Bill Nye “The Science Guy” should probably think about changing his name to Bill Nye “The GMO Guy” after it emerged that the TV science celebrity suddenly changed his skeptical stance on GMOs after he met with a number of Monsanto representatives in 2015.
For a number of years Bill Nye had expressed concern on the safety of GMOs, and had publicly expressed skepticism on GM agriculture and its negative effects on ecosystems.
In a 2013 video called “Eyes of Nye”, he urged the US government to label all GMO products, saying “let’s farm responsibly, require labels on our foods and let’s carefully test these foods case by case“.
However, all of that suddenly changed in 2015 when Nye did a complete U-turn on his opinions surrounding GMOs.
He met with Monsanto representatives and somehow walked away a believer. He has now become a rabid devotee of GMO agriculture and wants to tell the world about it.
A couple of Nye quotes from a July, 2015 StarTalk Radio podcast:
“Compared to all the other herbicides, glyphosate’s pretty benign, which I’ve done research on and I’ve decided that’s true. I’ve changed my mind about genetically modified foods, that’s the top line. …
“The thing is, genetically modified food has no effect on us. That is to say, there is no difference between it and organically raised food. …”
Aside from both of those statements being blatantly false, it’s hard to believe these words are coming from the same person who made the above-quoted statements about responsible farming just two years prior.
Nye made another ridiculously fallacious claim in a Real Time with Bill Maher interview, saying that GMO farming methods, “put the herbicides and pesticide inside the plant, rather than spraying it on them and having it run down into streams.”
That’s a completely false statement, as pointed out by Doug Gurian-Sherman and Margaret Mellon of Civil Eats:
“In the case of herbicides, Nye is simply incorrect, and it’s an important error to point out.
“GMO herbicide-resistant crops are made to withstand the spraying of herbicides, primarily glyphosate (or Roundup), in quantities that would otherwise kill them. GMO Bt crops, on the other hand, are engineered to produce an insecticidal toxin within the plant. Rather than decreasing toxic pesticides in streams, the former products contribute to their presence. Glyphosate is now widely detected in our country’s water, according to government scientists. And recently, a major, independent body of scientists determined that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic, raising the stakes.
“Compounding these problems, herbicide-resistant GMOs have led to an explosion in herbicide use due to the emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds.”
Prison for climate change skeptics?
As if this weren’t enough evidence that Nye has now “gone to the dark side,” consider his recent statements defending the assertion that “climate change deniers” should be imprisoned.
From an interview for the upcoming film Climate Hustle:
“Was it appropriate to jail the guys from ENRON? Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive and so on? And you think about in these cases — for me as a taxpayer and voter — the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen.
“So I can see where people are very concerned about this and are pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussion like this.”
It’s now pretty clear which side Bill’s bread is buttered on …