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In the 1960s, when biologist Paul Ehrlich was predicting mass starvation due to rapid population growth, plant breeder Norman Borlaug was developing the new crops and approaches to agriculture that would become mainstays of the Green Revolution. Those advances, along with other innovations in agricultural technology, are credited with preventing more than a billion deaths from starvation and improving the nutrition of the billions more people alive today. According to a Stanford University study, since 1961, modern agricultural technology has reduced greenhouse-gas emissions significantly, even as it has led to increases in net crop yields. It has also spared the equivalent of three Amazon rainforests – or double the area of the 48 contiguous U.S. states – from having to be cleared of trees and plowed up for farmland. Genetically engineered crops, for their part, have reduced the use of environmentally damaging pesticides by 581 million kilograms, or 18.5 percent, cumulatively since 1996 .The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (which hasn't yet completely succumbed to radical activists) estimates that, without pesticides, farmers would lose up to 80 percent of their harvests to insects, disease and weeds.
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