A new editorial penned by noted wheat breeder Norman Borlaug and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) makes a clear and compelling case for increased funding for agricultural research and the use of biotechnology around the world.
The commentary appeared in Sunday’s Washington Times and started with a stark reminder of the problem the world is facing:
“The world is not producing enough food, and many poor families cannot afford to buy the food that is available. As a result, nearly a billion people, a sixth of the Earth’s population, do not have enough to eat.”
The piece highlighted some frightening statistics – global food production will need to double by 2050 to keep pace with demand, and U.S. agricultural aid, adjusted for inflation, fell 80 percent from the 1980s to the early 2000s
The article also outlined a number of policy changes the authors feel need to take place to address the crisis, including the passage of the Lugar-Casey Global Food Security Act, S. 384, and greater adoption of biotechnology, saying:
“This new revolution won’t succeed without new tools, namely biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) seeds, to meet the enormous demands for increased production. But Europeans oppose most GM technology, despite its proven safety and success in cutting pesticide use, raising output and adapting to adverse conditions…
“European opposition to safe GM technology contributes to African hunger in the short run. In the long run, it virtually dooms those countries’ efforts to adapt their agriculture to changing climate conditions.”
NAWG supports both the Lugar-Casey bill, which would authorize $50 million in funding for the international research center CGIAR, and the commercialization of biotechnology in the wheat crop.
To read the full editorial, please visit http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/05/a-new-green-revolution/