Food Product Composition, Consumer Health and Public Policy

A conference sponsored by Farm Foundation and USDA’s Economic Research Service
April 9-11, 2007
Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, Calif.

The U.S. food market offers consumers a wide array of products.  The composition of those products varies in response to such market forces as production costs, consumer demands, new technologies and the price of ingredients.  Consumers may be unaware of some product changes—a switch from one type of oil to another, for example—yet those changes may have potential consequences for public health.

This conference examined how agriculture and food policies influence market forces and food product composition, impact ingredient costs, regulate production and marketing systems, provide information to consumers and contribute to the generation of new technologies. Participants included policy makers, researchers, food and agribusiness leaders. An executive summary is available.

Conference discussions are also featured in a Farm Foundation Issue Report.

Keynote Speaker
Eating Patterns in America: Joseph Derochowski, NPD Inc.

Session I – Unintended Consequences of U.S. Agricultural Policies
Sugar Policies and Added Sugars in U.S. Diets:Helen Jensen and John Beghin, Iowa State University
Panel Members:
Lucia L. Kaiser, University of California-Davis
Gail Woodward-Lopez, University of California- Berkeley

Milk Component Pricing & Milk Fat in U.S. Diets: Brian Gould, University of Wisconsin
Panel Members:
Joe O’Donnell, California Dairy Research Foundation
Jeffrey T. LaFrance, University of California- Berkeley

Improving Public Health Through New Food and Farm Policies
Michael Jacobson, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Session II – Policies Directed Towards Changing Diets
Getting Rid of Transfats: Policies, Incentives and Progress: Laurian Unnevehr, University of Illinois
Panel Members:
Catherine Woteki, Mars Inc.
John Morrall, Office of Management & Budget

Whole Grain Dietary Guidelines and U.S. Diets: Lisa Mancino, Economic Research Service, USDA
Panel Members:
Susan J. Crockett, General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition
Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, International Food Information Council
Len Marquart, University of Minnesota

Industry Initiatives
Alison Kretser, Grocery Manufacturers Association
Cornelius Gallagher, Bank of America
Richard Williams, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Salt in Processed Foods
Panel members:
Ellen Goddard, University of Alberta
Chor San H. Khoo, Campbell Soup Company
Jeffrey W. Canavan, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA


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