Bill Nye the Monsanto Guy: Nye Explains His Change of Heart on GMOs

Bill Nye used to be skeptical of GMOs, but changed his mind when he saw the actual gene modification process in action

Wikimedia Commons/ Will Folsom

After he revised his original opinion, Nye received criticism from his anti-GMO fans for allegedly ‘selling out’ to Monsanto.

The cohort of celebrity scientists is a very small one, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, the hero of many children’s educational programs, is certainly the head of that group. So when Bill Nye changes his mind about a topic as divisive as genetically modified organisms, it’s a big deal. In his 2014 book Evolution and the Science of Creation, Nye touches on the topic, expressing his skepticism, but never outrightly condemning GMOs, saying “we just can’t know the effect on our ecosystem” and “when corporations seek government funding for genetic modification of food sources, I stroke my chin.”

However, earlier this year, Bill Nye said that after a visit to Monsanto farms, he “revised his outlook.” This turnaround sparked outrage among Bill Nye fans, who suspect that he was “bought out” by Monsanto to change his opinion. In a recent interview with Star Talk Radio, Nye explained his sudden change of heart. He said that during a visit to the Monsanto labs, he watched the gene modification process in person, and saw that it was “startlingly precise” — much more so than when GMOs were first introduced to the American food system.

“This is what changed my mind, is being able to [sequence genes] 10 million times faster than they used to be able to do it… and being able to eliminate the ones not suitable for farming and susceptible to diseases and so on. We’re farmers, and we want them to come out the way we want them,” Nye explained on the radio show.


He also said outright that he was not “bought out” by Monsanto.