Voice of anti-GM campaign says he was wrong, slams Jairam Ramesh for ‘letting science down’
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Ramesh and Shiva dismissed Lynas's criticism saying he cannot be taken seriously, with Shiva even alleging that corporate interests had dictated his change of heart.
"I did not take him (Lynas) seriously even as an anti-GM activist. There is no reason why I should take him seriously when he has become pro-GM. I am neither pro-GM nor anti-GM. Whatever I had to say was said in my executive order on Bt Brinjal. It has been three years since the moratorium was imposed. If I was so wrong, it could have been overturned. After all, it was an executive decision," Ramesh told The Sunday Express.
"This fellow does not even know science," an angry Shiva shot back. "I am a PhD in quantum theory. All that he is saying now is like being another spokesperson of corporates like Monsanto. The United Nations would not have created a UN protocol on biosafety if there were no issues related to GMOs (genetically modified organisms). He cannot accuse the UN of working on myths."
Mincing no words, Shiva added: "I, in fact, have got recognition for drafting related frameworks at the global level. He, it seems, has the recognition of corporations that are paying him."
Dismissing accusations of being bought over by multinational companies promoting GM seeds, Lynas said his endorsement of GM crops was based on his own conscience. "Lots of people insist that I must have been paid to say what I did at Oxford, but the truth is that I was forced to make that speech by my conscience, knowing that I have helped spread untruths about GM in the past and that this has harmed the world's prospects for sustainability and food security. I am truly sorry for that," he said.
Lynas, who has written several books on environment, rejected activists' concerns about dominance of MNCs as well as fears of loss of biodiversity, asserting that GM crops should be allowed without waiting for popular consensus because "anti-GM activists will never allow a public consensus to develop on GM safety, because their ideological passion is basically religious and cannot be changed by evidence".
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