Forgive the redundancy, but I was wondering whether this might have
escaped some folks' notice since it was in a note with other stuff.
So I pulled it out and cleaned it up. Thanks, Kate.
ACHTUNG!!! Potential media sleaze alert!!!
Please note that the source of the news release is U.S. Newswire--a
dissemination service. See:
for a description of who they are. I.e., a pass-along service that
disseminates what people send them. What does this mean for this
particular content? Who wrote/prepared the content? It's hard to
tell from the text. I searched the U.S. Newswire site for this press
release, and their archive doesn't go back that far.
It reads to me like a Hudson Institute press release. One common
tactic among PR mavens is this: running organizations' press releases
thru third-party disseminators like U.S. Newswire can lend the
information a kind of impartial credibility it wouldn't have if it
came directly from the source.
I had red flags go up on this content. Until I know more about it, I
would not rule out that Hudson Institute took Pope's comments out of
context to make it sound like the Sierra Club is flat-out endorsing
Dennis Avery. (At the same time /Sierra/ magazine has Brian DeVore
writing about sustainable ag? C'mon, I want to know more.)
I would not personally jump to any conclusions about the value or
context of this content until knowing more about the way this
information was generated and adapted. This is exactly the kind of
reactive information flow I've been talking about on other
topics--and people like Avery are masters at it. CAREFUL!!
For you Cheezers, the Hudson Institute's contact information in their
3 S. Pinckney, Tenney Plaza
Madison, WI 53703
Their Madison contacts: Rebecca Swartz and Don Jonas.
Sierra Club Executive Endorses High-Yield Agriculture
WASHINGTON, Jan. 14
/U.S. Newswire/ --
Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, has endorsed
high-yield agriculture, including bio-engineered crops, because high
farm yields will help save wildlife habitat and wild species.
Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues has researched and
advocated this agricultural production technique to help preserve the
world's environment. In a Dec. 21, 1998, letter to the editor of
Philanthropy magazine, Pope wrote: I strongly endorse (Dennis
Avery's) call for a renewed commitment to governmental and
philanthropic funding of agricultural research, including research
into conventionally bred or bio-engineered new varieties of crops.
A massive increase in such research is, as Avery argues, absolutely
critical. Only then can the promise of high-tech breeding be
combined with the social and environmental needs of the world."
Pope was responding to a Philanthropy article by Dennis Avery,
director of the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson
Institute, titled: "Feeding Our Faces: Can Private Philanthropy Save
the Planet Again?"
Avery's article notes that the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations
financed the first plant-breeding stations for the Third World, and
launched the Green Revolution of the 1960s. This not only saved more
than one billion people from starvation, but the countries which have
maintained the highest yield gains have also lowered their birth
rates most rapidly. Avery cited projections that the world
population is likely to peak at 8 billion to 8.5 billion people,
Avery's article warned, however, that the world's farm demand will
probably triple from today, because many more people are rapidly
gaining the affluence to demand more resource-costly commodities such
as meat, milk, fruits and cotton. There is no global trend toward
vegetarian diets; instead we are in the midst of the biggest surge in
meat and milk demand the world has ever seen. The world's
increasingly affluent population may also keep an additional 2
billion cats and dogs as companion animals, for which they will also
demand high quality diets.
Pope agreed with Avery that the world must sharply increase the
yields on the world's existing farmlands, or risk losing millions of
square miles of wildlands and hundreds of thousands of wildlife
species to low-yield crops and livestock.
Pope's letter concluded: "We have, unfortunately, passed the point in
human history where we can adopt any single fix for our problems; we
will need to combine social changes such as women's education with
family planning to bring down fertility; publicly accountable and
oriented research into better plant varieties with a reduction of
excessive reliance on chemical inputs to increase food production in
an environmentally sustainable way, and creative strategies to
change farming practices in ways that will accommodate biological
diversity alongside food and fiber production."
Avery welcomed Pope's support for more public investment in
sustainable high-yield agriculture.
"Public funding for agricultural research has been waning in recent
years, even though the world's farmers are now facing the biggest
challenge in history," Avery said. "If we fail to raise yields, the
price won't be paid in human hunger; we'll continue to have enough
calories, and we'll probably achieve a massive increase in world meat
and milk production as well. The challenge is to achieve the
increased farm output without taking any more land from nature."
The Center for Global Food Issues, which serves as Hudson Institute's
agricultural and environmental policy research group, offers a
comprehensive perspective on future world food needs, hunger
prevention, agricultural technology, environmental sustainability and
natural resource conservation.
------ Hudson Institute is an internationally recognized public
policy research organization that develops solutions and forecasts
trends for governments and businesses. Founded in 1961 by the late
Herman Kahn, the not-for-profit organization has more than 70
researchers and employees at its corporate headquarters in
Indianapolis as well as offices in Washington, D.C.; Lansing, Mich.;
Madison, Wis.; Montreal; and Belgium. For more information about
Hudson Institute, visit the organization's Web site at www.hudson.org
or call 800-HUDSON-0.
-- For copies of the complete letter to the editor by Carl Pope and
the full text of Dennis Avery and Nick Eberstadt's Philanthropy
articles, which Pope's letter refers, e-mail James O'Gara, editor of
Philanthropy, at jogara(At)philanthropyroundtable.org.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
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