What should you do when Mark Lynas comes to town?

Media celebrity and ‘renegade environmentalist’ Mark Lynas claims to have recently discovered science and now believes that GMOs are the key to a bountiful and sustainable future. BSR has compiled a list of recent articles from scientists and other experts who think he still has a lot to learn about science, food security, and genetic engineering.

As Lynas tours the world with his story, we suggest you share these articles with anyone who thinks they want to hear Lynas speak — they can help put the propaganda in perspective. The Mark Lynas scientific misrepresentations will be familiar to anyone who has heard Nina Federoff, Martina McGloughlin, Marc Van Montagu, and other industry-linked GMO proponents talk at universities or scientific conferences. For a list of other frequent speakers who present standard industry PR rather than a thoughtful scientific or social analysis of GMOs see http://www.gmwatch.org/myth-makers-m.

What You Need to Know When Mark Lynas Comes to Town

Discovering Science: Here’s an amusing article on Mark Lynas and his “discovery of science” by Professor John Vandermeer, University of Michigan. http://www.foodfirst.org/en/GMO+uproar+in+EU Vandermeer encourages Lynas to keep studying and describes some important areas of science he hopes Lynas will learn about in the future.

What links Biotech, Big Conservation, and Mark Lynas? Big Money. Eric Holt Gimenez (Food First) in Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-holt-gimenez/of-myths-and-men-mark-lyn_b_2591502.html The views of Mark Lynas are nothing new. They are right in line with the biotech industry and “The Big Three” conservation organizations: the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy. All peddle the myth that GMOs and industrial agriculture are necessary to “save the planet” and “feed the 9 billion.” Gimenez explores the links, debunks the myths, and discusses how GMOs threaten the small-scale mixed farming that actually feeds most of the world now.

Analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists: For a discussion of some of the science that Lynas and other proponents of GMOs routinely get wrong, see Union of Concerned Scientists, Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist, Food and Environment: http://blog.ucsusa.org/science-dogma-and-mark-lynas/ Gurian-Sherman’s article links to recent scientific studies and challenges standard myths from “GE reduces pesticide use” and “We need GE because no other methods can feed the world sustainably” to “Critics of GE are anti-science” and “Misguided regulations are stifling GE.”

More from scientists….This article critiques twenty-two Mark Lynas mistakes, one by one, with links to the supporting data at the end of the article. It encompasses a clear and thorough rebuttal of Lynas’s Oxford speech by Dr Brian John, Past Lecturer in Geography, University of Durham, 6th January 2013. http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/lynas_school.html

Is the ‘Mark Lynas Great Conversion’ story just a propaganda exercise? In Part 1 of his SpinWatch article “The Repentant Environmentalist”, Jonathan Matthews (January 2013) discusses whether the Mark Lynas Oxford speech isn’t best understood simply as a PR narrative. http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/52-2013/14614-the-repentant-environmentalist-part-1

Is the goal of Lynas to shut down scientific debate? In Part 2, Matthews examines Lynas’ reaction to scientific questions. He also fact-checks the numbers underlying the ‘science’ of Mark Lynas, including his ‘2 trillion GM food meals served and eaten‘ claim, and vets his ‘scientific sources’ which include EuropaBio and AgBioForum. http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/science/item/5461-the-repentant-environmentalist-part-2

How GMOs sell pesticides: Marcia Ishii-Eiteman from PAN North America discusses the actual effect of GMOs on pesticide use: http://www.panna.org/blog/debunking-mark-lynas-ge-myths

Does India need GMOs? Some thoughts from Indian Scientists and media: Dr. Suman Sahai:  http://governancenow.com/views/interview/it-scientists-who-are-asking-regulation-and-precaution Dr. Pushpa M Bhargava:  http://governancenow.com/views/interview/science-we-go-evidence Dr. Vandana Shiva: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?283594 Indian media coverage: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/mark-lynas-and-demeaning-science

Lynas at Cornell — Advocate of science or anti-science: Lynas tours major pro-biotech universities like Cornell University in New York State, spreading misinformation and enhancing the already toxic anti-scientific atmosphere where any critical analysis or discussion of genetic engineering is angrily attacked or dismissed. Science requires open discussion, independent analysis, and a reliance on high quality data and experimentation. Anti-science relies on shutting down discussion, preventing research and analysis, personal attacks, name-calling, misinformation and disinformation.  http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14794

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