True greens know GM is the answer

Mark Lynas has a short essay in the Sunday Times “True greens know GM is the answer”. I can’t find a way around the paywall, but there is a repost here.

Mark concludes his essay with this:

Not for nothing did Norman Borlaug, the late Nobel peace prize laureate who saved the world from famine in the 1970s and 1980s with his Green Revolution, spend his final years warning that anti-biotech activists would bring starvation back into the world if they succeeded in stopping GM.

1 thought on “True greens know GM is the answer

  1. I’m sorry, but I have very strong reservations against GM crops, although I am not totally opposed to them. The technology can be easily and carelessly misused, and has been.

    One company (I’m not sure whether it would be permissible to name it here) engineered crops to be resistant to a herbicide so that the labor required to control weeds would be considerably reduced. The result was that the weeds became resistant to the herbicide so ultimately, nothing was gained. Of course, until that happened, The Company was able to sell more herbicide which was probably their primary motive.

    They are engineering crops to produce an insecticide, for obvious reasons. It is unclear whether those GM crops are totally safe for everyone and also, it is likely that the insects will become resistant anyway.

    The performance of The Company is so unethical that I absolutely do not trust it. It has actually sued farmers who have rejected its seeds, the basis for the lawsuits being that pollen from crops grown by the GM seeds drifts to the fields of the farmers who do not buy the seeds thereby benefiting the farmers who are not paying for the seeds. Of course The Company has untold millions to spend on lawsuits thereby making it difficult or impossible for the farmers to defend themselves. Considering the behavior of The Company, I do not see how it can be trusted to use adequate safeguards when designing GM crops.

    There would be obvious advantages to engineering crops to fix their own nitrogen to eliminate the need to manufacture nitrogen fertilizers. But of course, if that were done, fertilizer companies would lose much of their business therefore their may be insufficient incentive to do it despite its obvious potential benefits.

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