• New Delhi
  • 5 September 2013
  • Interviews
  • By Rahul Koul

“Jairam Ramesh failed to uphold his duty to feed millions”

Having been associated earlier with the groups opposed to genetically modified (GM) crops, Mark Lynas took everybody by surprise when he admitted that several of his previous strongly held beliefs were wrong

mark-lynas

With his timely realization on GMOs, Mark Lynas is now vouching for positive changes:!

Known as a well known journalist, author of many books and environmentalist, Mark Lynas is a frequent speaker around the world on climate change, biotechnology and nuclear power. During a recent trip to New Delhi, he shared his thoughts with the BioSpectrum. Read on for exclusive details:

Q: How did this change of heart on GM crops happen? Do you regret that lot of precious time is getting wasted in debates over such issues?

Key thing to remember is that self introspection is very important. While I was writing a book on climatic changes, I came across lot of literature on the topic as well. Realization came during 2008 and 2009 when I was writing my book 'God Species.' I changed my mind in the middle of the book when I studied 150 papers on the subject and none of these talked about imaginary dangers. A lot of things on the safety, environment and other related areas on these crops slowly become very clear to me. I realized that lot many things what anti GMO activists were saying, were not true. The whole environment movement is based on the grouse that health will be adversely affected and the multi-nationals will take control. That is their line of thinking even today. After making a rational analysis, I could see that there was an obvious fundamental discrepancy and flaws. The environmental campaigns and whole anti-GM workshops are based on a lot of such myths. If you do research you will come to know that these are without any substance.

Surely such debates without any positive benefit to farmers and harmful to science are a waste. One has to realize that it is the farmers who are at the receiving end. They are short of food and trapped in an entirely organic and agro-ecological prison of rural poverty where they cannot afford fertilizers, irrigation or pesticides, let alone commercial seeds.


Q: Being an insider, you can better explain the logic behind the actions of anti-GM activists?

 

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