GM foods: Poacher turned gamekeeper
January 9, 2013 Editor 0
A SPEECH by Mark Lynas has stirred up an intriguing debate both online and off about genetically-modified (GM) foods. Mr Lynas is the author of three well-received books about the environment and was an early anti-GM activist, spending, as he puts it “several years ripping up GM crops” in the 1990s.
In 2008, Mr Lynas was unsparing in his criticism of GM food companies, calling their claims that GM crops could feed the world “outlandish” and dismissing arguments that they could better cope with the impact of climate change “a new line in emotional blackmail”.
At the Oxford conference on January 3rd, Mr Lynas was no less uncompromising. He began his speech : “I want to start with some apologies…I am sorry that I helped start the anti-GM movement…I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.”
His new position will be familiar to readers of this blog. “We will have to feed 9.5 billion hopefully less poor people by 2050 on about the same land area as we use today, using limited fertiliser, water and pesticides and in the context of a rapidly changing climate.” It will be impossible to feed those extra mouths by digging up more land, because there isn’t much going and because land conversion is a large source of greenhouse gases. Taking more water from rivers will accelerate biodiversity loss. And we need to improve—and probably …
- GM crops and carbon emissions: Frankenfoods reduce global warming
- What exactly is an entrepreneur?
- Drought and climate change: Cloud nein
- Genetically modified crops: Fields of beaten gold
- Africa: Microbes ‘Cheaper, Fairer’ for Boosting Yields Than GM
- The adoption of genetically modified crops: Growth areas
Categories: The Economist
Subscribe to our stories
- Giving Francophone African incubators the keys to accelerate growth entrepreneurship February 13, 2018
- Is acceleration the panacea for scaling growth entrepreneurs? Reflections from XL Africa February 13, 2018
- Why providing pre-seed and seed capital is the essential step to bringing West Africa and Sahel’s entrepreneurs to the next level February 13, 2018
- Global Investment Competitiveness: New Insights on FDI February 2, 2018
- BioInnovate Africa phase II launched February 2, 2018