A former first-string campaigner, now the greens consider him a non-person.
“The anti-nuclear movement is partly responsible for global warming,” [Mark Lynas] says. “Everywhere, pretty much, where a nuclear plant was cancelled, a coal plant was built instead, and that’s because of the anti-nuclear movement…
Lynas has been very critical of Greenpeace’s policy towards a GM crop that’s become totemic among campaigners. Golden rice is a crop that’s been modified, by the insertion of the genes for the chemical beta-carotene, in an attempt to make it provide more vitamin A. “Vitamin-A deficiency is one of the leading causes of death in southeast Asia,” says Lynas. “It’s led to blindness and the death of about a quarter of a million people a year.” Yet campaigners, including Greenpeace, lobbied against it.
Greenpeace insists golden rice is a “waste of money” and an “ineffective tool… [that] is also environmentally irresponsible, poses risks to human health and compromises food security”. For Lynas, its stance is “just superstition. There are tens of thousands of kids who are dead who wouldn’t be dead otherwise. I don’t see how you could put this any other way. Imagine if Monsanto had been culpable in the deaths of tens of thousands of children! It would be all over the Guardian.” (Lynas later made the partial concession that “there have been technical hold-ups in the golden rice project, and you can’t solely blame Greenpeace for the overregulation that is applied to GMOs”.)