Dr Prakash apologizes for any lack of profanity (28/7/2007)

1.Dr. Prakash apologizes for any lack of profanity (GM Watch)
2.Borlaug gets a good rap for food feat (Des Moines Register)
3.Norman Borlaug - A PROFILE (GM Watch)


1.Dr. Prakash apologizes for any lack of profanity

We had to smile at the piece below from the Des Moines Register about the rap song - previously attributed to young Rohan Prakash - in praise of Big Norman Borlaug. We're told:

"Dr. Prakash apologizes for any lack of profanity or misogyny in the Borlaug song."

As the following Guardian piece makes clear, a "lack of profanity or misogyny" is the very last thing we at GM Watch associate with Prakash Jr.'s pro-GM rap project.


Taking the rap
John Vidal
The Guardian, October 6, 2004

Rohan Prakash is the 12-year-old rapper son of Professor CS Prakash, director of the Centre for Plant Biotechnology at Tuskegee University, Alabama. Young Rohan has leapt to his father's side after penning a pro-biotech song that was mentioned by the UK web-based GM Watch group. He emailed them: "If you want to insult me, i'm going to insult you fucking dick ass bit[c]h whor[e]. Ya you can never talk about me like that cuz 12 year old rohan that's me and say sorry because universal records gave me a record contract and i can make a rap to get you out of business bitch. Do not talk about my dad because biotechnology is tight and you do not fuck with me!" Sweet child.


The Guardian piece assumes, as have we till now, that the penning of the rap song was down to young Rohan, but the article below dispells that myth. We're told:

"You [the father] start by getting your 11-year-old son involved."


"To lend the project 'an element of authenticity,' the father enlisted the help of a black barber friend, who moonlights as a DJ in a local club. They brought in a professional musician and some girls to do the chorus."

And as for the lyrics:

"Prakash [senior] thought it would be fun to 'take a jab' at those critics."

This is a reference to lyrics like:

"But then some people started to panic,
telling the farmers to go organic.
Technophobes started making a mess
of Norman Borlaug's great success.
Green groups thought they found the cure in stinky piles of cow manure..."

Ironically, scientific research shows that modern organic and low-input methods can massively increase yields on developing world farms and without triggering the plethora of problems associated with Green Revolution agricultureand GM.

It's this kind of research that led New Scientist to editorialise:

"Low-tech 'sustainable agriculture,' shunning chemicals in favour of natural pest control and fertiliser, is pushing up crop yields on poor farms across the world, often by 70 per cent or more...

A new science-based revolution is gaining strength built on real research into what works best on the small farms where a billion or more of the world's hungry live and work... It is time for the major agricultural research centres and their funding agencies to join the revolution." (New Scientist editorial, February 3 2001)


2.Borlaug gets a good rap for food feat
Marc Hansen
Des Moines Register, July 19 2007

Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, saved a billion lives, give or take a few hundred million, in the war against hunger.

If that's his most amazing accomplishment, this might be his second-most amazing accomplishment: Three years ago, when Borlaug turned 90, somebody recorded a rap song in his honor.

Not just anyone can win a Nobel Peace Prize or a Congressional Gold Medal. As you might have heard, Borlaug walked away with the latter on Tuesday.

None of my high-achieving friends, not even the hall-of-fame light bulb salesman down the street, can hang that on the old resume.

But name another 90-something who's the subject of a rap song - a 90-something who grew up in the mean bean fields of Cresco, Ia.

The song is titled, appropriately enough, "The Norman Borlaug Rap (Thank You, Norman)."

Have a listen at www.agbioworld.org/index.html.

The song begins like this:

I don't know what you been told
about farming and food in days of old,
but listen and take this to the bank:|
If there's food in your tummy then you'd better thank N-O-R-M-A-N.

The concept and the Web site belong to C.S. Prakash, a professor of plant molecular genetics at Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Prakash, who was in Washington to see Borlaug shake the president's hand, knows a lot about biotechnology, but not so much when

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