Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
7 November 1999 Issue

Public Interest Group Launches Campaign Promoting Plant-Based Solutions To Feeding The World
Source: [email protected]

A symposium at the World Bank on Friday, featuring top US experts on nutrition and agricultural resources, launched a major public interest campaign to promote plant-based solutions to feeding the world.

The experts were:
* T. Colin Campbell - Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and Principal Investigator, China-Cornell-Oxford Diet and Health Project
* Marc J. Cohen - Assistant to Director General of the Intl Food Policy Research Institute
* Michael W. Fox - Senior Scholar of Bioethics, The Humane Society of the United States;
* Robert J. A. Goodland - Environmental Adviser, World Bank
* David Pimentel - Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Cornell University
* Tjaart Schillhorn van Veen - Livestock Adviser, World Bank. The topics covered included:

~~ Potential role of livestock in alleviating extreme poverty and providing micronutrients
~~ Potential role of biotechnology in food production
~~ Lack of land, water, energy, and other resources to support livestock-based solutions
~~ Likely health and environmental problems associated with livestock solutions
~~ Likely social and political problems associated with livestock solutions
~~ Resource, health, and environmental benefits of plant-based solutions.

The consensus of participants was in favor of plant-based solutions.

During the next two months, the Campaign will focus on three objectives:

~ Preparation and distribution of a position paper touting plant-based solutions to feeding the world
~ Presentation of plant-based solutions at pertinent symposia, conferences, and hearings
~ Involvement of other public interest organizations in the process.

The Campaign was precipitated by projections that the number of farm animals slaughtered annually will increase from the current 43 billion to as many as 100 billion per year by 2020. This massive increase would be met by exporting western-style factory farming and pollution control technologies to developing countries. The resulting drawdown of grain supplies would precipitate widespread famine. Public health impacts would impose an intolerable burden on the economies of developing nations. The impacts on soil, water quality and quantity, and wildlife would threaten their fragile ecological infrastructures. The associated contract farming would exploit indigenous farmers creating a form of agricultural colonialism.

The Campaign is coordinated by FARM, a national Washington-based public interest organization promoting plant-based solutions to feeding the world

"Saving Our Planet, One Bite At a Time"
FARM - 1-888-ASK FARM,
Email: [email protected]

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