During Alltech’s 26th Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium, the 3rd annual ‘Great Debate” ended the session on Tuesday. Debating nine relevant agricultural issues, lively and controversial discussions were held by the four panelists and moderated by Alltech’s Vice President, Aidan Connolly.
Professor Patrick Wall, former chairman of the management board of the European Food & Safety Association (EFSA), Ireland, Trent Loos, radio, print and agribusiness commentator, USA, Osler Desouzart, Consultant, Brazil and Gordon Butland, Director, G&S Agri Consultants, Thailand took the stage to discuss their ideas in front of more than 1,500 delegates representing top global agribusinesses.
Three key messages that were addressed by the speakers during the debate was the issue of education among the public, the issue of addressing the problem of global hunger and confronting criticism within the industry.
Wall spoke to combining the use of education to address hunger. “Hunger is linked to poverty. Education and training is the key, not providing aid. We were designed to be hunter gathers. We use the BSE theory: Blame Someone Else. To tackle obesity we can’t put it on one industry but it is a group effort. Everyone’s most available resource is their head.” Butland answered back by stating, “The solution is simply education, education and more education.”
Nothing was held back as panelists were asked to address hot button issues like global warming. “Global warming is the largest man-made hoax the world has ever seen. One person starts to say something and we get a bunch of other people clamoring along wanting to chime in,” stated Trent Loos.
Another topic discussed was whether buying local was really something that should be encouraged. Desouzart answered by stating, “This is the latest. It is not the last but it is the latest. It’s “buy local.” I went to Finland and asked them for a local pineapple. Most unfortunately they had none available that week. And then I came here to Kentucky and said ‘I refuse to buy any coffee that is not produced in Kentucky, please serve me.’ I have been drinking tea ever since.”
Visit www.alltech.com/symposium for more information and to watch the recap of the ‘Great Debate’.
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