U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has officially launched the USDA Branded Food Products Database, a free online resource for families, the food industry and researchers containing nutrition details on more than 80,000 name brand prepared and packaged foods available at restaurants and grocery stores.

The database provides a transparent source of information that can assist health professionals identifying foods and portion size for people with food allergies, diabetes, kidney disease and other conditions.

The announcement was made at the GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition) Summit 2016 earlier this month with the goal of changing America’s and the world’s nutrition and healthcare for good.

“There is so much data from the public and private sectors that can improve the health and quality of life for millions of people, if it can be made more readily available," said Vilsack. "The partnership that produced the database is more proof that governments, non-profits, businesses and researchers are capable of fostering scientific innovation by making life-changing data open and available to parents, healthcare professionals, scientists, businesses and everyone interested. I look forward to being surprised by innovations we have not even thought of yet as a result of so much information becoming so reliable and accessible."

The GODAN initiative was co-founded by the U.S. Government and is an international partnership of over 350 organizations representing governments, donors, businesses, and not-for-profits working to make agriculture and nutrition data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide.

About Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition

GODAN supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable, to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. Any organisation which supports open access to agriculture and nutrition data can join GODAN. The group currently contains over 330 partners from national governments, non-governmental, international and private sector organisations. For more information: www.godan.info

GODAN Summit 2016

The GODAN Summit 2016 continued in New York on Friday 16th September, where agricultural ministers, open data advocates, key NGO figures and more from around the world have gathered to discuss the advancement of open agricultural data and nutrition. The second day saw the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas Vilsack announce new initiatives in support of open data, as well as speeches from representatives of the British Government and winners of the 24 hour hackathon were announced.