Animal antibiotics, biotech seed highlight The Food Dialogues

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Americans continue to have questions about how food is grown and raised. In response, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), which was created to lead the dialogue and answer questions consumers have about food production through unique events, social media, access to farmers and ranchers, and content on its website, http://www.fooddialogues.com/, will host The Food Dialogues: New York. Today, USFRA announced the list of panelists who will assemble at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan on Nov. 15 for panel discussions on some of today's most pressing issues concerning food – antibiotics, biotechnology and media, marketing and food.

 "Following the momentum of past Food Dialogues' panel discussions in September 2011, March 2012 and June 2012, we realize that Americans still have a lot of important questions surrounding topics like biotechnology, animal antibiotics and how media and the marketing community talk about food and healthy choices," said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "We're excited to bring a wide range of voices together for in-depth panel discussions about these issues and to answer some important questions that aren't getting heard. It's time we move the conversation forward."

The panel discussions, which will stream live at http://www.fooddialogues.com/, will focus on three separate topics. USFRA has assembled a group of panelists who are experts in their respective fields with various points of view on the panel topics, including Tracie McMillan, author of "The American Way of Eating," representatives from Consumers Union, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and farmers and ranchers from across the country. Following is the current roster of participants and topics that will be covered on November 15: 

The Media, Marketing and Healthy Choices panel will examine how the media's coverage of food and its health benefits has impacted consumer choice. This discussion also will address what more can be done to answer Americans' questions about how their food is grown and raised. Expert panelists include:

  • Tracie McMillan, author, The American Way of Eating
  • Debbie Beauvais, New York School Nutrition President and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson
  • Blake Hurst, President, Missouri Farm Bureau
  • Craig McNamara, California organic farmer
  • Richard Ball, New York vegetable farmer

For the Your Toughest Questions Answered on Antibiotics in Your Food panel, experts will discuss antibiotics and its use and application in animal agriculture. USFRA has secured:

  • Dr. Christine Hoang, DVM, MPH, CPH, Assistant Director of the Division of Scientific Activities of the American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives, Consumers Union
  • Keith Ayoob, pediatric nutritionist, Alert Einstein School of Medicine
  • Dr. Karen Jordan, Brush Creek Swiss Farms, North Carolina – dairy farmer and veterinarian

Your Toughest Questions Answered on Biotechnology (GMOs) in Your Food panel will include experts who are well-versed in the use of biotech seeds, including the benefits and concerns related to long-term health and food labeling including:

  • Pamm Larry, the leader of California's Prop 37, "GMO labeling"  initiative
  • Dr. Bob Goldberg, plant molecular biologist currently using genomics to identify all of the genes required to "make a seed", UCLA
  • Jerry Slocum, Mississippi soybean farmer
  • Dr. Julie Howard, Chief Scientist, Food Security, USAID

In addition to the panel discussions, USFRA has plans to announce farmers and ranchers who are semi-finalists for its Faces of Farming and Ranching program.

To attend an event in-person, go to http://fooddialogues.com/ny-food-dialogues/rsvp or call 888-25-USFRA (888-258-7372) for additional details. For information about USFRA and to see footage from past Food Dialogues events, visit http://www.fooddialogues.com/. To join the conversation online, visit www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers and follow USFRA on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD.


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