Monsanto Crop Biotechnology Reseacher is Among World Food Prize Laureates

World Food PrizeCredit: World Food PrizeToday, the World Food Prize Foundation announced the annual winners of its prestigious award. Among this year's three laureates is Robert Fraley, the Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto. The other two laureates are Marc Van Montagu, Founder and Chairman of the Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO) in Ghent, Belgium and Mary-Dell Chilton, Founder and Distinguished Science Fellow at Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. 

In its announcement of this year's award, the Foundation noted:

The pioneering work of Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton, and Robert Fraley contributed to the emergence of a new term, "agricultural biotechnology," and set the stage for engineering crops with novel traits that improved yields and conferred resistance to insects and disease, as well as tolerance to adverse environmental conditions. Their work has made it possible for farmers in 30 countries to improve the yields of their crops, have increased incomes, and feed a growing global population.

Beginning with the first cultivation of staple transgenic crops in 1996 until the present, biotech crops have contributed to food security and sustainability by increasing crop production valued at US $98.2 billion and providing a better environment by reducing the application of significant amounts of pesticides worldwide. Today, approximately 12 percent of the world’s arable land is planted with biotechnology crops.

There have been dramatic increases in the total acreage planted. Corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton are the major biotech crops grown commercially on a large scale and have become an integral part of international agricultural production and trade. At the same time, a wide variety of useful genes have been transformed into a large number of economically important plants, including most of the food crops, scores of varieties of fruits and vegetables, and many tree species.

According to a recent report by ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications), 2012 marks the first year since the introduction of biotech crops that developing countries grew more biotech crops than industrial countries. This is contributing to enhanced food security and poverty reduction in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions. The report states: "In the period 1996 to 2012, millions of farmers in 30 countries planted an accumulated 1.5 billion hectares."

A record 17.3 million farmers grew biotech crops worldwide in 2012, with over 90 percent of them small resource-poor farmers in developing countries. Through their planting and harvesting of biotech crops, more than 15 million small-holder farmers and their families, totaling approximately 50 million people, were able to increase their incomes and reduce poverty conditions. In the Philippines alone, over one-third of a million small farmers benefited from biotech maize.

During the period 1996-2011, according to the ISAAA report, 328 million tons of additional food, feed and fiber was produced worldwide by biotech crops. As the world grapples with how to feed the estimated 9 billion people who will inhabit the planet by the year 2050, it will be critical to continue building upon the scientific advancements and revolutionary agricultural discoveries of the 2013 World Food Prize Laureates.

Congratulations to the winners. This recognition of their vital work is well-deserved.

Now will the activists please stop lying about crop biotechology. See my, "The Top 5 Lies About Biotech Crops." For those of you who enjoy zany activist antics, please see Reason TV's report on the "March Against Monsanto" last month in Los Angeles below.

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  • GILMORE||

    WOLRD FOOD PRIZE IS JUST A FRONT FOR CORPORATE OVERLORDS SPREADING LIES AND DESTROYING THE PLANET FOR THE CORPORATIONS AND THEIR CORPORATEY CORPORATENESS AND THE CEOS AND THE PROFITS AND THE EARTH-POISON

    /"Reasonable Environmentalist"

  • Hash Brown||

    Say what?

  • GILMORE||

    WOLRD FOOD PRIZE IS JUST A FRONT FOR CORPORATE OVERLORDS SPREADING LIES AND DESTROYING THE PLANET FOR THE CORPORATIONS AND THEIR CORPORATEY CORPORATENESS AND THE CEOS AND THE PROFITS AND THE EARTH-POISON

    /"Reasonable Environmentalist"

  • ||

    You can say that twice.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Episiarch took himself out of the running for the World Food Prize when he realized it isn't awarded to fatasses who go above and beyond their peers in gorging themselves.

  • ||

    You're just jealous because Episiarch was able to out fat you, aren't you?

  • Hash Brown||

    See my, "The Top 5 Lies About Biotech Crops."

    It's a trap! You have to effing click on 5 separate pages!

  • Ron Bailey||

    HB: Blame my editors! Or you could just click on the print function which makes it one nice readable page.

  • Hash Brown||

    Print function. Now that's some useful information.

  • ReganT||

    Remember:

    A consensus of scientists who say that CO2 emissions are driving global warming = undeniable proof

    A consensus of scientists who say that GMOs are safe to eat = corporate shills

  • Libertymike||

    What about those who recognize that both anthropomorphic global warming and the musings of Monsanto on GMO food safety are claptrap?

  • Tman||

    The "musings of Monsanto on GMO food safety are claptrap"?

    Esplain.

  • Libertymike||

    No time for the long version, but, essentially, if one asserts that a scientific consensus has been reached that what Monsanto claims about its GMO food is true, then I call bullshit.

    See, generally, "Large scientific consensus says there is global warming and its caused by man".

  • Tman||

    How about "all scientific testing performed on GMO crops by the FDA and the EPA has proven repeatedly and definitively that GMO's do not pose a health risk to humans if ingested as food."

    Does that work?

  • Libertymike||

    No.

  • juris imprudent||

    So Ron, for your next trick why don't you try summoning the C h e m t r a i l e r s!!!

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