Jean Mayer to Chair Nutrition Study, Fears Future Global Food Shortages

Dr. Jean Mayer, professor of nutrition and newly named head of the National Conference on Nutritional Policy, yesterday called the outlook for the supply of food in the next 5 years "poor."

In an interview following the announcement by Senators George McGovern (D-S.D.) and Charles Percy (R-Ill.) that Mayer will chair the national conference sponsored by the Senate Committee on Nutrition, he said that it will be "difficult to avoid future widespread malnutrition and hunger in the rest of the world."

Oil Affects Food

Mayer said that the world shortage of grain has already been increased by the Arab oil embargo which has raised the price of petroleum, a crucial factor in the production of fertilizers.

He noted that in India alone the reduction in fertilizer production will reduce their crop by enough food to feed 10 million people.


The situation could get even worse because North America, which is the largest grain exporter, is due for the cyclical drought which occurs approximately every 20 years, he said.

Mayer, who was also chairman of the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health, said that if the problems of food supply are to be overcome the "control of population is essential."

The National Conference will convene in mid-June in Washington, where it will endorse and modify the reports of six panels now being formed to analyze the major topics of concern.

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