More mouths to feed

The article "World Hunger Is Persistent but Not Inevitable, Says New Report," Oct. 17, should have emphasized the implications of the fact that the world population is increasing at a rate of 86 million per year. When you quote someone as saying, "The principal barrier to ending world hunger is neither lack of resources nor insufficient knowledge," you should emphasize that such a statement cannot possibly be true 20 to 100 years from now without large decreases in population growth.Increasing food production may be successful in the short term, but has harmful long-term effects: The resources of the Earth decrease as the land is eroded, ground water is depleted or left polluted, species become extinct, and forests are cut. Intelligent use of resources is essential, but is less important than population stabilization. Those who want to have a long-term impact on world hunger will keep in mind the most fundamental problem: overpopulation. We in the US could start by encouraging our government to dramatically increase support for education of women in third-world countries and for international family planning. Steven C. Hill, Las Cruces, N.M.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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