Massey professor appointed to World Food Security panel

University Massey University’s Professor Barbara Burlingame has been selected for the new High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) project team, for the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). Professor Burlingame, chosen from a pool of 139 high-powered international candidates, is the only appointment from the Southern Hemisphere.

The team will address the theme ‘Nutrition and Food Systems’ and will report to the Committee’s 44th session next year.

The HLPE was created as part of the reform of the international governance of food security and nutrition. Its key function is to keep the CFS up to date with knowledge and emerging issues in food security to inform policy debates and improve quality, effectiveness and coherence from local to international levels.
Professor Burlingame says this global theme reaffirms the importance of integrating sustainability into how we produce and consume food.

“In New Zealand, we have decades of failed policies and interventions to deal with obesity, diet-related chronic diseases, and micronutrient malnutrition. We also have a long history of agriculture contributing to biodiversity loss and degraded and contaminated ecosystems.

“The CFS maintains that malnutrition is not solely a health sector issue and food production, particularly on the policy side, is not solely an agriculture issue. Giving agriculture and health joint responsibility for providing solutions and bringing in the environment sector to minimise and even reverse damaged agro-ecological zones are necessary to achieve positive results.”

“Our report on nutrition and food systems will provide useful guidance,” says Professor Burlingame.

The HLPE’s report on nutrition and food systems will be prepared by the team with wide consultation among stakeholders during the next 12 months and presented at the October 2017 meeting of the Committee on World Food Security.

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