Mark Lynas, one of the architects of the anti-GMO movement in the 1990s, now says environmentalists must open their minds to science if they want to heal the earth.

Lynas, who recanted his anti-GMO stance in a January speech at the Oxford (England) Farming Conference, says his main goal isn’t just the acceptance of GM crops – such as Roundup Ready soybeans or Golden rice – but to inject a scientific perspective into environmentalism.

“People were pointing out how wrong I was,” he says, “and I realized that I didn’t know enough about the subject to talk about it,” he says.

“The environmental movement harms the environment when it refuses to accept scientific information as a solution,” Lynas says. “Environmentalism, like any other belief system, has gotten lost in its own bubble. It’s become more extremist, and it’s been marginalized by ill-informed people.”

After writing his last anti-GMO article in 2008 for The Guardian, Lynas says some of the comment underneath the online article started him on the path to rethink his position.