World leaders and CEOs at the Davos 2010 World Economic Forum participate in a panel called Rethinking how to feed the world. The panel discusses the challenges facing global food production and possible solutions that will increase yield and support agricultural producers worldwide.
The panel is moderated by Prannoy Roy, Chairman, New Delhi Television (NDTV), India, and panelists included: Jakaya M. Kikwete, William H. Gates III, Ellen Kullman, Nguyen Tan Dung, Patricia A. Woertz, Prannoy Roy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Nguyen Tan Dung
Nguyen Tan Dung is the prime minister of Vietnam. He was confirmed by the National Assembly on June 27, 2006, having been nominated by his predecessor, Phan VÄƒn Kháº£i, who retired from office.
Nguyen Tan Dung was born in Ca Mau province in Southern Vietnam. Precisely on his 12th birthday (November 17, 1961), the young Nguyen Tan Dung voluntarily joined the military arm of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, later part of the Vietnam People's Army, doing first-aid, and communication tasks; he also worked as a nurse, and a physician. Dung was four times wounded in the Vietnam War, and was later ranked as a level 2/4 wounded veteran. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in law (doctor of jurisprudence) following the end of the war.
Dung previously served as First Deputy Prime Minister from September 29, 1997. He was also the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam between 1998 and 1999. He was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on June 10, 1967, then joined the army as a full-fledged fighter and was subsequently elected a member of the Party's Politburo at the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth National Party Congresses.
He is the first senior Vietnamese communist leader who was born after the August Revolution in 1945 and the youngest Vietnamese Prime Minister (57 years old when he assumed the office). He is also a native southerner and remained in the southern region throughout the Vietnam War (he was only 5 when the country was divided in 1954).
He was reelected by the Communist Party on July 25, 2007. In 2009, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made a two day visit to Russia where he signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal.
Bill H. Gates
Bill Gates III is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. In July 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates continues to serve as Microsoft's chairman and an advisor on key development projects.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (born October 7, 1950) is a Tanzanian politician and current President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Kikwete was born in Msoga, Bagamoyo District, Tanganyika in present day Tanzania. Kikwete was also the Chairperson of the African Union from 31 January 2008 to 2 February 2009.
Ellen J. Kullman
Ellen J. Kullman, 53, is chief executive officer of DuPont. Kullmanis the 19th executive to lead the company in more than 205 years of DuPont History. She became president on Oct. 1, 2008, and CEO on Jan.1, 2009.
Prior to her appointment as DuPont president and CEO she served as executive vice president and a member of the company's office of the chief executive. Kullman was responsible for DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies; DuPont Performance Materials; DuPont Safety & Protection; Marketing & Sales; Pharmaceuticals; Risk Management; and Safety & Sustainability. In March 2008, Kullman was tapped to lead the dynamic planning process for the company's growth in emerging international markets.
A native of Wilmington, Del., Kullman began her career at DuPont in 1988 as marketing manager in the Medical Imaging business. Following two years as business director for the X-ray Film business, she moved to Printing & Publishing as global business director, Electronic Imaging. In 1994, she joined White Pigment & Mineral Products as global business director and was named vice president and general manager in 1995. She assumed leadership of two high-growth businesses, DuPont Safety Resources in 1998 and Bio-Based Materials in 1999.
Kullman was named group vice president and general manager in 2000 with the addition of Corporate New Business Development and Intellectual Assets Licensing. In 2001 she assumed responsibility for DuPont Flooring Systems and DuPont Surfaces. She was named group vice president - DuPont Safety & Protection in February 2002. In June 2006 she was named executive vice president until her appointment as DuPont President and CEO.
Kullman is on the Board of Trustees at Tufts University, serves on the board of overseers at Tufts University School of Engineering. She is also on the Board of Trustees, National Safety Council.
Prior to joining DuPont, Kullman worked for General Electric in various business development and marketing positions. She holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a masters degree in management from Northwestern University.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a director of the World Bank, was Nigeria's Finance Minister and then briefly Foreign Affairs Minister from 2003 to 2006, the first woman to hold either position.
