Pinstrup-Andersen, Per 1939-

views updated


PERSONAL: Born April 7, 1939, in Bislev, Denmark; immigrated to United States, 1965; son of Marinus and Alma (Pinstrup) Andersen; married Birgit Lund, June 19, 1965; children: Charlotte, Tina. Education: Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (Copenhagen, Denmark), B.S., 1965; Oklahoma State University, M.S., 1967; Ph.D., 1969.

ADDRESSES: Home—1451 Highwood Dr., McLean, VA 22101-2516. Offıce—International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20006-1002. E-mail—(personal) [email protected] com; (business) [email protected]

CAREER: Nutrition and food economics researcher and administrator. Center for Tropical Agriculture, Cali, Colombia, agricultural economist, 1969-72, head of economics unit, 1972-76; International Fertilizer Development Center, Florence, AL, director of Agro-Economic Division, 1976-77; Economic Institute, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark, associate professor, senior research fellow, 1977-80; International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, research fellow, 1980, director of Food Consumption and Nutrition Policy Program, 1981-87; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, director of Food and Nutrition Policy Program, 1987-92; International Food Policy Research Institute, director general, 1992-2002, senior research fellow, 2002—. Consultant to the World Bank, Washington, DC, 1978-92; Canadian International Development Agency, 1982-83, 1986; and UNICEF. Served on the subcommittee on nutrition, United Nations, Rome, Italy, 1980-87; the board of directors of the World Agricultural Forum, 2002—; the Committee on Agricultural Bio-technology, Health, and the Environment, National Research Council; Working Committee on Biotechnology, U.S. State Department's Advisory Council on International Economic Policy; and the World Health Policy Forum as General Council. Military service: Served with the Danish army, 1958-59.

MEMBER: American Association of Agricultural Economics (fellow), American Association for the Advancement of Science.

AWARDS, HONORS: Ford Foundation fellow, 1965-66; certificate of appreciation, People to People, 1967; Ph.D. thesis award, American Association of Agricultural Economics, 1970; outstanding journal article award, 1977; Kellogg fellow, 1979; certificate of merit, Gamma Sigma Delta, 1991; distinguished alumnus award, Economics Institute of the University of Colorado and Oklahoma State University, 1993; honorary degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu University, University of Aberdeen, and Wageningen University; Charles A. Black Award, 1998; Agronomprisen, 2000; World Food Prize, 2001, for contributions to agricultural research and food policy.


Nutritional Consequences of Agricultural Projects:Conceptual Relationships and Assessment Approaches, World Bank (Washington, DC), 1981.

Agricultural Research and Technology in EconomicDevelopment: The Impact of Agricultural Research and Modern Technology on Food Production, Economic Growth, and Income Distribution in Developing Countries, Longman (New York, NY), 1982.

(With Marito Garcia) The Pilot Food Price SubsidyScheme in the Philippines: Its Impact on Income, Food Consumption, and Nutritional Status, International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC), 1987.

Food Subsidies in Developing Countries: Costs,Benefits, and Policy Options, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1988.

Government Policy, Food Security, and Nutrition inSub-Saharan Africa, Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program (Ithaca, NY), 1989.

The Political Economy of Food and Nutrition Policies, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1993.

(With Rajul Pandya-Lorch and Mark W. Rosegrant) World Food Prospects: Critical Issues for the Early Twenty-first Century, International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC), 1999.

(With Ebbe Schiøler) Seeds of Contention: WorldHunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2001.


(With Francis C. Byrnes) Methods for AllocatingResources in Applied Agricultural Research in Latin America: CIAT/ADC Workshop, Cali, Colombia, November 26-29, 1974, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (Cali, Colombia), 1975.

(With Alan Berg and Martin Forman) InternationalAgricultural Research and Human Nutrition, International Food Policy Institute (Washington, DC), 1984.

(With Margaret Biswas) Nutrition and Development, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1985.

Macroeconomic Policy, Reforms, Poverty, and Nutrition: Analytical Methodologies, Savage Hall, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), 1990.

(With David Pelletier and Harold Alderman) ChildGrowth and Nutrition in Developing Countries: Priorities for Action, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1995.

(With Rajul Pandya-Lorch) The Unfinished Agenda:Perspectives on Overcoming Hunger, Poverty, and Environmental Degradation, International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC), 2001.

(With Nicole Ballenger and Keith Wiebe) Who Will BeFed in the Twenty-first Century?: Challenges for Science and Policy, International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC), 2001.

Contributor to periodicals and journals.

SIDELIGHTS: Per Pinstrup-Andersen's entire career has been devoted to international nutrition and food policy, for which he was honored with the 2001 World Food Prize. Pinstrup-Andersen was born in Denmark and immigrated to the Unites States to complete his secondary education. He became director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 1992, a position he held for ten years.

Pinstrup-Andersen has published his studies and edited volumes since the early 1970s. The research reported in twenty-four contributions to Food Subsidies in Developing Countries: Costs, Benefits, and Policy Options was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and IFPRI. Pinstrup-Andersen has edited other studies, including The Political Economy of Food and Nutrition Policies, consisting of fourteen papers in five parts, described by Oliver Morrissey in the Economic Journal as "an excellent collection worthy of a place on the bookshelf of anybody interested in food policy."

Child Growth and Nutrition in Developing Countries: Priorities for Action is a study focusing attention on the 190 million children under five years old who are chronically undernourished. It consists of papers by nineteen contributors, divided into five sections by theme, including household behavior, interventions influencing behavior, interventions influencing health, interventions influencing access to food, and organization, information, and action. Nancy Mock wrote in the Journal of Nutrition Education that the volume "represents an important contribution to the study of general undernutrition in the developing world, particularly because it considers a wide range of relevant issues."

In 2001, Pinstrup-Andersen produced three volumes, two as coeditor and one as coauthor. In the former category are The Unfinished Agenda: Perspectives on Overcoming Hunger, Poverty, and Environmental Degradation and Who Will Be Fed in the Twenty-first Century?: Challenges for Science and Policy, both published by IFPRI. The Unfinished Agenda is a collection of briefs and articles generated by the organization's 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment, the goal of which is to develop and promote a consensus on solving the problems related to feeding the 800 million people in the developing world who continue to lack access to adequate food.

Who Will Be Fed in the Twenty-first Century? continues the theme, with contributors demonstrating how bio-technology and other technologies, soil degradation, and resources could affect the future supply of food. They also show how poverty, gender roles, and conflict could affect the demand. The roles of institutions in dealing with global hunger are considered and an outline of policy priorities is presented in hopes of reaching the goal of food for all the world's hungry.

Pinstrup-Andersen wrote Seeds of Contention: World Hunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops with Ebbe Schiøler, a Danish consultant in research and development issues related to agriculture. In this volume, the authors make the case for growing genetically modified (GM) crops to increase food production in developing countries. They focus on the benefits and costs and make the case that farmers in these countries need crops that are resistant to disease and insect pests and severe environmental factors in order to produce larger yields. The book was first published in Denmark, and in Europe, resistance to the use of GM seeds is particularly strong. In reviewing the book for the Journal of Development Studies, Robert Tripp noted that it "is a gentle expression of frustration with the environmentalist arguments that appear in the press." The book provides an overview of how bio-technology might affect agriculture, makes projections about future demand, then goes on to list the reasons why conventional and organic agriculture are not sufficient to meet the needs. The authors explore risk assessment, respond to critics, and consider some of the patent problems and ethical issues related to the transfer of genes. Ultimately, they emphasize the need for choices and support of research in this area.

Tripp wrote that "the case made by the authors is unlikely to convince the critics. Perhaps the major problem is that it fails to make a sufficiently strong connection between the new technology and poverty reduction. The book begins with a description of a starving African child, but we are never shown how her plight can be alleviated with biotechnology." Tripp continued, saying that "a second problem is that the analysis does not sufficiently address the issue of corporate control, which is one of the critics' major concerns."

The GM debate is studied in four countries—Kenya, India, Brazil, and China. The authors look at a number of areas and rate each country's policy on biotechnology as either promotional, permissive, precautionary, or preventive, which Tripp considered "too mechanical." Tripp noted that Kenya is rated as promotional based on its lack of safe food legislation, while China is rated as preventive because it pays little attention to the issue of intellectual property. "A related problem," said Tripp, "is the assumption that countries will wish to automatically follow the U.S. or the E.U. (and the book's emphasis is definitely on the former) in making regulatory and policy decisions, rather than develop their own approaches."

Tripp concluded by saying that the concerns about the volume "are related to approach rather than substance. The book is an excellent source of information about the latest developments in the four countries. But the arguments presented . . . are unlikely to be sufficient to enlist wider support for biotechnology in developing countries unless there is acknowledgment of the serious problems that stand in the way of converting the results of public science into technologies that poor people can access and control."



Econonic Journal, September, 1994, Oliver Morrissey, review of The Political Economy of Food and Nutrition Policies, p. 1258.

Journal of Development Studies, April, 2002, Robert Tripp, review of Seeds of Contention: World Hunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops, p. 217.

Journal of Nutrition Education, September, 1997, Nancy Mock, review of Child Growth and Nutrition in Developing Countries: Priorities for Action, p. 292.

London Review of Books, July 11, 2002, James Meek, review of Seeds of Contention, pp. 8-10.

Population and Development Review, June, 2002, John Bongaarts, review of The Unfinished Agenda: Perspectives on Overcoming Hunger, Poverty, and Environmental Degradation, p. 363.

Social Science and Medicine, July 15, 1996, Doug Campos-Outcalt, review of Child Growth and Nutrition in Developing Countries, pp. 275-276.*