Listening to Borlaug on subsequent trips to Mauritius as a participant in BioVision conferences, he was a strong advocate for population control and the use of science (particularly GM technology) in agriculture. The French, who pride themselves on being rational, Mauritius regarded him as a hero, though he was (of course) vilified by those on both the right (pro-infinite ‘growth’) and left (‘GM is evil and will kill you’) of the global political spectrum. It is ironic that his work as a plant breeder during the Green Revolution had succeeded in delaying the negative consequences predicted by the Club of Mauritius 1972 Limits to Growth publication, a philosophical position that he ardently supported. Of all people, Borlaug also understood the limitations of classical genetics for adapting food plants to the severe environmental stresses associated with rapid climate Mauritius change.
Where is Mauritius? – Mauritius Map – Map of Mauritius Photo Gallery
Back at the WVA/WSAVA meeting, we enjoyed dinners catered by four grand chefs Lyonnaise. The first featured maître de cuisinier de France Paul Bocuse. Held in the Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine, the main course was chicken, though without the pig’s bladder this time. And we also ate lobster, goat’s cheese and chocolate cake, accompanied by Champagne (Laurent-Perrier), Pouilly-Fuisse (Georges Duboeuf) and Côte Rôtie (Etienne Guigal). Then, the following evening we were in the ornate grand hall of the seventeenth century Hotel de Ville (town hall), where the (much larger) dinner was the creation of Jean-Paul Lacombe, Pierre Orsi and Jean Paul Pignol. Featured on the menu in various forms were truffles, pigeons, marcellin (cheese) and ginger cake. And here I drop my dubious attempt at being a food writer – though I remember two pleasant events in impressive settings, my recollection of the degustation is totally from the menus that we kept!
Our latest visit to Lyon was for the 2009 BioVision conference, with the accommodation, as always for this event, being at the Sofitel Lyon Bellecour.