15 November 1999
For immediate release
Professor Michael Lipton will deliver a lecture tomorrow at the University of Sussex in support of genetically modified (GM) crops. The lecture, 'Genetically modified crops to reduce world hunger: hard fact, emotional blackmail or Monsanto propaganda?' will be based on a lecture that Professor Lipton delivered to 300 leading agricultural scientists in Washington DC, last month.
Professor Lipton will argue that poverty reduction in the developing world in 1970-87 was linked to the rapid growth of yields of main food staples and led to productive farm employment, in the wake of the 'green revolution'. However, the reduction in poverty, the growth of yields in staples and increases in farm employment, left out many of the world's poor. Between 1987 and 1998, both poverty reduction and staple yields growth was stalled.
According to Professor Lipton, a development economist, there are limits to feasible redistribution. So the revival of growth in food staples yields is necessary to re-start global poverty reduction. Professor Lipton proposes that genetically modified crop research and development, if properly regulated, are the safest and most promising route to this. However, he argues the present organisation and privatisation of research and knowledge diverts this potentially life-saving new science to trivial uses.
Professor Lipton believes that radical changes to the organisation of agricultural research are both necessary and feasible to put this right and to address the issues of food-chain safety, environmental management and biodiversity in developing countries. These are all issues brought into high profile by GM crops.
Professor Michael Lipton will deliver a similar lecture, entitled 'Genetically modified crops and poverty in developing countries: hope, threat or irrelevance?' on Thursday 18 November 1999. This lecture, which is part of the Sussex Development Lectures series, will also take place at the University of Sussex.
For further information please contact Professor Michael Lipton, tel. 01273 678739 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Harriet Sexton, Assistant Information Officer, tel. 01273 678888, fax 01273 678335 or email H.D.Sexton@sussex.ac.uk
Notes for Editors:
The lecture 'Genetically modified crops to reduce world hunger: hard fact, emotional blackmail or Monsanto propaganda?' will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 16 November in the Chichester Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex.
The lecture 'Genetically modified crops and poverty in developing countries: hope, threat or irrelevance?' will be at 5.00pm on Thursday 18 November in Arts A1, University of Sussex.