Norman Borlaug, leader of the Green Revolution and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, passed away Saturday at the age of 95. His contributions to America and the world were many, and he has been credited with saving more than 1 billion people from starvation. He also received more than 35 honorary degrees and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He was an advocate of using technology to increase food production, and he calculated that organic agriculture couldn’t feed more than 4 billion people. But, he claimed that advancements in genetically modified crops could, and did, meet the demands of a growing global population.
Earlier this summer, Borlaug penned an editorial for The Wall Street Journal about how to succeed in feeding the future world:
“Even here at home, some elements of popular culture romanticize older, inefficient production methods and shun fertilizers and pesticides, arguing that the U.S. should revert to producing only local organic food. People should be able to purchase organic food if they have the will and financial means to do so, but not at the expense of the world’s hungry—25,000 of whom die each day from malnutrition.
“Unfortunately, these distractions keep us from the main goal. … Factor in growing prosperity and nearly three billion new mouths by 2050, and you quickly see how the crudest calculations suggest that within the next four decades the world’s farmers will have to double production.
“…[G]overnments must make their decisions about access to new technologies, such as the development of genetically modified organisms—on the basis of science, and not to further political agendas.”
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