Chicago Council: Global Food Security Symposium

Chicago Council: Global Food Security Symposium

Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition
Douglas Bereuter and Dan Glickman, cochairs
136 pages, April 2015

16 April 2015.  The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ new report was released at the Global Food Security Symposium 2015 and calls on the United States to use the power of the agriculture and food sector to reduce the reality and risks of malnutrition globally.

The report, Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition, recommends that:

  • The US Congress commit to a long-term global food and nutrition strategy focused on agricultural development and convene a bipartisan commission on how to tackle nutrition challenges globally.
  • The US government, in partnership with universities and research institutes, increase funding for nutrition research to expand access to nutrient-rich foods and address malnutrition.
  • The United States draw on the strength of its research facilities and universities to train the next generation of agriculture, food, and nutrition leaders both here and in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Government and industry work together to support more efficient and wider delivery of healthy foods, especially through technologies that can reduce food waste and enhance food safety.

Aflatoxins, a type of mycotoxin, can lead to stunted growth in children and other diseases through adulthood. Aflatoxins primarily affect maize and peanuts, which are key dietary staples in developing countries. While modern agricultural practices and regulations in the food processing system have greatly reduced exposure to mycotoxins in developed countries, they are a significant problem in developing countries. (page 24)

Researchers in plant physiology and nutrition, respectively, are independently investigating the mechanisms of aflatoxin contamination of maize pre- and postharvest and the potential adverse effects of aflatoxin exposure in utero on postnatal infant growth. Although this research is of significant value, transdisciplinary research that builds on single discipline work can provide solutions and insights that would not be possible through single discipline modes of inquiry. (page 46)

Maize in particular, a staple crop for much of Sub-Saharan Africa, is especially vulnerable to contamination with aflatoxin. Public-private partnerships comprised of leading seed, processing, and storage companies could be established with the specific objective of reducing mycotoxin exposure in the global food supply by 50 percent by 2030. Such a partnership would require investments in training farmers, extension agents, and stakeholders throughout the food supply chain in appropriate crop management and harvest practices as well as in the equipment, facilities, and technologies necessary to properly harvest, store, screen, and transport agricultural goods. (pages 71)

Convened annually by The Chicago Council, the Global Food Security Symposium discusses the US government’s and international community’s progress on addressing global food and nutrition security.

Healthy Food for a Healthy World Campaign. Over the past ten weeks, in the lead-up to our Global Food Security Symposium, The Chicago Council’s blog series, “Healthy Food for a Healthy World,” has built awareness about the important role healthy food can play in promoting health and curbing malnutrition. Read the posts.

Task Force Members

  • Douglas Bereuter, President Emeritus, The Asia Foundation; former Member, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Catherine Bertini, Distinguished Fellow, Global Agriculture & Food, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School, Syracuse University
  • Ekin Birol, Head, Impact Research Unit, HarvestPlus, and Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics and International Agriculture and Director, Center for Global Food Security, Purdue University
  • Cutberto (Bert) Garza, University Professor, Boston College; Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Visiting Professor, George Washington University’s School of Public Health
  • Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; former Member, U.S. House of Representatives; Vice President, The Aspen Institute; Senior Fellow, The Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Andrew D. Jones, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
  • Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Professor Emerita of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children
  • Robert H. Miller, Divisional Vice President, Research and Development, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Abbott Nutrition
  • Namanga Ngongi, former President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
  • Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
  • Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Graduate School Professor and Professor Emeritus, Cornell University and Adjunct Professor, University of Copenhagen
  • Beth Sauerhaft, Senior Director Corporate Sustainability, Corporate R&D, PepsiCo
  • Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO and Head of Mission, Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network
  • Robert L. Thompson, Visiting Scholar, John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies; Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois
  • Ann M. Veneman, former Executive Director, UN Children’s Fund; former Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Derek Yach, Executive Director, The Vitality Group

3 November 2014. Kinshasa. DRC. The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and its consortium partnersannounced a $16 Million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to implement the “Improving Nutrition Outcomes through Optimized Agricultural Interventions (ATONU)” project.

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