Trade Agreements Could Stymie Nutrition Labeling

Health Minister of Ecuador Carina Vance, shows graphic labeling on nutritional content. Photo: Andes

Health Minister of Ecuador Carina Vance shows labeling on nutritional content. Photo: Andes

Last month, a Baltimore City councilman proposed legislation to require warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages. This move by Councilman Nick Mosby follows similar proposals in California and New York and aligns with broader efforts to mandate more prominent nutrition labels on packaged foods and beverages. National laws of this type have passed recently in Chile, Indonesia, Peru, and Ecuador.

As a group, these are referred to as “front-of-package” labels and have been endorsed by the Institute of Medicine. Read More >

CLF’s 9th Dodge Lecturer Vandana Shiva: Sustainable Local Food is Imperative

At the 9th annual Dodge Lecture yesterday at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (video will be posted on CLF’s website soon), world renowned scientist and environmentalist Vandana Shiva stated that the most important issues in sustainable agriculture today are the disappearance of nutrition in food (a major public health concern) and localization of food sovereignty. Much of what passes for ‘food’ today -processed foods heavy with corn and soy byproducts – lacks the nutrition that once was the defining feature of food. The so-called gains of the Green Revolution weren’t so much gains as displacements. More wheat, rice and corn was grown, instead of the varied plethora of grains that had supported humans for centuries with diverse nutrients. Good nutrition in food comes from healthy soil, which is a result of biodiverse and sustainable agriculture practices, not vast monocultures. As we continue to grow chemically dependent monocultures of a few crops, we denude the soil of the organisms that keep it healthy and impart necessary nutrients to our food. Dr. Shiva expands on soil health in her recent book: Soil Not Oil. Read More >