Does Mark Lynas’s “conversion” represent a turning point in the GM debate?

Anyone who believes the combustible GM discourse has turned a corner would do well to remember similar pronouncements made about global warming in the last decade. How many times has it been said that the public finally — finally! — understands the climate threat and is ready to take it seriously? 

Like climate change, the consensus science on GM crops crops is established, at least with respect to food safety, which Lynas put this way in his Jan. 3 speech: “The GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe—over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food.” 

The reasonable wing of GMO critics, such as Michael Pollanauthor of Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Rules and other books, contend that not enough research has been done to be sure. They likely will be saying this for decades. Still, the blunt manner with which Lynas characterizes the debate — “It’s over!” — belies the complexity of the broader suite of GM issues that animates opposition to the technology. In this sense, the sweeping claim that the debate is over is similar to that often made about climate change, a sentiment which, too, belies what social-policy experts have long described as “wicked problems.”

View the original article here:  Greens on the Run in Debate Over Genetically Modified Food

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