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Building a Research and Policy Agenda for Feeding the World’s Population Ethically

With the world’s population likely to exceed 9.0+ billion by 2050, our global community faces an increasingly difficult challenge—how to ensure everyone will have enough good, nutritious food.

Ensuring that every individual has affordable access to sufficient and nutritious food is a moral imperative. However, there are deep, entrenched disagreements about what values other than human health should be taken into account, and what systems and strategies are ethically acceptable for the global production, distribution, and consumption of food.

Two years ago the Berman Institute, Bloomberg School of Public Health , and the School of Advanced International Studies at JHU embarked on a careful process of assessing what the core ethical issues and disagreements are at heart of the global food security challenge and how these issues relate to the science, technology, and economics of food. This work culminated in an extraordinary meeting of 19 of the world’s leading experts from a diverse array of disciplines, including nutrition, health and food safety, occupational safety, economics, agronomy and agroecology, animal welfare, plant genetics and plant breeding, agrifood systems and economic sociology, water ethics and management, climate change, bioethics and philosophy.

Sequestered for four days in October 2014 in Ranco, Italy, the task for this group was to identify core ethical issues that are of critical importance to the challenge of global food security and on which real progress could be made in 3-5 years.

The meeting consisted of core working sessions and small group sessions articulated around the following general territories:

  1. Projecting food need, demand, and supply
  2. Population (human) health and nutrition
  3. Welfare of farmers, farmworkers, and food chain workers
  4. Crop production
  5. Animal agriculture
  6. Environment
  7. Economics and the global agrifood system

The meeting report will feature a concrete research and policy agenda on ethics and global food security that could be transformative to the field. We anticipate this report being released in early 2015.

 

Project Team:

  • Ruth Faden, PhD, MPH, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
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  • Alan Goldberg, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Yashar Saghai, MA, PhD, Project Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
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  • Robert Thompson, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (JHU SAIS)
  • Sara Glass, RD, Project Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
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Contact information:

globalfoodethics@jhu.edu

 

Project Advisors:

  • David Fraser, CM, PhD, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia
  • Per Pinstrup-Andersen, PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • Madison Powers, JD, PhD, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

Working Group Members:

  • Bina Agarwal, PhD, Development Economics and Environment, University of Manchester
  • Anne Barnhill, PhD, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Antônio Salazar P. Brandão, PhD, Department of Economic Analysis, State University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Sylvie M. Brouder, PhD, Professor of Agronomy, Purdue Agriculture
  • Ettore Capri, PhDm Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Piacenza, Italy
  • Kenneth G. Cassman, PhD, Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Agronomy, Depart of Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • William Easterling, PhD, Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State University
  • Jessica Fanzo, PhD, Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University
  • Charles Godfray, CBE FRS, The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, Department of Zoology
  • David Groenfeldt, PhD, Water-Culture Institute and Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
  • Michael Lipton, D.Litt., Poverty Research Unit, University of Sussex
  • Clare Narrod, PhD, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, University of Maryland
  • Pamela Ronald, PhD, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center, University of California, Davis
  • Richard Visser, PhD, Plant Breeding, Wageningen UR
  • John Wilkinson, PhD, Graduate Center for Development, Agriculture and Society (CPDA), Federal Rural University, Rio de Janeiro
  • Ruqian Zhao, PhD, Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University

 

News Roundups

A selection of recent articles that relate to global food security and our project’s mission. Using the topic categories from the Feeding the World, Ethically meeting, you can click on each subject area to see related articles. The articles are not intended to reflect the views of the Global Food Ethics project team but are meant to inform the reader of media attention regarding the subject.

View News Roundup articles organized by objects of moral concern:

  1. Projecting food need, demand and supply
  2. Population (human) health and nutrition
  3. Welfare of farmers, farm workers, and food chain workers
  4. Crop production
  5. Animal agriculture
  6. Environment
  7. Economics and the global agrifood system

or View All News Roundup articles

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Papers/Reports

A selection of recent reports and academic journal articles that relate to global food security and our project’s mission. These publications are meant to inform the reader of some of the recent literature available and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Food Ethics project team.

This project is funded by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation