British environmental writer Mark Lynas chastised GMO activists in a speech earlier this year, calling the GMO debate "over," and said activists were stalling important research to adapt crops to climate change (ClimateWire, Jan. 17).
Groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists have raised concerns about the environmental impacts of releasing new genetically modified crops into the open to reproduce with existing plants. For example, herbicide-resistant crops engineered to withstand weed killers like glyphosate breed with native vegetation to create "super weeds" that can no longer be controlled with herbicide.
"I know personally dozens of academic scientists ... who have unanswered questions about the risk issues," said Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist in the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an interview after the Lynas speech. "To try to unilaterally suggest that [Lynas] has the answer, it's a misunderstanding of what the scientific process is really about."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500