If there is a braver or more morally conscientious person in Britain than Mark Lynas, I should be surprised. Or so I felt by the final page of Seeds of Science: Why We Got It So Wrong on GMOs. It is a dull title for a gripping account of how Lynas turned from a pioneering protester against genetically modified organisms to a passionate advocate of the good that, in crop form, this immensely controversial technology might achieve in terms of reducing hunger and disease.
Intensely troubled by his previous role as a propagator of the idea that GM crops might unleash unspecified disasters on human DNA, in 2013 Lynas strode to the podium at the Oxford Farming Conference (at which the virulently anti-GM Prince of Wales was also speaking) and declared: “I apologise to you for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the 1990s and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.”
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