By this time most of you have probably read all about Mark Lynas, the anti-GMO activist who decided that GMOs are actually a net benefit to society.  I’ve been asked by a few people to comment on how I feel about Mr. Lyna’s changing sides.  I think they expect me to be jumping up and down for joy.  But that’s not how I feel at all.  I’m happy when anyone decides to let research lead them to a conclusion rather than politics or gut feelings, but in this case it also makes me nervous.  This is because some people tend to travel too far towards one side or another.  I’m just as fearful of the damage that people who are radically pro-GMO may cause as I am of radically anti-GMO activists.  And, in my opinion, this guy just seems to be radical.  Saying that you have research that supports one side of an argument is fine, but in almost all cases there is research that supports the other side too, and you ignore it at your own peril.  Balance people — Balance.

6 thoughts on “Balance”

  1. But, Jeff–it’s so much EASIER to just jump on a bandwagon and follow a leader! You’re asking people to think, consider and evaluate! 😉

  2. /Rant on
    Rather than pro-GMO (radical or otherwise), I prefer to think of my position as anti-(anti GMO). The reason is,  I see anti-GMO references all the time – in gardening blogs, news columns, articles in Gardening Magazines, etc.
    The only “pro-GMO” position I ever seem to come across, (and I read hort stuff widely) is in rebuttals to some egregious commentary by the anti-GMO folks.  The prevention of implementation of Vitamin A rice by the anti’s is appalling, and (were I to use their emotional tactics), “Racist” and “uncaring” of the Asian people who regularly suffer from Beri Beri, or whatever disease it is that Vitamin A deficiency causes.
    Their tactics of destroying GMO research plots, is nothing less than eco-terrorism, as Dr. Chalker-Scott has noted in the past.
    I, for one, am looking forward to lower priced salmon from GMO fish, reducing the pressure on wild salmon species, and providing a healthy, omega-fat rich diet to consumers at affordable prices.
    The message I get from anti-GMO folks, is that zero risk is absolute, and they get to decide that for everyone else, regardless of the potential benefits.  Status Quo Luddites, eschewing technological advances to appease the Goddess Gaia, or some such aberration of rational sustainability. Not research based science, just emotional appeals to “I don’t want to eat Frankenfood”, and “it’s against nature.”
    I have as much respect for them as I do people who want to impose “Creation Science” on public school curriculums.
    /Rant Off

  3. I’m with you Ray on the zero risk bit. The requirement that it be proven that there is no harm drives me a little batty. They are in essence asking for proof of a negative which just isn’t going to happen.

  4. To date, no GMO on the market that I know of offers any benefit to consumers. Though that may change, there is now no rational reason to consume them. A hard-headed risk analysis today gives consumers only risk — no reward. How much risk is certainly debatable. Let’s not ban the technology, but label it so we know what we are eating.

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