"American Superhero" Norman Borlaug Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

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Very good news.  As I hoped, the lame ducks in Congress came through and voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and plant breeder Norman Borlaug. The AP reports:

Borlaug, 92, is a native of Cresco [Iowa]. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for creating varieties of wheat suitable for developing countries that doubled and tripled yields and were resistant to disease. His work helped fight starvation in countries such as India and Pakistan.

Dr. Borlaug is responsible for saving a billion lives around the world," said U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa. "It is extraordinarily important that we recognize this great humanitarian."

Latham called Borlaug an "American superhero" who "completely altered agriculture as we know it." 

Whole article here. Congressional commendation here. Reason interview with Borlaug here.

Hearty congratulations to Dr. Borlaug for this richly deserved award.

NEXT: One Cheer for "State Soft Paternalism"

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  1. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor.

    I first heard about Dr. Borlaug on The West Wing. His should be a household name.

  2. How much is Ron Paul kicking in toward the cost of the Medal (assuming he voted yea, which he probably didn’t).

  3. So is this more or less prestigious than the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

  4. You mean the guy, um, genetically modified organisms to produce food…that kept billions from starving? I’m sure there is a special place in environmentalist hell for Norman Borlaug.

    From me, the ends justify the means on this one.

  5. Since Borlaug created dwarf wheat using age-old crossbreeding, gaijin, I’m sure there isn’t.

  6. I first heard of him on Bullshit, the Penn and Teller show. He decided to do something, and did it.

  7. Actually, gaijin, Borlaug’s sin against the environment is the advocacy of chemical fertilizers.

    He had this quaint notion that plants don’t care where their nitrogen comes from.

  8. But more food means there is less wilderness, so there is no net gain for humanity.

  9. Typical Dan idiocy – greater efficiency in food production means there is more wilderness, not less.

  10. Nooooooooooorm is da man. I read the reason interview with him ages ago, and I heartily recommend it to everyone, especially Dan T.

  11. The funny thing about all these Dan T. doppelgangers is that unlike the occasional parody of joe or Jean Bart, it is particularly hard to tell the real Dan T. from the fakes.

  12. Since Borlaug created dwarf wheat using age-old crossbreeding, gaijin, I’m sure there isn’t.

    I’m not convinced that hit or miss crossbreeding and selective breeding are better ways of genetic modification than gene splicing. This is not to say that I’m against nectarines or mules. Or horses, or cows or wheat…

  13. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor.

    I first heard about Dr. Borlaug on The West Wing. His should be a household name.

    Now, considering how you’ve dismissed any modern efforts to improve food production as useless for reducing famine, why do you think that, Joe?

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