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World Food Prize Should Become Voice of Regenerative Agriculture

The Register's recent article "Iowa to pay $50,000 in lawsuit settlement," describing a lawsuit against the World Food Prize (WFP) and the state of Iowa by anti-GMO protesters, sheds light on the past manipulations of the WFP to guard its international image among fellow promoters of industrial agriculture.

As one of the lawsuit plaintiffs, I feel Iowa taxpayers need several additional facts to understand the motivation behind the lawsuit by last year's demonstrators.

In 2017, the WFP awarded its $250,000 prize to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the head of the African Development Bank, who was quoted as saying his mission is to bring industrial agriculture to all of Africa.  This is not the kind of agriculture we demonstrators want spread throughout the world.  Heavy use of pesticides that support patented GMO seeds is not our idea of improving agriculture in lesser developed countries.  It is a way for corporations to increase their profits. 

As a result of the lawsuit, for the first time the WFP allowed protesters to assemble at an area near the Capitol entrance, not the usual 110 yards away. But it is important to note the WFP continued to commission a large marching band to play John Phillip Sousa music to blast away in the faces of demonstrators, essentially silencing us. They continue to hang three giant banners from the Capitol that spell out “World Food Prize” although signs are not allowed in or on the Capitol. 

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