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Monsanto Wins The World Food Prize

Monsanto Wins The World Food Prize

Most Americans have their eyes on the famous prizes: Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, etc. But, every year, there are numerous other awards and prizes given out (think Nobel Peace Prize). There is something called the World Food Prize, which is presented by the World Food Prize Foundation a private, nonprofit organization with its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, that is given out annually and is deemed “the Nobel Prize of Food and Agriculture.”

The foundation was set up in 1986 at the suggestion of Norman Borlaug, who had won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the “green revolution” that increased grain harvests worldwide. Each year a handful of people receive such an honor. This is an honor that largely goes unnoticed — until this year.

Why you may ask? Because this year Monsanto won!

Of the three winners this year, one was the chief technology officer at the ever-controversial Monsanto Corporation, aka Robert Fraley, a pioneer of genetically modified crops. According to NPR, “if there’s a single person who most personifies Monsanto’s controversial role in American agriculture, it’s probably Robb Fraley.”

Funding for the prize, which is worth $250,000, was provided by John Ruan, a prominent Des Moines businessman. In its early years, General Foods sponsored the award. Also, award winners in the past have included everyone from former presidential candidate Bob Dole to senator George McGovern. So maybe you are able to get a clearer picture of who is being awarded and who is signing the checks. This is decidedly not the Nobel Prize and, considering the celebration of genetically modified foods and Monsanto, this is definitely not an award that would be handed out in Europe, a place where GMOs are prohibited.

So is this a travesty, or a case of deep pockets rewarding corporate interests? Does the World Food Prize mean anything, and if so, will the prize impact the agriculture industry?

Related
4 Potential Health Risks of Eating GMOs
10 Ways to Take Action Against Monsanto
The Only Real Way to End GMOs

Read more: Blogs, Environment, Following Food, Green, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

116 comments

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3:18PM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

Does this really surprise anyone? After Obama won (who I voted for the first time) the Nobel Peace Prize, he went on to create a secret kill list, sign the NDAA, and drone bomb woman and children! One can only wait and see what Monsanto is about to roll out... I refuse to vote and take part in the sham we call Democracy in this country... Thankfully we still have a vote that does count in the USA...Our Fork!!

3:18PM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

Does this really surprise anyone? After Obama won (who I voted for the first time) the Nobel Peace Prize, he went on to create a secret kill list, sign the NDAA, and drone bomb woman and children! One can only wait and see what Monsanto is about to roll out... I refuse to vote and take part in the sham we call Democracy in this country... Thankfully we still have a vote that does count in the USA...Our Fork!!

11:50AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

Monsanto, Dupont, Koch bros, the Evil Empire of Greed grows. The elderly, the working poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick and the children suffer the inequality and injustice of Corporate governance. We must rise up like the Egypt and Brazil populations, in both cases the demonstrations resulted in major political change in favor of the mass population. Our own pathetic Occupy movement was weak and unstained, and fizzled out. What is the matter with the silent majority?

3:56AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

This is horrendous. How can it actually be?!

4:47AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Take it away from them.

4:23AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Its like giving Anders Breivik Nobel Peace Prize : ( What a pity!

2:36AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

Okay... this makes just as much sense as Hitler winning the Nobel Peace prize... I'm utterly disgusted by the total non-sense of this!!!

2:06AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013

I understand John Kerry gave a very good speech in sopport of GM.

12:34PM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

An article to keep us aware over Monsanto's games...

9:55AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

I agree with Aiel L.

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