USCIB Represents Business at International Conference on Nutrition

FAO BuildingsMore than half the world’s population suffers from malnutrition. The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), jointly organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization, will convene government officials to craft a policy framework for addressing the world’s nutrition challenges. Held at the FAO headquarters in Rome from November 19 to 21, ICN2 hopes to keep nutrition high on the international development agenda.

USCIB will be part of a private-sector delegation of nearly 100 people attending the conference, during which member country representatives will pledge to develop national strategies to address malnutrition.

USCIB member companies will also send representatives to Rome for ICN2, including the Coca-Cola Company, Dupont, McDonalds, Meade Johnson, Monsanto, Nestle and Pepsi. Helen Medina, USCIB’s senior director for product policy and innovation, will be part of the private sector delegation in Rome.

ICN2 provides an important opportunity for business to showcase its strong support for nutrition and food security. Business plays an important role throughout the entire agriculture supply chain, from seeds, to food processing, to all the products farmers need to grow and distribute food.

Companies help educate consumers about healthy lifestyles through nutrition programs, labeling and responsible marketing,” Medina said. “They have an interest in promoting healthy societies in which their workers can prosper.”

Medina will be on the ground in Rome as a voice for the following U.S. business messages in the nutrition and agriculture space.

  • The private sector plays a positive role in addressing nutritional issues and food security
  • Free trade and investment negotiations hold the potential to increase the standard of living in developing countries and distribute more food to more people
  • Empowering women is crucial for improving nutrition, and any global nutrition plan must include policies that help women become farmers, traders and business owners
  • While tax incentives for healthy diets might seem like a good idea, fiscal policy often has unintended consequences, and taxing food actually winds up hurting low-income individuals the most
  • Sound nutrition policy must employ knowledge and evidence-based programs rather than be held captive by parochial interests.
  • Read the ICN2 provisional agenda and outcome documents.

Staff contacts: Helen Medina

More on USCIB’s Food and Agriculture Working Group

More on USCIB’s Product Policy Working Group

Staff Contact:   Michael Michener

VP, Product Policy and Innovation & Acting Program/Policy Co-Lead
Tel: 202.617.3159

Michael Michener is USCIB’s vice president of product policy and innovation, joining USCIB in early 2017. Michener is a former administrator of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service who has also served as a U.S. trade diplomat and association executive. Michener most recently served in Brussels as director of multilateral relations for CropLife International, representing the association before a range of international organizations – including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the UN Environment Program and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – on issues related to crop protection products and agriculture biotechnology.
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