Letter from Global Business Access, Ltd
International Square, Suite 400
1825 1 Street, N. W.
Washington D.C. 20006
Tel: 00 1 202 429 2702 Fax: 00 1 202 466 6249
Dr Donald B. Easum
Vice President, Global Business Access Ltd.
801 West End Avenue, Apt 3A, Ph.212-666-9609, Fax 212-666-1106
New York, NY 10025
Subject: Monsanto and Biotech for Agriculture
[...] I want  to invite you to join other developing country leaders
in endorsing Monsanto company's attached statement, LET THE HARVEST
BEGIN. Monsanto plans to publish the statement, with the names and
titles of its signers, in major European newspapers in early June.
As Vice President of Global Business Access, a continuing company
devoted to assisting U.S. trade and investment in Africa, I and
several of my colleagues have been engaged by Monsanto company to
assist them in publicising the company's efforts to promote the role
of biotechnology in increasing the food supply and protecting the
environment in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central Europe.
Our deadline for submitting endorsements of the Monsanto statement is
Monday, June 1 [...] The statement has already been signed by such African
leaders as Babacar N'Diaye (former Director of the African Development Bank),
Dr Adebayo Adediji (foprmer Executive Director of the UN Economic
Commission for Africa), Dr Esther Ocloo of Ghana, Dr George Benneh
(former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Cabinet Minister),
Dr Abdoulaye Conteh (former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Justice of
Sierra Leone) - and we are in contact with ex-President Masire, Graca Machel,
Chief Bisi Ogunleye of Nigeria, Julius Nyerere, Eritrean President Isias Afwerki,
Eritrean Agriculture Minister Arefine Berhe and President Museveni's office in
Kampala. In addition I have sent the statement to Dr Thomas Odhiambo who
has expressed interest in endorsing.
In the event the rationale of the statement appeals to you and you
believe it worthy of your support, we invite you to sign the enclosed
endorsement form and fax it as indicated to our Global office in
Washington D.C. (Also enclosed is a Monsanto fact sheet on the Green
Revolution and its relationship to expanded food needs of increasing
Donald B. Easum
Vice President, GLobal Business Access Ltd.
Ambassador (ret.) US Foreign Service
MONSANTO FACT SHEET ON THE GREEN REOVULTION
FOOD NEEDS AND GLOBAL BENEFITS
Within the context of a burgeoning global population lies the most
significant challenge facing political leaders and agricultural
producers throughout the world: utilising existing limited resources
to feed people while grappling with the continued diminution of
THE FOOD NEEDS OF AN ENTIRE PLANET
* More than 80 percent of the population of the developing world now
have access to adequate diets compared with only 64 per cent in the
1970s. The number of undernourished has fallen from over 940 million
in the 1970s to around 800 million today.
* More than 840 million people in developing countries - 20 percent
of the combined population - are without access to enough food to
meet their basic daily needs for nutritional well-being.
Disproportionately, this population is made up of women and over 200
million children, with approximately 18 million children dying
annually of starvation.
THE IMPACT OF THE 'GREEN REVOLUTION"
* The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
estimates that due to the "Green Revolution", per capita food
supplies in the developing world rose from 1,900 calories per day in
the early 1960s to 2,500 calories in the early 1990s, even though
global population doubled during this period.
* In 1950, the world produced 692 million tons of grain for 2.2
billion people; by 1992 production was 1.9 billion tons for 5.6
billion people - 2.8 times the population. The 692 tons of grain
produced in 1950 came from 1.7 billion acres of cropland. The 1992
output of 1.9 billion tons came from 1.73 billion acres - a 170
percent increase in production from one percent more land.
AGRICULTURE AND THE CURRENT FOOD SITUATION
* While more than 500,000 edible plants and a wealth of animal
products are used for food around the workd, only 15 crop plants
provide 90 percent of the globe's food energy intake.
* During the 1990s, the world's 1 billion farmers produced cereals,
meat, and other food products that provided the globe's population
with the equivalent of 7.5 quadrillion kilocalories annually - if
distributed equally that is enough for about 3,800 calories per
person per day, well over the minimum daily calorie requirement.
* Crop productivity now appears to be slowing - falling below the
Green Revolution levels, examples include:
- Wheat yields up 1.4 percent, more slowly than population in many
areas, and down from 3.3 percent annually in the ealry 1980s;
- Rice yields at 1.1 percent annually, less than one-half the rate of
the early 1980s:
- Both coarse grain and oilseed yeilds could grow faster than
population in many areas - 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent respectively -
but even for these crops, the rates expected would provide little
margin for shortfalls, whether weather related or from other causes.
* In the 1990s, world grain and oilseed production and use came into
much closer balance than at any time in recent years. The huge grain
stockpiles of the mid-1980s are gone, and by the mid-1990s,
consumption had exceeded production for seven of the past 12 years.
* In the 66 developing countries where 2.3 billion people live, and
where current food supplies are inadequate, productivity growth is
barely 2 per cent annually (just slightly faster than population
growth), constrained by lack of inputs, lack of crop protection
products, poor management and numerous other problems.
* For the immediate future - the next quarter of a century - some 800
million people will be added each decade. Food production must grow
1.4 percent to 1.6 percent annually, just to maintain the status quo.
LET THE HARVEST BEGIN
Across the vast farms of Europe and the United States, crops grow
plentifully, providing an over-abundance of food. But in other parts
of our world, hunger still confronts the population every day.
Finding new ways to meet our global need for food, while maintaining
ecological balance, might be the greatest challenge we face in the
We all share the same planet - and the same needs. In agriculture,
many of our needs have an ally in biotechnology and the promising
advances it offers for our future. Healthier, more abundant food.
Less expensive crops. Reduced reliance on pesticides and fossil
fuels. A cleaner environment. With these advances, we prosper;
without them. we cannot thrive.
As we stand on the edge of a new millenium, we dream of a tomorrow
without hunger. To achieve that dream, we must welcome the science
that promises hope. We know advances biotechnology must be tested and
safe, but they should not be unduly delayed. Biotechnology is one of
tomorrow's tools in our hands today. Slowing its acceptance is a
luxury our hungry world cannot afford.
To feed the world in the next century, we need food that is more
plentiful and more affordable than it is today. With more
productivity needed from less tillable land, we need new ways to
yield more from what is left - after development and erosion take
their toll. To strengthen our economies, we need to grow our own food
as independently as we can. Agricultural biotechnology will play a
major role in realising the hope we all share. Accepting this science
can make a dramatic difference in millions of lives.
The seeds of the future are planted. Allow them to grow. Then let the
harvest begin. Because securing food for our future begins a better
life for us all.
Signer Signer Signer Signer Signer
A message from some of the world's most respected voices, made
possible by some of the world's most respected companies, including
Monsanto, -----------, -----------, ------------, committed to
finding better ways to feed the world's people.