

Mexican Court Halts Invasion of Genetically Modified Corn

A federal court in Mexico City ordered the Mexican government “to suspend the issue of permits for experimental, pilot or commercial cultivation of genetically modified corn” on October 10th, 2013. This is the first victory in a class-action suit filed against the invasion of Monsanto corn in Mexico.
http://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/

Agent orange corn.....does

Agent orange corn.....does that sound delicious and nutritious or what? I wonder if the motivation of these huge biotech companies is feeding the world or maybe, the main motive is control of the worlds food supply and their profit margin?

To me, monsanto is still a vietnam era chemical weapons company. They have just mondernized the way they deploy their chemical weapons, complete with their multi million dollar lawsuits against small family farms, army of lawyers, lobbyists, pocket politicians and scientific studies funded by them.

Want to avoid, or at the very least know what you are ingesting? Look at the numeric code on the produce sticker.

A four digit number means it is conventionally grown.
A five digit number beginning with 9 means it is organic.
A five digit number beginning with 8 means it is gmo.

Uh, the guy is claiming that

Uh, the guy is claiming that his global warming theories led him to rational science?

yes

I was giving this a chance as well until I came across that part. This article is pro-gmo and pro socialist warming propaganda. I'm not anti-gmo but I am anti government protection and subsidy.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

science--

is very complicated and not perfect; scientists are even more complicated and even more imperfect.

I've spent quite a bit of time on organic farms, and I've gardened organically for over 35 years--

My father was also a scientist--

I am skeptical of this man's "born again" attitude towards GMOs when even scientists who work in biotechnology don't have all the information at their fingertips; it takes a lifetime of work to understand what is going on--

very few of *us* have time for that--

in the meantime, the idea that huge companies or biotechnology will 'feed the world' is politically naive and blatantly incorrect politically and culturally and economically--

crops really aren't the biggest problem anyway; people are--

when scientists bio-engineer human beings so they won't take land away from others and use it to make money--

maybe *we* can come back and talk--

and, yes, that is sarcasm--

yes, sometimes crops fail; sometimes there are insect and disease invasions, but most of the time those happen when there is greed and monoculture--

I remain skeptical. One of us is closely associated with (graduated from) a university that is heavily invested in biotechnology; the university thrives because of the investments of companies like Monsanto; we read their monthly magazine/reports--

it's all about money--

it's not about food or health; it's about money--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Odd and anti-reality

I'm no GMO or environmental activist (though I do try to avoid GMO as much as reasonably possible), but the facts are not in agreement with his statement:

1) He states climate change is concluded science and scientifically undeniable. Is that a factual statement? Not so sure. There are plenty of reputable scientists who find fault with the models and conclusions.

2) Industrial glyphosphate (round up) usage is up, not down, while yields are not up in proportion to the increase in glyphosphate usage, correlating to the increase in GMO seeds

3) There are indeed terminator seeds, contrary to his statement

4) It's one thing to program vitamin A into rice DNA or whatever, and quite another to program deadly viruses, which has been done. In other words, there are most certainly qualitative difference in WHAT genetic modifications are being done, some ok, some not ok.

1) It is like, over 90% of

1) It is like, over 90% of scientists agree that climate change is happening and is human-made. Of the other 10%, probably 90% believe that climate change is happening, just that it is not human made. There is definitely a lot of dissent, but he is correct in that the vast majority of scientists/climatologists believe in climate change.

2) I don't know if you are correct about this. Yields are up tremendously in correlation to the increase of GMO seeds. Correlation does not imply causation, but the correlation is there.

3) He's probably trying to say that terminator seeds have not been commercialized anywhere in the world?

4) True.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

You dont vote in science and beliefs are scientifically irrelvan

Thank you for your reply.

1) Either something has been scientifically demonstrated or it hasn't.

It wouldn't matter if 99% of all scientists "believed" it. Either the data from repeated tests yield the same results in support of the stated hypothesis or they don't.

99% of all Christians BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, is that a proof? No, it's FAITH.

2) Agree that correlation does not equal causation. That said it is correlated that yields are up as GMO use has gone up, but that is a correlation. Has a causal relationship been demonstrated in data that it is the GMO seed CAUSING the increase? It could be improved and more water efficient traditional farming and/or harvesting and processing methods. Show me differently (not from corporate PR releases, but actual data) thanks!

3) Is it a true statement terminator seeds have not been commercialized? Not so sure.

4) thanks! :)

1) All I am saying, is that

1) All I am saying, is that when he says that the majority of scientists believe in climate change he is factually correct.

Moreover, they have done a very, very good job of proving that hypothesis (of course...because scientists do believe in data, facts, and experiments). When the statement is made "scientists believe..." there is the implication that they believe something because they scientifically verified it.

From what I have read (as I care really little about the issue), it appears that the idea that climate change is happening has been largely verified by science; practically impeccable unless you think the scientists are making the data up. In regards to whether it is man-made or not, there is significant debate. The main issue is that a conclusive answer on it would require time (not time as in one or two years, but time as in 100s of years).

In regards to severity, there has obviously been much debate. This is because experiments have been done on models (obviously) and historical data is just that...historical data. The claim can always be made that past temperature/warming data is no indication of future temperature/warming data. And with modeling, it is just that, a model; what is the relevance to the actual climate? Again, time is needed to answer these questions.

3) From what I am aware of, yes.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

With all this talk of "science", why do you suppose Monsanto's

scientist's refused to work until their own commissary was GMO free? Do they know something the author does not?

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

Provide proof, not third-hand

Provide proof, not third-hand anecdotes.

yup i did look into this and it turns out to be a single caterer

in a single Monsanto canteen in England in 1999 spun in repeated stories fron Greenpeace that make it appear to be a current or company wide policy.So yes it(the story) is hinky (suspect). I still despise the big M. You are correct I should have left a link . I still can but it is clearly murky water distorted to fit agendas continually regurgitated and deserving of no more attention. Post Script; I've always admired your moniker! Why all the down votes for asking for sources? It keeps our water clean!

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

It's not necessarily about his position

But that fact that every one of us should put their beliefs to the test. If you are so "certain" about anything, it shouldn't be a problem to use logic and science to test your theories.

For me it's how I arrived to my libertarian/voluntarist beliefs. I dislike the state not because it feels good, or someone rallied me up. I read liberals, communists, left anarchists, right anarchists, conservatives, environmentalists, moderates, etc. and I came to my own conclusions. I've doubted plenty and would never think thati've got it all figured out.

If you're not a skeptic and not willing to put your own views to the test, you're no better than the Obama sheepherd. And there are some Ron Paul, libertarian supporters who do it because they like the sound of it all, not because they've arrived at a thurough conclusion.

And I'm not talking about anyone here posting, I'm speaking in generalities.

Yes, it is about his position

He admits his responsibility and remorse for being a useful idiot to his FEELINGS, which were very strong, and then when he discovered the actual scientific truth, he woke up, and admits he was wrong in his previous position. Being a conservationist is where it's at, being an environmentalist is being a useful idiot, because you're under the influence of MSM/even altern-MSM is MSM.. very hard to think rather than feel one's way out of the MSM idiot box.

Agree

I guess I meant to say it's not just about this guy and his experience, or even GMOs, but the exercise of skepticism of ones own beliefs and putting your beliefs through rigorous test.