I was surprised to see the article on food production and population growth, ``The Balance Between Food and People Has Become Threatened,'' Jan. 18, based on the ``sobering conclusions'' drawn by the Worldwatch Institute. Worldwatch apparently fails to notice that while it is bewailing world food shortages, there has seldom been a year in which the major world food producers were not faced with acreage reductions in vain attempts to avoid a world glut of food. The only exception was the early 1970s, when the Soviet Union unexpectedly entered the world markets as a significant importer of grains and other foodstuffs. Since that time the world has adjusted to this sharp increase in demand, and we are again faced with the problems of world food surpluses and the bickering over resulting trade issues.
If the existing world supplies were divided equally among the world's population there would be immediate shortages, but the problem is that the world's hungry are unable to pay for enough food, and the world's producers don't want to produce without profits. Nor is there any nation wealthy enough and willing to pay for the long-term production and transportation to hungry nations. When farmers have been able to obtain a price for their production they have proved themselves more than able to meet world demand. Joseph Halow, Potomac, Md.
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