|Former Critics of GM Have a Change of Heart|
Mark Lynas was for many years an opponent of GMO crops, who actively participated during the late 1990s in protests and vandalism of field trials in the UK.
But after recognizing his support for science based decisions making related to climate change was inconsistent with his rejection of the science of modern crop improvement, he changed his mind. In a very public apology, he says of opposition to Golden Rice that it -|
"...is immoral and inhumane, depriving the needy of something that would help them and their children because of the aesthetic preferences of rich people far away who are in no danger from Vitamin A shortage. Greenpeace is a $100-million a year multinational and as such it has moral responsibilities just like any other large company."
"I don't know about you, but I've had enough. So my conclusion here today is very clear: the GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe - over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food. More to the point, people have died from choosing organic, but no-one has died from eating GM.
Just as I did 10 years ago, Greenpeace and the Soil Association claim to be guided by consensus science, as on climate change. Yet on GM there is a rock-solid scientific consensus, backed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society, health institutes and national science academies around the world. Yet this inconvenient truth is ignored because it conflicts with their ideology."
Stewart Brand is an icon of the modern environmental movement. The creator of The Whole Earth Catalog he says in his recent book, "I daresay the environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than with any other thing we've been wrong about... We've starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool".
Stephen Tindale was for six years the head of Greenpeace UK. He has said "The reason I've decided to speak out on GM now is because I think it is necessary for people like me who've opposed it to say things have changed... The overwhelming majority of scientists think that it is safe. It is, in my view, morally unacceptable to stand out against these new technologies."
Mr. Tindale singled out his own former employer for criticism over its continued anti-GM stance. "I worry for Greenpeace and the other green groups because they could, by taking such a hard line... be seen to be putting ideology before the need for humanitarian action."
Patrick Moore "has been a leader in the international environmental field for over 30 years. He is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. As the leader of many campaigns Dr. Moore was a driving force shaping policy and direction while Greenpeace became the world's largest environmental activist organization." Over time he came to realize that the facts did not support many of the opposition campaigns he had worked on through Greenpeace and he is now a staunch supporter of Golden Rice and agricultural biotechnology.
Bill Nye, "the Science Guy", earned a well-deserved reputation as an excellent science communicator and teacher over many years. It was widely noticed, therefore, when he expressed misgivings about GMO safety.
Prominent plant scientists took him to task for voicing opinions that were not supported by the data. Nye then proved that he is, in fact, the "Science Guy" by looking closer, following the facts and setting an example for us all by changing his mind and realizing the dramatic effects that GMOs had already had in feeding an ever-growing world population.
Dan Piraro is well known as the author of the critically acclaimed comic Bizarro, which "takes a surreal, satirical and, yes, even bizarre look at our idiosyncratic world... Highly praised for its detail-driven artwork and off-the-wall humor, Bizarro has massive appeal among audiences who enjoy alternative humor." Syndicated since 1985 and published in more than 360 papers daily, "he doesn't see the world like the rest of us do. His single panel gems are a unique concoction of surrealistic imagery, social commentary and witty plays on words. Indeed, if Salvador Dali, Garry Trudeau and Oscar Wilde had an illegitimate child, that child would be Dan Piraro."
Piraro posted a blog "about GMO foods and how dangerous they are. Thanks to several comments by readers, I did more thorough research and completely changed my mind."
"I'm not embarrassed that I was wrong and had to change my story. That's the best thing about being an open-minded, reason-based person instead of, say, a politician; you don't stick to erroneous beliefs in the face of new evidence for fear that people will think you are fallible. If everyone lived this way, the world would be much less ignorant, as I am today thanks to information given to me by some of my Jazz Pickles. Thanks!
I am embarrassed, however, by the fact that I happened to include my mythological argument against GMOs in the same post in which I encouraged others to let go of their mythological beliefs about second-hand smoke. What can I say? I'm fallible. Don't vote for me.
But what the hell, we're all human and are subject to the same misinformation everyone else is. We all live in a bubble of sorts, one that is influenced by the beliefs of our closest group of friends and favorite broadcasters or authors. We aren't always right and we too often assume "if so-and-so believes it, it must be true". So-and-so is likely doing the same thing to you and the result is you lead each other down the wrong road.
I hope you'll accept my apology and read some of the articles below, which support GMO crops...
Science20 with Dr. Kevin Folta -- Atomic Gardening - The Ultimate Frankenfoods
Skeptical Vegan -- Frankenfood Fears
Pythagorean Crank -- You Say Tomahto, I Say Flavr Savr
Native Foods Blog -- Vegans Who Support GMO's (Say What?)
Vegan Chicago Podcasts"
Richard Di Natale is a physician, a Senator in the Australian Parliament and head of the Australian Green Party (as of January, 2016). He recently broke from his party and embraced the overwhelming global consensus on the safety of "GMOs" saying "he does not believe genetically modified crops pose a significant risk to human health." Senator Di Natale told the ABC that there is no concrete evidence on potential health harms to people. "The literature so far, on the issue of human health, hasn't produced evidence of widespread and significant health harms..."