Mark Lynas has delivered another wildly misleading speech, this one at Cornell University in New York.
The speech, entitled "Time to call out the anti-GMO conspiracy theory", was hosted by the International Programs - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. You can read and comment on it, if you wish to, here.
In it, Lynas once again plays the victim, saying he has been subjected to "a co-ordinated campaign of intimidation and hate, mostly via the internet" following his widely publicised Oxford speech. He provides no details of this hate campaign but he did previously generate headlines by threatening to expose those sending him hate mail, only to subsequently admit that he had received little if any!
He also claims in the speech that environmental NGOs like Friends of the Earth were responsible for thousands dying in Zambia when it refused GM food aid in 2002. In reality, according to Charles Mushitu of the Zambian Red Cross, "We didn't record a single death arising out of hunger."
Claims to the contrary were put in circulation by corporate lobbyists but are entirely without foundation.
In his Cornell speech, Lynas also again claims that environmental groups like Greenpeace have inflicted enormous harm by challenging golden rice. And he has even previously attributed thousands of children's deaths to NGO-opposition to golden rice, but this too is a complete myth.
What is particularly disturbing is that Lynas promotes these vicious misrepresentations of the environmental movement as part of what he says is his mission to put myths about GM to rest. It is no wonder that he has been accused of cutting fast and loose with the truth while talking about the need for evidence!
Lynas also uses his Cornell speech to once again attack the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), probably because they have been so effective in debunking his claims around GM.
But when Lynas attacks UCS, it is all about guilt by association, attempting to associate them with others that they are not associated with, and often in areas quite unrelated to GM. And while he tries to associate UCS with these quite unconnected discredited scientists, he never mentions the many reputable academic scientists who share their concerns about GM. He has, of course, previously accused UCS of orchestrating the actions of other concerned scientists but ended up having to retract that claim. And this is not the only malicious claim he's had to retract as false.
For an exposé of how Lynas misrepresents his past as an anti-GM activist:
For how leading environmentalists have spoken out about his untrue claims:
For an exposé of how Lynas misrepresents the science on GM:
For an exposé of how Lynas misrepresents the environmental movement: