tv Breaking the Set RT November 28, 2013 12:29am-1:01am EST
it won't put a price and a former u.s. ambassador to can void and ambassador quinn it's a great honor to have you on the show i'm very delighted to be with you and i want to wish you a very happy thanksgiving to all of your viewers thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday in the united states it's one that no matter what your background what your ethnicity what your religion is it's something that unites all americans absolutely and thanksgiving and is associated with food and i believe that you sad ones that the greatest challenge that humanity faces today is whether we'll be able to feed the nine billion people who are expected to populate this planet by the year two thousand and fifty now some experts would say that absolutely we can so the problem is not so much whether the planet can produce enough food there are some would argue that it already produces enough to feed everybody but rather how we can distribute this food fairly and so that nobody goes
to sleep hungry well i think absolutely right that food distribution is a huge issue and we do right know this year in two thousand and thirteen produce enough food to feed everyone sustainably and nutritiously and the question is how do you get it there and you are absolutely right that about a third of the food is lost in post harvest lost and then food that is thrown away. not all consume and this is a problem and that's why the world food prize was created by dr norman borlaug to find the breakthrough achievements that will deal with all of all of those issues and the ambassador queen i think the defocus that you organization is making is more on our group culture and sustainable production rather than distribution and sustainable management. don't you think that it would be wise to shift the focus
a few organizations on the overall food availability debate not so much on production and advances in technology but rather on the distribution well our organization takes great pride in dealing with all of the issues across the entire food chain and sustainability is absolutely a very top priority and the agro ecological breakthroughs that can help small poor farmers in particular deal with issues have been rewarded with with our prize our founder norman borlaug the nobel peace prize laureate put it this way we have to produce more food. to feed our ever growing population and there's only two ways to do it one is you grow more food on the land available or the other is that you cut down what remains of the forests and the
rain forests and an area that's difficult and you try to bring everything into production and besser quinn but it's been almost thirty years if i'm not mistaken since norman borlaug sad that and since that our relationship with food has changed a great deal i know that you have a very long professional ties to asia you served as the years have bastards you come border you've worked in vietnam and i think asia is a very very typical example of how that relationship to food has changed it used to be hunger that's was the main issue the main problem in asia and while it hasn't been fully eradicated it is now a challenge by abyss it is so again it's not so much about how much food you produce but rather about the quality of food as you said and who gets that food that's that's right and with the growing urban population and you look look at.
perfect example of these mushroom ing cities as people leave the land and come into the cities and how are we going to ensure that in these big urban populations that people have enough food so there have to be innovations in things like vertical farming gardens sustainable production micro irrigation all of the elements so that we can be producing food in many different places and we not only give a prize but we hold a conference a three day conference called the boer log dialogue people at the world bank say it's probably the premier conference in the world on global agriculture and basses are quitting the organization that you represent a world with prize has been criticized for its rather close relationship with agribusiness companies and there's nothing inherently wrong with those companies we all benefit from the operations up until a certain point and that point comes when they try to sell us more food than we
actually need if we actually can't consume and as we just pointed out in the united states americans throw away between the third that maybe even half of that food according to the natural resources defense council just a fifteen percent reduction in the u.s. food waste could save enough to feed twenty five million people so again. don't you think that some of the companies that you have a war that for innovation are not doing enough on may be overusing over exploiting consumers and putting their focus not where it should be well the first of all let me make absolutely clear we do not give our prize to companies organizations universities we only give it to individual persons one of the winners this year works at monsanto. and so certainly we receive
a lot of people who criticize us and said how could you give the prize to somebody who works at monsanto we don't like monsanto's business practices or something but we're not recognizing any company's business practices and just for the sake of our viewers i want to mention that months on to did make a substantial contribution to the world food prize in the past but before we go there let me well a little bit on the united states and i think the biggest problem in your country is not so much availability of food but it's quality the quality that some people would argue has significantly decreased because of all the dances in technology which the world food prices to promote and what some would say is that we really need to simplify our relationship with food we need to go back to this real things giving spirit where people were grateful for the harvest that they got
and knew how to limit appetites how would you respond to criticisms like that we were one of the very first. organizations to bring attention to the issue of obesity. in america and in the world and we more than a decade ago we were holding our seminar in our symposium on obesity and malnutrition and you have some countries where both of these exist and they become very big problems so i agree absolutely with the quality of how people eat the proper diet nutrition these need very very much to be to be highlighted ambassador quinn i would like to go back to the issue of a busy day that you just mentioned and it's been scientifically established that there is a link between. hunger animal nourishment on the one hand and of the city on the
other hand populations and people individuals who suffered from famine all malnourishment for sustained periods of times much more likely to develop a basic once the food becomes available especially the food rich and carbohydrates so isn't it the case that increasing availability of food is also directly contributing to this new problem that we have on our hands reach is a busy city and all their ailments associated with it well you know the problem was that the people who were dealing with malnutrition weren't necessarily the same ones who were dealing with the food issues or food production and they didn't tend to come together and we were one of the very first to bring in the medical doctors from harvard medical school from the centers for disease control and have them meet with representatives from the u.n. nutrition council and you know i was i worked in villages in the one nine hundred
sixty s. as the nih the green revolution was just beginning and i saw what would happen in villages when. suddenly farmers had these new seeds were. produced in a traditional way and suddenly they could get two crops a year instead of one and they could get it in a shorter time frame they had more money they were able to buy more additional food more nutritious food for them besser quinn i wonder if these references to the past and you mentioned that you saw that happening back in the sixty's obviously a lot of. time has passed since then and again the if wood production situation and our relationship with the food has changed and you have this focus on increasing food production stayed the same in fact this theme of feeding the hungry is one of the most popular themes among politicians they've been. repeating it over
and over again from danny many decades and you have the issue of minority still remains. public health issues so my question she is whether you believe that. this focus on feeding the hungry while certainly having some humanitarian and emotional appeal is a bit outdated maybe a bit populist and i would even add a bit misleading because it does not represent the real problem that the world faces today which is not so much their veil ability of any sort of food but rather their availability of high quality food i would disagree with that point i believe . the way we are able to bring people together across great differences whether their political differences diplomatic ethnic religious racial the way we see that people will come together is when they believe they're coming together to
alleviate human suffering to help people who don't have enough have sufficient food ambassador cui we have to take a short break now when we come back the world food price to get a lot of heat earlier this year for celebrating the advances in genetically engineered crops including those produced by month santa wasn't that a betrayal of the very principles the world with prize set out to promote well that's coming up in a few moments on well the part. a . very hard.
i i i i. i. welcome back to worlds apart of discussing the politics of pool with the president of the wild what price cannot clean and that's their queen it's hard to find another company that has a more profitable business model and gets more challenging public relations down. when he decided to award your prized human scientists chief technology officer roberto fraley as well as to other scientists dealing with g.m. most i'm sure you understood that you would inherit some of those p.r. problems oh absolutely i knew they would be coming i should make it clear i have no
voice and no despite of the decision as to who is selected to receive our prize we have a selection committee that is chaired by the most revered agricultural scientist in india dr m.s. long enough than perhaps the most revered agricultural scientist in the world. and and other international members it's represents various continents and they look at all of those who are nominated they make the decision and it was determined by our selection committee that all three had done separately this breakthrough is a brilliant scientific achievement to to understand how plan. it's work and to be able to reach inside them to their to their d.n.a. but still if you could help us understand the rationale of all of these decisions i know and you mentioned several times earlier that the world for the price was
created by norman borlaug the fellow iowan like yourself the father of the green revolution somebody who is credited with saving more lives than any other person and what was particularly striking about the border lock was that he was very open about sharing his knowledge and sharing it his expertise with whoever needed it and yet the business model that one song to and many other g.m.o. companies have adopted is the exact opposite they're all about locking farmers into dependence they're all about hooping them on their products so that lets the number of very prominent scientists to claim that aborting the prize to months on to executive the world to put prize betrayed the very principles that it was founded on how would you respond to that sure and you know i may not make any of the decisions but i get all the heat and i get the criticism and appropriately so.
from the first time that i came to the world. we have as an organization and with dr borlaug in the leaders long as he was alive advocated for increased public funding of research we believe there should be the maximum amount of public research so that the cheap mints will be out in the in the open and can be shared and accessed and you are correct that the the model whether it's in food or areas of pharmaceuticals no what happens is that there's huge amounts of research and investment or three winners. i spent years and years and years in the laboratory some of it was provided by universities some by companies but it takes an enormous amount of input so somehow any institution whether it's
a university or a business that is going to do this research has to somehow make the money back. about it so finding the right balance between those things is a real issue you just mentioned that it takes a lot of input but it also produces huge profits and. you know month santa is the company that controls roughly ninety percent of the u. united states soybean crop they control about ninety five percent of cotton seeds in india so if you don't mind me saying even in the soviet union such enormous enormous power such an enormous market share would have been deemed dangerous so those scientists that you quite are rightfully are celebrated they may have done a great thing for science but they also added up benefiting companies whose business model is not benefiting the world that's the problem yes so we don't award
the prize for business models and i said we do it for innovations for breakthrough achievements and what we do is then put on a three day conference and we invite people from all of different viewpoints to come and to talk about this so they can discuss the business model one of the members of our council of advisors or gordon conway was in the middle of this because it was very controversial about ten or twelve years ago about exactly some of the issues that you're mentioning in regard to monsanto but the the most important thing to have if you've got businesses is to have competition. and to have other companies that also have other business models so that farmers can choose you know having a number of different things that farmers can choose different products that farmers can choose is probably a significant way of dealing with those kind of issues plus there's also government
regulation and an approval process that needs to be taken into account so i talk to people from all of these companies including months and i think you know they are certainly aware of that. of those issues and the but it's up to them to address their own business model it's not for the world food prize to withhold something that's been earned an achievement that can enhance the quality and quantity of food because somebody works for a particular company but certainly i'm i'm well aware i receive forty five hundred emails in one day people critical of that i'm well aware of the criticism if i can push a little bit further i know that you knew our norman borlaug personally and you spoke very highly about him and don't you see
a problem when. the legacy of these great individual somebody who was a great humanitarian they gan somebody whose whole life philosophy was about spreading and sharing his legacy is now being used and some would argue exploited by these companies who claim to be operating on his legacy and carrying on that what he has started because he himself very strongly believes the end buyer biotechnology as a way of reducing hunger but they are now using that legacy and yet. doing something that is exactly opposite to what he has himself. off try to promote their around the world isn't there a contradiction and a very significant asacol contradiction here it's an important question and one i'm i'm anxious to respond to because i did spend a lot of time with dr borlaug i felt so privileged to have had
a decade with him and he knew these three individuals who received our prize and he knew the companies and institutions they were associated with and. retain his mental acuity right up until the end and i can tell you that he was critical of the selection committee for being slow in recognizing biotechnology and i can tell you with absolute certainty that he believed these were the three individuals who should receive the world food prize for what they had done he believed biotechnology. was a process that has occurred in nature over thousands of years and it should be accepted and embraced in order to alleviate suffering and so i. wouldn't agree with that now ambassador cui i know that the united states has fully
embraced g m o crabs but in many european countries including russia governments still refuse to approve the planting and importation of genetically modified crops since the. revolution is so young do you think humanity as a whole would benefit from living some parts of the world g.m.o. free just to play on the safe side because we we still don't know all the implications and possible consequences of using these new technology i want to hear what the scientists say because i think that's we should be guided by the science but. whether to leave some areas you know g.m.o. free or so. i agree very much that it's critically important to protect the biodiversity and we don't want to have just one crop with
one genetic strain we need to maintain all of that biodiversity that's terribly terribly important and as we do that but here's what i think is the bottom line with the increased climate volatility but do you want to argue climate change or not no one can deny there is great climate volatility there's drought there are floods there are rising seas and salt water intrusion and what's going to happen is that the poorest farmers the small holders and probably the majority of them women farmers in the poorest places on earth are going to be impacted the most if through biotechnology through research through genetic modification we can give those small holder farmers the opportunity to be able to deal with and survive all
of those challenges that i believe they should have all of the tools this has already been attempted and that for example if we take india india is the country where genetically modified crops are very widely spread more than two hundred thousand indian farmers to get the lives because they cannot afford to continue producing crops and being involved in agriculture of if they modelled that the biotech companies are offering to them so i think that these two arguments that you have just laid out one for the availability of crops and the diversity of crops and the use the increased use of biotechnology are at odds they come into direct conflict the you know the stories of suicides among farmers. are heartbreaking and if you like i have worked among very poor farmers and you
see how they have to struggle i mean it's struggling for survival every year and two to hear and read about those stories because i not an expert on india but to read those stories they they're just so devastating. so i have asked a number of experts about this and what i what i'm told and again i'm not. a student of all of this but i've seen the reports i've read those i've asked others is that when you look at the pattern of suicides is that there was a significant rate the predated any of the introduction of the genetically modified crops that you made reference to and whether the cause what the causes are or whether they have spiked during that time i'm told by people i've got to ask about is
a question that doesn't seem to be as cut and dried or clear as you were making it well i'm besser queen i wonder if the people you ask work for months found them surely they would claim that no no i asked respected scientists so. of course you don't go and ask people from a particular company but anyway this is a very complicated complicated issue and i think the jury's still out there on the whether or not those suicides were cost addressed exclusively by d.m.o. crabs but it is clear that their rate of suicides has increased since ninety in ninety five so it's it is a fairly recent phenomenon but i would like to ask you what do you think is the next possible then you for agriculture to go what do you thing is something that you may honored with your prize in the years to come where. well. i i'd like to think that there would be ways that we'd see again that people make the use of
water water's going to be the most scarce resource on our planet anything that can be done that can deal with how water can be extended you know a little bit of a used to produce a lot and the second is how can we hold the agricultural issues to the information technology revolution that's going on the explosion of things that are happening in terms of computing power how do we link all of that people are led were lending things on mars and where you know the quadrupling and quintupling the computing power and mabel to reach now into villages how can that be linked to increased food security for people and that's their point unfortunately we have to leave it there but i really appreciate your time and candour and to our viewers if you like the show please join us again same place same time here on while the party .
you know there's one thing that i still can't understand it and i don't want to ruin your good mood but i have this one question with doing this all for you had everything. respect him so that he gave them all up in the senate to go your way but what for. it was a wait and for him he tried to restrain himself but look at all the first out anyway . if it really puts me off that i have such a father. it was one small but very
great secret that i have to live with for fear of. the media leave us so we leave that maybe. by the same potions to cure the other party there's a golf. course shoes that no one is asking with the guests they deserve answers from it's all politics only on our t.v. . at. one hundred twenty three days. through two hundred cities of russia. really fourteen thousand people or sixty thousand killings. in a record setting trip. torch
relay. m r t r. o it. is day five approach protests in ukraine with the speaker of parliament joining the rally adding fuel to the growing diplomatic tension. by by their list tony italy's former prime minister is expelled from parliament over his conviction for tax fraud but to remain in politics. and that's the sound of a do it yourself gone through dated knowledge of weapons of any shape to be printed . twenty five to thirty five hours depending on the machine we put it on and what. we talk to engineers of printed through the firearms and find out whether the technology could be about to get out of control.