Borlaug Advocates Gene Revolution
The father of green revolution says genetically modified crops are inevitable
Business Standard (India) 17mar2005
[See comments below article please]
Nobel laureate Norman E Borlaug, hailed as father of the green revolution, today defended the use of genetically modified organisms and transgenic crops, maintaining that these could offer numerous new possibilities in future.
While protein-rich maize and Vitamin A-rich ‘golden’ rice were already under way, several new and nutritious products could be produced in future by transferring the genes from one source to another.
“My bio-technology dreams”, Borlaug said, “involve transfer of rice plants’ resistance against the dreaded rust diseases to wheat and other cereals and transfer of wheat’s proteins (gliadin and glutenin responsible for dough quality) to rice and maize.”
He added: “You will be able to eat rice sandwich 50 years from now.”
Borlaug, who is in town to participate in the centenary celebrations of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), was delivering the Coromandel Lecture after the presentation of the Borlaug awards for excellence in agricultural research.
The theme of his lecture was "From the green to gene revolution".
The Borlaug award, instituted by the Murugappa group's Coromandel fertilisers, were presented to IARI director S. Nagarajan and Ohio State University soil scientist Rattan Lal.
Talking about the pest-resistant Bt cotton, Borlaug said this was being grown on about nine million hectares by some six million farmers all over the world.
It was estimated that the Bt technology had helped reduce insecticide consumption by whopping 25000 tonnes, besides curbing cases of pesticides poisoning.
Borlaug also ridiculed the proponents of organic farming and said it was “nonsense” to think that you could feed the world without the use of chemical fertilisers.
Despite the impressive increase in food production due to seed-fertiliser-irrigation based technology, several million people still went to bed hungry. “You need to double the food output by 2050 to feed them”, Borlaug said and maintained that it was not possible even if all the organic matter available in the world was used for this purpose.
Winner of the Nobel peace prize (1970), Borlaug regretted that the world was spending $900 billion on defence every year while investments in agriculture research were declining.
“This was criminal”, especially considering that a large global population did not have access to basic needs like food, education or health facilities.
source: http://www.business-standard.com/bsonline/storypage.php?&autono=183711 21mar2005
Mindfully.org note: Norman Borlaug was of course the 'father' of the Green Revolution. Since then he admitted that it is his Green Revolution that has poisoned our air, water, soil and foods. In addition, our bodies and those of every living creature are feeling the results of decades of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The earth treated to such insults is lifeless and washing away. And now, as if he hasn't done enough damage, Borlaug wants us to believe him once again when he says that, in order to avoid pesticides, the Gene Revolution is the way to go. The reason for his success in pushing his message is that he has a far better PR department — the chemical industry — than any sustainable advocate ever had. The sponsor of Borlaug's lecture referenced in this article is a fertilizer company! Coromandel fertilisers
Considering that the solution to the problem of hunger is not technical, Mao Tse Tung did more for human hunger than Norman Borlaug ever did!