What a surprise! Among this year’s winners of the international World Food Prize, which claims to recognize the achievements of individuals who have “advanced human development,” is none other than a Monsanto executive. The World Food Prize, which is heavily funded by the biotechnology industry, has once again shown preference to this corrupt industry by awarding three biotech pioneers esteemed laud and corresponding cash prizes as part of a ridiculous public relations stunt designed to foment support for genetically-modified (GM) crops and crop technologies.
As reported by The New York Times (NYT), one of the co-recipients of this year’s 2013 World Food Prize is Robert Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer. Fraley is said to have helped develop some of the earliest methods of splicing foreign genetic materials into crops. One of the “founding fathers” of GMOs, Fraley is joined by two other “Frankenscientists” in receiving the award, Syngenta’s Mary-Dell Chilton and biotech enthusiast Marc Van Mantagu.
Biotechnology industry financially backs bogus World Food Prize
However, as revered as it may be to a select few, the World Food Prize is more of a publicity stunt than it is an honest recognition of individuals who have advanced food technology. As openly reported by the NYT, Monsanto is a major financial donor to the World Food Prize Foundation, having donated millions of dollars over the years to its preservation. The biotechnology industry in general, as a matter of fact, holds heavy influence in determining the recipients of the World Food Prize.
“The World Food Prize has been criticized in the past for favoring industrial agriculture,” writes Andrew Pollack for the NYT. “The foundation that administers the prize has received contributions from companies, including a $5 million pledge from Monsanto in 2008.”
In other words, the biotechnology industry sends over millions of dollars every year to fund the World Food Prize, which every year is given right back to the biotechnology industry as an achievement award. It is about as legitimate as the pharmaceutical industry shelling out millions of dollars to purchase approval from corrupt politicians and regulators for its deadly drugs, except that some people actually believe the World Food Prize is unbiased and respectable.