President of World Food Prize Foundation: Ag’s huge challenge is growing ever more larger

My friend Rekha Basu wrote a tough column in the June 30 Sunday Register that was sharply critical of the World Food Prize for recognizing three pioneers in biotechnology as our 2013 laureates. It was headlined “World Food Prize Goes Too Far in Honoring Monsanto,” reflecting that one of our laureates is the chief technology officer of that company.

From the title of Rekha’s article, you might think that the World Food Prize is giving our award to the Monsanto company. That is not the case. The World Food Prize does not recognize any company or university or organization with which any of its laureates are associated. I wish that had been made clear in her article.

Rather, what we are recognizing this year is the basic science these three individuals, working separately on two continents in the 1970s and ’80s, accomplished to help us better understand how plants work, how their cells and genes function, and how their traits are manifested in nature.

Read the full article here: Iowa view:  Ag’s huge challenge is growing ever more larger



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