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Published January 09, 2013, 01:07 PM

Vocal anti-GMO activist changes his tune

Mark Lynas apologizes for his attack on genetically modified foods.

By: Agweek Staff Report, Agweek

Vocal opponent of genetically modified foods Mark Lynas spoke at the recent Oxford (England) Farming Conference and apologizes for his attack on GMO crops, and for starting the anti-GMO movement.

“I want to start with some apologies,” he said in his address. “For the record, here and upfront, I apologize 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 mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonizing an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.

"As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.”

Lynas also addressed feeding the growing world population and the need to grow more food on limited land.