Mark Lynas’s recent apology for his years of anti-GMO activism and subsequent expression of support for the technology has shifted the entire debate surrounding GMOs, according to Forbes‘ Richard Levick. Levick wrote that that the environmental activist’s speech “wasn’t just an acknowledgement of error. It was the recantation of an agenda.”
Such an about-face based on scientific inquiry by a notable environmentalist strengthens the case for ag biotech, while widening the perimeters of debate. “We hope that the tremendous reaction to the speech by Mark Lynas serves as evidence that honest consideration of the science will change minds about agricultural biotechnology,” says Dr. Cathleen Enright, executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information in Washington, D.C.
Levick concludes: “The challenge posed to the environmentalists is to rely on science everywhere or rely on it nowhere. If they opt for science, they may discover, or at least need to consider, what Lynas came to believe: that, for example, GM does not increase the use of chemicals as pest-resistant cotton and maize require less insecticide. Or that the mixing of genes between unrelated species is no more unnatural than the gene flows that have driven evolution since life began.” Read more.