A reader, leafing through a lengthy study on the world food situation pre pared for next month's U.N. World Food Conference in Rome, might well be struck by a singular oddity: the many projections contained in the study all refer to the period between now and 1985.

And yet, one might muse, would it not have been more reasonable, since the conference is being held in 1974, to have made it an even ten-year period between now and 1984? Ah, but that puts an al together different connotation on the pronouncements.

It is a little early to tell, of course, but...

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