During her tenure as Finance Minister, she worked to combat corruption, make Nigeria's finances more transparent, and institute reforms to make the nation's economy more hospitable to foreign investment. The government unlinked its budget from the price of oil, its main export, to lessen perennial cashflow crises, and got oil companies to publish how much they pay the government.
Since 2003 -- when watchdog group Transparency International rated Nigeria "the most corrupt place on Earth" -- the nation has made headway recovering stolen assets and jailing hundreds of people engaged in international Internet 419 scams.
Okonjo-Iweala is a former World Bank vice president who graduated from Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in regional economics and development at MIT. Her son Uzodinma Iweala is the celebrated young author of Beasts of No Nation.
Dr. Prannoy L. Roy is the founder and the Executive Chairperson of New Delhi Television (NDTV). He is also an economist, accountant, author, psephologist and has served as economic adviser to the ministry of finance.
Patricia A. Woertz
Patricia A. Woertz is chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer and president of Archer Daniels Midland Company.
She was named CEO and president in April 2006, and assumed the additional role of chairman of the board in February 2007. Since joining ADM, Woertz has led the Company to record financial results while growing its sourcing, transportation and processing networks through select acquisitions, strategic capital investments, and a number of global joint ventures and partnerships. She has also worked with ADM's board and senior leadership to strengthen the Company's strategic focus and planning, and to promote safety, continuous learning and sustainability initiatives companywide.
Woertz began her career as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Ernst, later Ernst & Young, in Pittsburgh. Attracted to the complexity and opportunity of a global company, she joined Gulf Oil Corporation in 1977, where she held various positions in refining, marketing, strategic planning and finance. Following the merger of Gulf and Chevron in 1987, Woertz led international operations and a global workforce as president of Chevron Canada and, later, Chevron International Oil Company. With the merger of Chevron and Texaco in 2001, she was named executive vice president in charge of the company's global refining, marketing, lubricant, and supply and trading operations.
She serves on the board of directors of the Procter & Gamble Company, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and The Business Council. She also serves on the board of trustees of the University of San Diego and the board of visitors of Pennsylvania State University, which awarded her its highest recognition for alumni.
She holds a B.S. in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
Extreme and protracted shortage of food, resulting in widespread hunger and a substantial increase in the death rate. General famines affect all classes or groups in the region of food shortage; class famines affect some classes or groups much more severely than others; regional famines affect only a particular region of a country. Causes may be natural or human. Natural causes include drought, flooding, unfavourable weather conditions, plant disease, and insect infestation. Human causes include war, overpopulation, faulty distribution systems, and high food prices. Several severe famines occurred in the 20th century, including those in China (192829, at least 3 million dead; 195961, 1530 million), the U.S.S.R. (1921, more than 5 million; 193233, 68 million), India (194344, 1.5 million), Cambodia (197579, 1 million), and North Korea (199599, 2.5 million), and continued into the 21st century, as in sub-Saharan Africa.
@nonGMOtalk, Wow, that was a really well organized and researched statement. I totally agree, the way GMO companies behave leaves a lot to be desired and borders on criminal. However, let me play devils advocate on some of your other points.
1) "GM foods have not been shown to be safe to eat"
There also has not been any evidence that they are anymore unsafe for human consumption than organic foods. In fact most studies have found that modified foods are no more dangerous than any other. A review of the data by the The Society of Toxicology, published in the Oxford Journal, states, "Studies of this type have established that the level of safety to consumers of current genetically engineered foods is likely to be equivalent to that of traditional foods. At present, no verifiable evidence of adverse health effects of BD foods has been reported, although the current passive reporting system probably would not detect minor or rare adverse effects or a moderate increase in effects with a high background incidence such as diarrhea."
2) "GM foods won't solve the food crisis"
I will agree with this to a point. No one thing will solve the crisis in of its self. However, GM foods have its place. According to a report by the USDA, "Pesticide use on corn and soybeans has declined sincethe introduction of GE corn and soybeans in 1996".
