Science tends to think on the supply side - how to feed more people, how to get energy to everyone, how to save lives - while anti-science activists promote mitigation and rationing and retreating into the past. They believe in 13th century energy that hasn't worked, like wind power, unproven herbal medicines and a food system where only the agricultural 1% will be able to eat.
The World Food Prize Foundation has, on occasion, been caught in the grip of that latter group, despite the fact that its founder, Norman Borlaug, was a progressive who was for science rather than against it. The American agronomist and 1970 Nobel laureate - 'father of the Green Revolution' - was an optimist about the future of food when the fashion of the time was Paul Ehrlich Doomsday prophecies that are still embraced by older 'cull the population' nihilists and a few younger ones who just simply dislike humanity.
The World Food Prize Foundation took an unpopular stance in the name of science integrity and are giving this year's award to three pioneers in modern food, knowing it was going to enrage a large part of the environmental base. That takes intellectual courage. Marc Van Montagu, legendary biotechnologist at Ghent University, Robert Fraley, chief technology officer at Monsanto, and Mary-Dell Chilton, founder of Syngenta Biotechnology, are all pioneers in the technology commonly known as GMOs today.
Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley share the 2013 World Food Prize. Credit and link: World Food Prize Foundation
Dr. Charity Kawira Mutegi of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), was also named the 2013 recipient of the "Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation", for her work in combating aflatoxicosis, which results from a naturally occurring food mold and is toxic to humans.
Naturally, the weirdly named "Occupy" group ('we will protest for you') is against these demonic scientocrats bent-on-world-destruction-by-feeding-poor-people, even though 'Occupy' knows nothing at all about science or "the man who saved more lives than anyone who has ever lived."
Many other left-wing activists also turned on the foundation over this, as you might expect, declaring that the group is just handing out prizes to wealthy corporate donors - except that Borlaug liked and appreciated all three of them long before he died. Obviously, if Dr. Bonner's Magic Soap or everyone's favorite homeopath, Joe Mercola, don't like that Monsanto supports food science, they can team up with the $29 billion Big Organic industry and donate some money to the World Food Prize Foundation themselves - just like they all did when they tried to get warning labels on non-organic food in California.
If you want to really make progressive anti-science heads spin, note for them that Rachel Carson, the author of "Silent Spring", was all for GMOs as well.
Congratulations to the recipients. Sorry, anti-science hippies.
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