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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block,

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

World Food Prize

Oct 10, 2013

All the talk here in Washington, D.C. is about the risk of default and the concern about shutting down the government. I’m not going to try to outline the process that will solve this impasse. However, I do predict that we will not default and we will raise the debt ceiling. And I hope we do something to put a lid on our growing debt. Enough on that subject for today.

Let’s talk about farm stuff. I am on the farm this week harvesting corn and soybeans. Here is what I see.

The tall, sturdy stalks of corn are standing like trees. The crop is so healthy. No disease. No corn bore. No root worm damage. No weeds. It is a beautiful sight. We planted and raised this corn crop with far less tillage than we did 20 years ago. Less fuel. Less greenhouse gases released. Much less labor.

Our yields are triple what they once were. And the American consumer has the bounty of the most inexpensive and safest food in the world. How did this happen? What is behind this revolution? The answer is genetically engineered crops.

Next week in Des Moines, Iowa, the World Food Prize Foundation will honor three scientists that gave us this bounty. The World Food Prize recognizes scientists and leaders that have given us major advances in global food security. I look back to 1970 when Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, leading the "green revolution" which increased food production and saved millions from starvation in India.

One of the awardees this year is Robert Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer. Fraley said, "For many, it will serve as a base for legitimizing the adoption of the technology in countries and crops around the world."

Turning the spotlight on the value of GE crops is very important because the critics are out there on the attack. The growing population of the world can not be fed without the adoption of new technology. We can never produce enough if we farm the way we did when I was a kid.

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.

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