Also, there is a lag time when it comes to GE crops. This lag time comes from the years the GE crops are selected only for trait expression instead of yield. Your statement that GE crops have not increase yields above none GE crops is incorrect based on the USDA report. "A 10-percent increase in the adoption of herbicide-tolerant soybeans led to a 0.3-percent increase in yields. On the other hand, an increase of 10 percent in the adoption of adoption of Bt cotton in the Southeast increased yields by 2.1 percent (USDA, 2010)." This is far from the increases we need but it is progress and the technology is young. Also, we see farmers using less fertilizers on GE crops and this has a ripple effect. Farm run off often causes hypoxia in water ways and is blame for massive dead zones in the gulf. This reduces another food source.
As far as the conspiracy theory goes I got nothing not say, ;-). I do not make money from the Biotech industry, but our current system of corporations allow legal actions to be taken to make money, even if those actions are incredibly unethical. The only reason I like bio fuels is because of the relativity quick roll out time and the ability to use it in most modern cars.
I would like to say that while I support giving aid to places like Africa. I do think the type of aid given needs to be thought about a little more. Giving anyone a tractor with out the knowledge and infrastructure to fix it when it breaks down is not doing them a lot of good in the long term. Equipment aid needs to be followed up with training and infrastructure development. That can only take place once a semi stable government is established.
Ok, rant off
The Society of Toxicology, The Safety of Genetically Modified Foods Produced through Biotechnology (2003) retrieve from http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/71/1/2.full
United States Department of Agriculture, Microeconomic Impact of
Adopting Bioengineered Crops (2010) Retrieve from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aer810/aer810g.pdf
HELP MOTHER NATURE FOR BETTER CLIMATE
Use mighty power of nature. In the northwestern Australia, we have huge tides,
huge evaporation and huge dry rivers and lakes.
Tides are up to 12m. Evaporation is up to 4m per year and can be increased.
Huge 12m tidal erosion can revive old dry paleo dormant once mighty rivers, creeks and lakes,
desalinate the country and change deserts to rain forests to provide more rain across Australia.
World population is growing rapidly and we need more energy, food, land and water.
see: Mitic CLIMATE ENGINEERING
this will change deserts and whole continent for better climate
environment, provide hydro energy, permanently.
The way the tax systems are setup throughout the world (with interest;you cannot payback)the debt without enough people to pay into it will implode.See the national debt crisis of Japan for instance.Its' population is not replenishing itself and they are looking forward to use robotics/human to assist the elderly for physical care. Some human mechanical assistance is being implemented already.
GM crops can't help us save land for reasons of bio-diversity or ecology if people continue to eat up more land for other industries because the population is completely out of control. They are addressing symptoms, not the cause. Hunger is an effect of over-population. Get the population under control and hunger would be easier to avoid. That's not to say that corporate interference and class warfare don't contribute heavily to hunger/starvation, but still, having fewer mouths to feed in the first place would surely help.
Well the incentive is nice. However we have heard nothing from india even tho the main reporter was from India.
My biggest wish is that in my life time I see a better world for everyone on earth.
Bill Gates doing a fantastic job. However will his input be sustained over generations? It is said give a man a fish..feed him for a day.. teach him how to fish..feed him throughout his life. If Bill Gates only feeds them.. all the effort will be lost afer some years.
Definitely there needs to be a LARGE international education. The leaders themselves need to be taught on how to get things done right.
I am well acquainted with the owners of a chain of gourmet grocery stores. I have asked the produce manager which items go unsold and need to be discarded most frequently. His response - "The organic foods section." We need to check our arrogance and assumptions based on the relative wealth of the West at the door. The poorest of the poor need food. They have neither the interest in, the ability to pay for or the education to understand boutique, "organic" or biodynamic farming. They simply need nourishing food to survie. "Public Interest" (usually self-anointed so)scientific organizations need a little perspective. Feeding these poor and educating them to fewed themselves must be direct, cost effective and meet the simple goal of fedding the people, with no politicization of the issue. If we leave this issue to be solved by comfortable Western ideologues, beurocrats and think tank members who have never grown anything but some pot in their Harvard dorm rooms, with the usual high minded, elitist notions about "the right kind" of foods or the way food should be grown will only yield what this paralysis through analysis has always yielded - no results.
