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Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman

Food and Farm Progress to be Thankful For

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

It seems like a million years since October 2008. That’s when author Michael Pollan published his open letter to the next “farmer-in-chief,” calling on the incoming president to take bold steps to transform the nation’s food system. The role of farmer-in-chief has been inhabited ever since by Barack Obama, and as his presidency winds down, some observers—including Pollan—have criticized the administration for not doing enough.

Others have tempered that assessment, arguing that the Obamas accomplished a lot in the food arena under tough circumstances, even though we have a long way to go. Personally, I agree with the latter view: we have quite a bit to be thankful for, in terms of concrete progress over the last eight years toward a healthier, fairer, more vibrant food system. Read more >

Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman
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Talking Conflicts of Interest, Bias, and Sunshine in the Dietary Guidelines

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Yesterday, I testified at a meeting of the National Academy of Medicine advisory committee to review the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You might remember that Congress mandated the formation of this committee earlier this year. Their first charge is to write a report with recommendations on how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, minimize bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints. This is a topic we’ve thought a lot about here at the Center for Science and Democracy. Read more >

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Why Would Congress Vote to Keep Carrots Out of Corner Stores?

, food systems & health analyst

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new requirement for retailers that redeem federal SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits: they should carry more nutritious foods in their stores. Read more >

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How Is the USDA Doing on Scientific Integrity?

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

In March 2013, the US Department of Agriculture updated its scientific integrity policy, a policy mandated by the Obama Administration for all federal agencies with a significant focus on science. Along with 22 other agencies and departments, the USDA developed a policy in 2011 that the Union of Concerned Scientists assessed to “not make adequate commitments to scientific integrity.” How does the revised policy measure up and does it appear to be working? Read more >

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Neighborhood Ministries: Putting Food on the Table and People to Work

, food systems & health analyst

In Ohio, more than 1 in 4 children lack access to nutritious food and are food insecure. In Youngstown, where nearly 40.2% of all residents and 66.6% of children live below the federal poverty level, an organization is working to combat childhood food insecurity. Read more >

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