U.S. Ag Secretary Ann Veneman says biotechnology has to be used to help cut the number of hungry people in the world. Speaking at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Veneman says we need to follow the words of Iowa Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug and move from the “Green Revolution” to the “Gene Revolution.” She says there’s many kinds of technologies that’ve developed over the years that have allowed the world to continue to feed itself, and she says we need to get those technologies to developing countries and those with a food deficit. Some countries criticize the subsidies the U.S. and Europeans give to farmers — saying they hurt developing countries. Veneman addressed that concern.Veneman says there are differing opinions on the effect of the subsidies. She says that can be debated all day long. She says what we really need is fair trade rules and technology adoption in other countries, and technology development that will help countries like Africa. She says critics are focusing on the wrong problem.She says a lot of people can point to subsidies and say they’re a problem, but she says the real problem is getting the proper practices into the areas that’re food deficient. Veneman says throwing more dollars at the problem won’t solve it either.She says you can’t address would hunger by just continuing to provide food aid. She says you have to provide people with the means to produce food. Veneman says Africa has lost seven million farmers who could be growing food to the AIDS epidemic. She says that’s a generation that isn’t there to provide food for a nation that gets most of its food from local growers.
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