By Gene Hall
British environmentalist Mark Lynas is someone I admire. Why? He has that unique kind of courage so rare these days. He admitted he was wrong.
He opposed genetically engineered food for many years. About a year ago, he admitted he was just repeating talking points. After he looked into it himself, objectively, he did what everyone who approaches the subject that way has to do. He changed his mind. He has since been talking a lot about the environmental benefits of genetically engineered food and the fact that the human health damage of the technology still stands at exactly zero.
So, when he called for labeling of GMOs, which is the frantic last stand of the anti-GMO extremists, I did a double take.
But his position makes sense. When food shoppers see the label on nearly everything in the store, they will understand that safety for people or the environment is not really an issue. That’s a very good point.
However, I’m still not sure I agree with Lynas that GMOs need to be labeled.
First, a labeling initiative will cost more and consumers will have to pay. And, the extremist are not about information here. They want to scare people about a thing that is not only safe, but is of benefit to the world food supply and the environment.
I am intrigued though about what will happen when the public understands they’ve been eating GMO foods for nearly 20 years, with no ill effects what-so-ever. Lynas’ idea is worth considering.