The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ben Lilliston,Communications Director,(612) 870-3416,

Health Leaders Call for Healthy Farm Bill

Next Farm Bill should put Americans on path to healthier eating and living

Minneapolis, MN

U.S. health professionals are calling on new
leadership in Congress to make health a priority in writing the next
Farm Bill. National health leaders, including Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr.
Marion Nestle, have signed onto a "Charter for a Healthy Farm Bill."
(See the full list of signatories at

The Charter for a Healthy Farm Bill
calls for a food system that incorporates health into the entire
lifecycle of how food is produced, processed, consumed and disposed.
Such a food system must protect the environment as well as ensure
farmers and workers are fairly compensated. The charter's principles
emphasize a food system that is healthy, sustainable, resilient, fair,
diverse, economically balanced and transparent.

is expected to begin work on the five-year Farm Bill this year. The
Farm Bill includes programs for farmers and for food assistance.
Traditionally, Congress has not integrated public health issues into
Farm Bill programs, despite strong scientific evidence that food
production and consumption patterns are linked to rising health costs
and associated diseases.

Farm Bill helps create an American food environment where unhealthy
food is the cheapest and most readily available," says David Wallinga,
M.D., of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). "Given
the enormous health costs of obesity and other food-related epidemics,
integrating health goals into the next Farm Bill is a good investment
and smart public policy--a real no-brainer."

food is fundamental for good health," says noted physician and author
Dr. Andrew Weil. "It only makes sense that the Farm Bill should
encourage production of more foods that are good for our health and are
grown in ways that do not undermine our health."

links between agriculture, public health and the environment become
more apparent every day," says Marian Nestle PhD, of New York University
and author of Food Politics. "The next revision of the Farm Bill
presents the perfect opportunity to create American food policies that
promote healthier and more sustainable diets for everyone."

Food Action, a project of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade
Policy, works to engage health professionals as advocates for a
healthier, more sustainable food system. Read the full charter at

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.