Mark Lynas Leaves Anti-GE Fold, Converts to Science

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Instead of yanking GE crops from the soil, says Mark Lynas, true environmentalists should seek to plant more of them.

by Ian Pigott, Truth About Trade & Technology | Feb 07, 2013 Farm Progress

“There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy,” says the British writer Theodore Dalrymple.

Mark Lynas is both an intellectual and a political activist—hence his recent decision to change his mind is so notable. Earlier this month, he announced his conversion from foe to enthusiastic supporter of genetically engineered crops.

I was in the room when Lynas revealed his change of heart whilst delivering the Frank Parkinson Lecture at this year’s Oxford Farming Conference. His talk deserves a wide audience here in the UK, where we are not allowed to grow the modern crops that farmers in the Americas and elsewhere take for granted.

For years, Lynas has been one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners. He’s best known for his work on climate change. One of his books, “Six Degrees,” won Britain’s most prestigious award for science writing. It was also turned into a documentary for National Geographic, narrated by the actor Alec Baldwin and watched by millions.

When he wasn’t talking about climate, Lynas often could be found protesting GE crops. He was not merely an extremist who wrote newspaper articles against 21st-



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