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U.S. Insanity Angers Agro Scientists

April 23, 2008 (EIRNS)—At a time when many countries are in panic and relief organizations are warning of a pending calamity brought about by worldwide food shortages, the Bush administration, behind the scenes, is planning to slash funding for international agricultural research, international agro-researchers claim.

Last week, several concerned scientists circulated an online petition seeking to reverse U.S. government cuts to research funds they say are being planned by the USAID, calling them unacceptable mistakes that will damage worldwide food production for many years to come.

Robert Ziegler, the director-general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos in the Philippines, lashed out at the Bush administration's decision, saying: "You couldn't ask for worse timing. Part of the reason we're having this deterioration of the global agricultural situation is that there has been a steady erosion of support for research," Ziegler added.

The agro-scientists, who have garnered more than 600 signatures, plan to send the petition to key members of the US Congress and USAID administrators. Considering the growing size of the crisis, and the threat it poses to the stability of populous and poor nations, agro-scientists do not think "it should be difficult to communicate that it's a desperate situation."