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What is our Role in Enhancing Global Food and Energy Security?

January 29, 2010
The world’s population is projected to reach 9.1 billion by the middle of this century. Feeding that number of people – in addition to producing animal feed, fiber and biofuels – will require a 70 percent increase in overall agricultural production (and nearly a 100 percent increase in the developing world).

- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

That’s why it’s important to understand two things:  1) biotechnology helps to meet a growing demand for abundant, safe food products and reliable energy sources; and 2) There’s an urgent need to get these tools into farmers’ hands.

Food security is an issue of paramount importance, with UN FAO estimating that one out of every six people in the world today – more than one billion total - suffer from hunger. The Obama Administration made a commitment to global food security by launching a new initiative in September 2009 to increase worldwide food supplies by 50 percent.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a visit to Africa outlined the United States’ pledge to help improve output by small farmers, increase the availability of affordable food and improve quality of life for the poorest of the poor. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, meanwhile, highlighted the role of technology in meeting those goals, saying, “We need to do a better job of marketing our science.”

 That’s why the upcoming “Global Dialogue on Meeting Food Needs for the Next Generation” will be so important.  On February 12 at the Newseum here in Washington, we will convene a dialogue of stakeholders, academics, policymakers and related experts to discuss meeting the food needs for the next generation. 

Moderated by Frank Sesno, George Washington University, prominent speakers will lead a live and on-line dialogue on how to address challenges that farmers and nations will face over the next century.  Panelists include:

  • Nina Fedoroff, Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State and to the Administrator of USAID, author of Mendel in the Kitchen

  • Mark Cantley, former head of the European Commission’s “Concertation Unit for Biotechnology in Europe” and of OECD’s Biotechnology Unit

  • Calestous Juma, Pew award winner and Professor of Practice at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

  • Gale Buchanan, lead author of the CAST report and former USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics

  • Robert Paarlberg, Professor at Wellesley College and author of Starved for Science: How Biotechnology is Being Kept Out of Africa

Now Serving: 9 Billion: Global Dialogue on Meeting Food Needs for the Next Generation
Co-hosted by The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), CropLife International (CLI), the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)

Friday, February 12, 2010 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon EST

The Newseum, Knight Broadcast Studio, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.  (Live-streamed via Webcast at

Register online for free at:

To attend the event in-person or submit discussion questions, please contact
Event Coordinator Alexander Rinkus at
Follow the event online at or on Twitter @CropLifeFdn and @AgBiotech or on Facebook at