Three biotechnology scientists awarded 2013 World Food Prize

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

From left to right: Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton, Robert T. Fraley. Three distinguished scientists — Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the United States — were named the winners of the 2013 World Food Prize during a ceremony at the U.S. State Department, where Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the keynote address. John Ruan III, Chairman of the World Food Prize, also participated in the ceremony.

“Hunger is a trap that prevents people from realizing their God-given potential,” Secretary Kerry said. “Food drives life. And the struggle for food is a struggle for life. This makes hunger an economic issue, a national security issue – and without a doubt a moral issue. Through innovation, we can help alleviate hunger and malnutrition today – but more than that, we can help fulfill our responsibility to tomorrow.”
 
In announcing the names of the 2013 Laureates, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize, emphasized the impact and potential of their work.
 
“These three scientists are being recognized for their independent, individual breakthrough achievements in founding, developing, and applying modern agricultural biotechnology,” Quinn said. “Their research is making it possible for farmers to grow crops with improved yields, resistance to insects and disease, and the ability to tolerate extreme variations in climate.”
 
In a written statement, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the renowned Indian scientist and Chairman of the World Food Prize Laureate Selection Committee, said the award is especially fitting this year.
 
“2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix structure of the DNA Molecule by James Watson, Francis Crick and Morris Wilkins,” Swaminathan said. “During the last 60 years, the science of molecular genetics, also referred to as New Genetics, has opened up uncommon opportunities for shaping the future of agriculture, industry, medicine and environment protection. It is therefore appropriate that the World Food Prize is being awarded this year to some of the pioneers of the New Genetics who have opened up opportunities for achieving a balance between human numbers and the human capacity to produce adequate food.”
 
Building upon the scientific discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in the 1950s, Van Montagu, Chilton, and Fraley each conducted groundbreaking molecular research on how a plant bacterium could be adapted as a tool to insert genes from another organism into plant cells, which could produce new genetic lines with highly favorable traits.  
 
The revolutionary biotechnology discoveries of these three individuals - each working in separate facilities on two continents - unlocked the key to plant cell transformation using recombinant DNA. Their work led to the development of a host of genetically enhanced crops, which, by 2012, were grown on more than 170 million hectares around the globe by 17.3 million farmers, over 90 percent of whom were small resource-poor farmers in developing countries.
 
From their work in the laboratory to applying biotechnology innovations in farmers’ fields, the combined achievements of the 2013 World Food Prize Laureates have contributed significantly to increasing the quantity and availability of food.
 
Estimates show the global population growing to 9 billion by 2050. Currently, 870 million, or 1 in 8 people, are hungry. Scientific advancements will play a critical role as we face the global challenges of the 21st century of producing more food in a sustainable way, while confronting an increasingly volatile climate, Quinn said.
 
“We have a great responsibility to continue to move science forward and to utilize it in the best ways possible to nourish mankind, especially those who are suffering every day,” Quinn said. “As our founder, the scientist Norman Borlaug, said, we are going ‘from the Green Revolution to the Gene Revolution.’ Our international symposium this October will focus on three intertwined issues: biotechnology, sustainability, and climate volatility. I invite people across the globe to engage together in rational debates and solution-based dialogues to identify ways we can harness technology for the greatest benefit to mankind and our environment.”
 
Marc Van Montagu, who is Founder and Chairman of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach at Ghent University in Belgium; Mary-Dell Chilton, who is Founder and Distinguished Fellow of Syngenta Biotechnology; and Robert T. Fraley, the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Monsanto, will be formally awarded the World Food Prize at the 27th Annual Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 17, in conjunction with the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, focused this year on “The Next Borlaug Century: Biotechnology, Sustainability and Climate Volatility.” Also in October, the World Food Prize Foundation will begin the yearlong Borlaug Centennial Observance, honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Norman Borlaug, founder of the World Food Prize and known as the “Father of the Green Revolution.”

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Quickveyor

Made of high quality 304 stainless steel, the Quickveyor is one of the strongest trailers on the market. It’s belt ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form