Opinion: The World Food Prize’s disservice to Borlaug

October 19, 2014 • Why Population Is Important, United States, Daily Email Recap

The World Food Prize’s disservice to Borlaug 

By Mr. Jonathan Wilson

See source/original content: Source Des Moines Register
I don’t like to rain on a parade, but I feel compelled to join with those expressing some reservation over the near-deification of Norman Borlaug. In the Des Moines Register, Sharon Donovan wrote an article that, ever-so-gently, called attention to the potentially adverse environmental impact of genetically modified agricultural practices (GMOs) and, in particular, the use of compatible fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides that have tended to devastate small, more sustainable farmers in favor of “capital-intensive, high fertilizer, pesticide, and irrigation use” by large corporate farming operations.


In a separate article Rekha Basu makes a similar point but casts it in the context of the resulting distribution of wealth growing from the shift to GMO agricultural practices. No doubt, there’s money to be made in agricultural and those with money tend to be the more “industrial” farming operations. That money gives them political power and they can be expected to wield that power in favor of making more money.


She quotes the World Food Prize President, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, as saying that all perspectives are welcome at its workshops. “We will address numerous issues that affect all farmers, from water shortages to soil quality.” . . . “We will endeavor to bring together all stakeholders to be part of the solution to nutritiously and sustainably feed our growing population.”


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