I also know that governments cannot make this happen through deliberate actioon. If they could have, they would have. Hell, we are in the 50th year of a "War on Poverty" in the United States!
To go non-GMO - www.nonGMOShoppingGuide.com
Here are the top ten reasons why leading experts say that deploying and patenting the most powerful technology the world has ever known, genetic modification, without proper safety testing, is costing us at the supermarket and leading to environmental catastrophe.
1. GM foods won't solve the food crisis
A 2008 World Bank report concluded that increased biofuel production is the major cause of the increase in food prices. GM giant Monsanto has been at the heart of the lobbying for biofuels (crops grown for fuel rather than food) — while profiting enormously from the resulting food crisis and using it as a PR opportunity to promote GM foods! ( Monsanto owns 80% of all GM seed patents worldwide.)
"The climate crisis was used to boost biofuels, helping to create the food crisis; and now the food crisis is being used to revive the fortunes of the GM industry." - Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent of The Independent[
"The cynic in me thinks that they're just using the current food crisis and the fuel crisis as a springboard to push GM crops back on to the public agenda. I understand why they're doing it, but the danger is that if they're making these claims about GM crops solving the problem of drought or feeding the world, that's bullshit." – Prof Denis Murphy, head of biotechnology at the University of Glamorgan in Wales
2. GM crops do not increase yield potential
Despite the promises, GM has not increased the yield potential of any commercialised crops.In fact, studies show that the most widely grown GM crop, GM soya, has suffered reduced yields.
A report that analyzed nearly two decades worth of peer reviewed research on the yield of the primary GM food/feed crops, soybeans and corn (maize), reveals that despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase US crop yields. The author, former US EPA and US FDA biotech specialist Dr Gurian-Sherman, concludes that when it comes to yield, "Traditional breeding outperforms genetic engineering hands down."
"Let's be clear. As of this year , there are no commercialized GM crops that inherently increase yield. Similarly, there are no GM crops on the market that were engineered to resist drought, reduce fertilizer pollution or save soil. Not one." – Dr Doug Gurian-Sherman
3. GM crops increase pesticide use
US government data shows that in the US, GM crops have produced an overall increase, not decrease, in pesticide use compared to conventional crops.
"The promise was that you could use less chemicals and produce a greater yield. But let me tell you none of this is true." – Bill Christison, President of the US National Family Farm Coalition
4. There are better ways to feed the world
A major UN/World Bank-sponsored report compiled by 400 scientists and endorsed by 58 countries concluded that GM crops have little to offer global agriculture and the challenges of poverty, hunger, and climate change, because better alternatives are available. In particular, the report championed "agroecological" farming as the sustainable way forward for developing countries.
5. Other farm technologies are more successful
Integrated Pest Management and other innovative low-input or organic methods of controlling pests and boosting yields have proven highly effective, particularly in the developing world. Other plant breeding technologies, such as Marker Assisted Selection (non-GM genetic mapping), are widely expected to boost global agricultural productivity more effectively and safely than GM.
"The quiet revolution is happening in gene mapping, helping us understand crops better. That is up and running and could have a far greater impact on agriculture [than GM]." – Prof John Snape, head of the department of crop genetics, John Innes Centre
6. GM foods have not been shown to be safe to eat
Genetic modification is a crude and imprecise way of incorporating foreign genetic material (e.g. from viruses, bacteria) into crops, with unpredictable consequences. The resulting GM foods have undergone little rigorous and no long-term safety testing, but animal feeding tests have shown worrying health effects. Only one study has been published on the direct effects on humans of eating a GM food. It found unexpected effects on gut bacteria, but was never followed up.
It is claimed that Americans have eaten GM foods for years with no ill effects. But these foods are unlabeled in the US and no one has monitored the consequences. With other novel foods like trans fats, it has taken decades to realize that they have caused millions of premature deaths.
