Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug on Monday (8 November) denounced "hysterical environmentalists" at the?
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Background: Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug on Monday (8 November) denounced "hysterical environmentalists" at the 125-nation United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) conference in Rome.
He said that those lobbying against the use of D.D.T. and similar chemicals could provoke unwise and dangerous legislation. A mass removal of chemicals and fertilisers from agriculture was likely to lead to an acute food shortage and starvation, added Dr. Borlaug, who won the Peace Prize last year for his work in developing high-yield cereals.
Dr. Borlaug's speech is expected to initiate a major battle in the conference over the use of D.D.T. High on FAO's agenda are also policy decisions on the organisation's role in world development.
SYNOPSIS: Rome on Monday--scene of the biannual conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Attending--delegates from 125 nations--who intend to map out FAO's plans for aiding World development during the 1970's. Several of the items on the agenda will centra on how to keep social, economic and political progress ahead of the population explosion. The delegates were also preparing to discuss FAO's financial difficulties--which have intensified with mounting inflation.
But the most controversial issue of debate will reportedly stem from the speech of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Norman Borlaug. In an 18,000-word address Dr. Borlaug denounced "hysterical environmentalists"--that is, those attempting to block the use in agriculture of such chemicals as D.D.T. Such fertilisers and chemicals were vital for adequate food production, he argued. Dr, Borlaug attacked with stastics what he described as "current crusades" against chemical poisoning "Recalling that 50 per cent of the present world population is under-nourished and that even a larger percentage, perhaps 65 par cent, is malnourished, no room is left for "complacency", he added.
The opinions of Dr. Borlaug--who last year won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in developing high-yield cereals--were reportedly likely to touch off a major battle in the conference over the use of D.D.T. Later on Monday delegates heard another powerful warning. FAO's Director Mr. Addeke H. Boerma cautioned governments against giving inadequate contributions to the organisation's budget. It was, he said, insensitive folly". The conference continues for another three weeks.