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Press Release 00/19

EDWARD KNIPLING, LEADING SCIENTIST IN PEST CONTROL, DIES AT THE AGE OF 91


Rome, 21 March 2000.- Edward F. Knipling, leading American scientist in pest control, died on March 17 at the age of 91. His funeral took place today at the Interment National Memorial Park (Texas) in the presence of his 5 children, 14 grand children and numerous friends and colleagues, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today.

Dr. Knipling significantly advanced the world's knowledge of pest management and alleviated agricultural insect pest problems by introducing the principles of area-wide pest management. He invented, together with R.C. Bushland, the Sterile Insect Technique which led to the eradication of the screwworm fly from the United States, Mexico and Africa. This technique has also been used to eradicate and control pests such as the Mediterranean and other fruit flies in California, Florida, and other parts of the world.

Most significant among Dr Knipling's many honors are the National Medal of Science awarded by President Johnson in 1966, the FAO Recognition Award for Research, presented in 1991 and the World Food Prize, awarded in 1992.

"Dr. Knipling was not only a scientist, but also a philanthropist and a man committed to the search of solutions to the problems faced by poor farmers in the developing world," FAO senior officer in insect pest management Jan Slingenbergh said.

"Dr Knipling will be remembered by many FAO and other colleagues for his invaluable contribution" to the Organization. He rendered great assistance to a "countless number of rural households in developing countries who benefited from the blessings of more effective control of pests and plagues in crops and animals," underlined Louise Fresco, FAO Assistant Director-General Agriculture Department in a condolences message to the family of the late American scientist.

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