"We are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences." — Dr Suzanne Wuerthele, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxicologist
7. Stealth GMOs in animal feed - without consumers' consent
Meat, eggs and dairy products from animals raised on the millions of tons of GM feed imported into Europe do not have to be labelled. Some studies show that contrary to GM and food industry claims, animals raised on GM feed ARE different from those raised on non-GM feed. Other studies show that if GM crops are fed to animals, GM material can appear in the resulting products and that the animals' health can be affected.So eating "stealth GMOs" may affect the health of consumers.
8. GM crops are a long-term economic disaster for farmers
A 2009 report showed that GM seed prices in America have increased dramatically, compared to non-GM and organic seeds, cutting average farm incomes for US farmers growing GM crops. The report concluded, "At the present time there is a massive disconnect between the sometimes lofty rhetoric from those championing biotechnology as the proven path toward global food security and what is actually happening on farms in the US that have grown dependent on GM seeds and are now dealing with the consequences."
9. GM and non-GM cannot co-exist
GM contamination of conventional and organic food is increasing. An unapproved GM rice that was grown for only one year in field trials was found to have extensively contaminated the US rice supply and seed stocks. In Canada, the organic oilseed rape industry has been destroyed by contamination from GM rape. In Spain, a study found that GM maize "has caused a drastic reduction in organic cultivations of this grain and is making their coexistence practically impossible".
The time has come to choose between a GM-based, or a non-GM-based, world food supply.
"If some people are allowed to choose to grow, sell and consume GM foods, soon nobody will be able to choose food, or a biosphere, free of GM. It's a one way choice, like the introduction of rabbits or cane toads to Australia; once it's made, it can’t be reversed." – Roger Levett, specialist in sustainable development
10. We can't trust GM companies
The big biotech firms pushing their GM foods have a terrible history of toxic contamination and public deception. GM is attractive to them because it gives them patents that allow monopoly control over the world's food supply. They have taken to harassing and intimidating farmers for the "crime" of saving patented seed or "stealing" patented genes — even if those genes got into the farmer's fields through accidental contamination by wind or insects.
"Farmers are being sued for having GMOs on their property that they did not buy, do not want, will not use and cannot sell." – Tom Wiley, North Dakota farmer
SOURCE - 10 reasons why we don't need GM foods (updated)
If you want to print this article as an A4 leaflet for distribution, download a PDF at: http://bit.ly/dzm5c0
PARTIAL REFERENCE LISTINGS
1. A Note on Rising Food Prices. Donald Mitchell, World Bank report, 2008. http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-file...0/Biofuels.PDF
2. Hope for Africa lies in political reforms. Daniel Howden, The Independent, 8 September 2008, http://www.independent.co.uk:80/opin...ms-922487.html
3. GM: it's safe, but it's not a saviour. Rob Lyons, Spiked Online, 7 July 2008, http://www.spiked-online.com/index.p.../article/5438/
4. The adoption of bioengineered crops. Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo and William D. McBride, US Department of Agriculture Report, May 2002, http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aer810/aer810.pdf
5. Glyphosate-resistant soyabean cultivar yields compared with sister lines. Elmore, R.W. et al., Agronomy Journal, Vol. 93, No. 2, 2001, pp. 408–412
6. Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops. Doug Gurian-Sherman, Union of Concerned Scientists, 2009, http://tiny.cc/eqZST
7. Genetic engineering — a crop of hyperbole. Doug Gurian-Sherman, The San Diego Union Tribune, 18 June 2008, http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont...e18gurian.html
8. Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years. Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., The Organic Center, November 2009, http://www.organic-center.org/scienc...&report_id=159
9. Family Farmers Warn of Dangers of Genetically Engineered Crops. Bill Christison, In Motion magazine, 29 July 1998, http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/genet1.html
10. International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development: Global Summary for Decision Makers (IAASTD). Beintema, N. et al., 2008, http://www.agassessment.org/index.cf...ts&ItemID=2713