Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2013) – A trio of scientists specializing in agricultural biotechnology will receive the 2013 World Food Prize, Secretary of State John Kerry announced today.
Mary-Dell Chilton, Robert T. Fraley and Marc Van Montagu, all pioneers in the science of agricultural biotechnology, have helped lead a global agricultural transformation through scientific research and advocacy for modern farming practices.
Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) applauded the selection of Chilton, Fraley and Montagu, and congratulated the recipients on this well-deserved honor.
“These individuals have dedicated their lives to scientific discovery and feeding the world,” said Greenwood. “Their contributions have helped improve the lives of farming families around the globe, while increasingly the availability of safe, healthy and affordable food.”
“While our global population continues to increase, farmers are faced with challenges like climate change, plant diseases and pests, and the need to produce more food on less land. The innovations made possible by biotechnology and discovered by Dr. Chilton, Dr. Fraley and Dr. Montagu are helping to meet those challenges to better feed, fuel and heal the world,” said Greenwood.
“Their achievements are not just scientific, but – more importantly – humanitarian.”
Agricultural biotechnology is the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture with 17.3 million farmers in 28 countries growing biotech crops on 420 million acres. Ninety percent of these farmers are resource-poor farmers in developing countries, where hunger, malnutrition and poverty are most dire.
**More information on the World Food Prize and the 2013 recipients is posted at www.worldfoodprize.org.