10 October 2013 – The Internet site “Sum Of Us” is collecting signatures against the award of this year’s World Food Prize. Earlier in June the U.S. State Department announced this year’s World Food Prize laureates, geneticists Robert Fraley, Marc Van Montagu and Mary-Dell Chilton. The Prize aims to award their role in modern plant biotechnology (GMO), the creation crops which are resistant to diseases as well as pesticides, and extreme weather conditions, with special appreciation to their potential role in solving world hunger.
Geneticist Robert T. Fraley is currently the executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto; Marc Van Montagu is the founding member of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach at Ghent University in Belgium, also the founder of two BioTech companies: Plant Genetic Systems and Crop Design; Mary-Dell Chilton is the founder and one of the most important employees of Syngenta Biotechnology.
The World Food Prize was established in 1987. by Norman E. Bourlag, known as the father of the “Green Revolution”. The Prize objective is to award people who through their work improve quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
This year laureates announcement created polemics since it practically rewards Monsanto who created GMO’s and their profit driven business which monopolizes farmers and food production. The awarded Syngenta is associated with Bayer in Europe, where it continues to sell pesticides that kill bees – both companies do not care about the protests of ordinary people, environmentalists and independent researchers.
This award strengthens the image of biotechnology, GM crops and their products. But it must be remembered that the Monsanto -sponsored the “World Food Prize” in 2008. by a donation of $ 5,000,000.
The World Food Prize totally betrayed its principles by awarding the prize to GM biotechnology which supports agriculture without sustainability, throws farmers in debt bondage and leads to enhancement of world hunger. The most dramatic example of such a situation is evident in India where 270,000 farmers have committed suicide between 1995. and 2012. due to debts induced by purchase GM seeds and associated agrochemicals.
Regardless of the criticism, the three geneticists will receive the award October 16th – and it will be a slap in the face for all those who have been harmed by its products.
If you want to sign the petition and warn of the inadequacy of this year laureates, you can sign on the website “Sum of us“.
* Over 300,000 people have signed this petition, Sum of Us is delivered thousands of signatures to the “World Food Prize” seeking to rescind the prize.
The project “Sum of Us” supports the initiatives of citizens who advocate that Governments must answer to citizens, not corporations; supports fair treatment of workers; supports the right of consumers to products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably and transparently including food; supports the right of communities to protect and care for their own environment and natural resources; and supports business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by shortsighted greed.
* Update 9. November 2013.