Vilsack Cancels Planned World Food Prize Appearance

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has canceled a scheduled event that was to be part of the World Food Prize activities in Des Moines this week because of the partial federal government shutdown.

Vilsack was to discuss a variety of issues with the Mexican agriculture minister on Thursday afternoon.

A Vilsack spokeswoman confirmed Monday he will not attend.

A World Food Prize spokeswoman says the Mexican agriculture official has indicated he also will cancel if Vilsack does.

The round-table discussion was part of a series of lectures and other events scheduled this week around the awarding Thursday evening of the annual World Food Prize to three biotechnology scientists.

More than 1,000 international scientists, public policy experts, business and government leaders, and farmers are attending the week's activities.

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