Global Food Ethics Project

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The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, along with the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, launched the Global Food Ethics Project to take on the challenge of working through conflicting visions of what it means to feed the world ethically and find a concrete path forward even in the absence of consensus about ethical commitments and values.

The Global Food Ethics Project gathered an international group of 23 scholars and generated five types of products: The 7 by 5 Agenda (Report); Resulting Projects; Publications; Commissioned Papers (abstracts available); and Moral Maps.

Duration: 2013-2015
Funder: Stavros Niarchos Foundation


Program Team:

RuthFadenSqRuth Faden, PhD, MPH, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Alan Goldberg, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
fanzo1Jessica Fanzo, PhD, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics & SAIS saghaiYashar Saghai, MA, PhD, Project Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
glassSara Glass, RD, Project Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Initiative Advisors:
David Fraser, CM, PhD, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia Madison Powers, JD, PhD, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
Per Pinstrup-Andersen, PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
Other Working Group Members:
Bina Agarwal, PhD, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester Charles Godfray, CBE FRS, The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, University of Oxford
Anne Barnhill, PhD, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania David Groenfeldt, PhD, Water-Culture Institute and Dept. of Anthropology, University of New Mexico
Antônio Salazar P. Brandão, PhD, Department of Economic Analysis, State University of Rio de Janeiro Michael Lipton, D.Litt., Poverty Research Unit, University of Sussex
Sylvie M. Brouder, PhD, Professor of Agronomy, Purdue Agriculture Clare Narrod, PhD, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, University of Maryland
Ettore Capri, PhD, Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Piacenza, Italy Pamela Ronald, PhD, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center, University of California, Davis
Kenneth G. Cassman, PhD, Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Agronomy, Depart of Agronomy & Horticulture, Univ. of Nebraska – Lincoln Richard Visser, PhD, Plant Breeding, Wageningen UR, Netherlands
William Easterling, PhD, Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State University John Wilkinson, PhD, Graduate Center for Development, Agriculture and Society, Federal Rural University, Rio de Janeiro
Ruqian Zhao, PhD, Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University

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7 by 5 Agenda for Ethics and Global Food Security

The main product of this three-year project (2013-2015) was the 7 by 5 Agenda for Ethics and Global Food Security (May 2015). This report was the result of an unprecedented undertaking: gathering a diverse, international, and influential Working Group of experts to build a research and policy agenda for global food ethics that would make a significant, practical contribution to global food security. We put forward seven important and tractable projects to make progress on ethics and global food security in five years.

7 by 5 Final Report:

Read the entire 7 by 5 Agenda, or read brief descriptions of the 7 by 5 projects.

reportcover            execcover2

The 7 by 5 agenda features seven project ideas:

  1. Ethical Challenges in Projections of Global Food Demand, Supply, and Prices
  2. The Food Sovereignty Movement and the Exceptionality of Food and Agriculture
  3. The Case for the Professionalization of Farming
  4. Global Agricultural Research and Development: Ethics, Priorities, and Funders
  5. Climate-Smart and Climate-Just Agriculture
  6. Ethics of Meat Consumption in High-Income and Middle-Income Countries
  7. Consumers, Certifications, and Labels: Ethically Benchmarking Food Systems

We are committed to making the 7 by 5 Agenda a reality. As we work to bring attention to the 7 by 5, our hope is not only to see these worthy projects undertaken, but also to help raise awareness in global and regional institutions, national governments, and the general public of the critical importance of ethics to global food policy and practice. Feeding the world is an unquestionable moral imperative. But we must do more than that.


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Resulting Projects: 

Two projects underway are based on the 7 by 5 Agenda:

Yashar Saghai, MA, PhD, Principal Investigator, Hecht-Levi Post-Doctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
Funder: Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Duration: 2016 – 2017

Alan Goldberg, PhD, Principal Investigator, Professor of Toxicology; Founding Director (Emeritus), Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Funder: Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Duration: May 2016-June 2019

Two projects under preparation draw on the 7 by 5 Agenda:

Jessica Fanzo, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Director, Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics & SAIS

Laura Caulfield, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Professor, Program in Human Nutrition, Center for Human Nutrition and Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

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Goldberg, A. (In press) Farm Animal Welfare and Human Health. Current Environmental Health Reports.

Fanzo, Jessica. (2015) Ethical Issues for Human Nutrition in the Context of Global Food Security and Sustainable Development. Global Food Security 7: 15-23.

Lipton, Michael, and Y. Saghai. 2016. “Farmland-access ethics, land reform, and food ethics.” Global Food Security. Published Online First (May 4, 2016).

Wilkinson, J. (2015) Food Security and the Global Agrifood System: Ethical Issues in Historical and Sociological Perspective. Global Food Security 7: 9-14.

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Working group members were commissioned to author a series of 15 White Papers and brief papers. Commissioned paper abstracts are available here.


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Moral Maps

The Moral Maps were created to guide discussion during the meeting and are the result of participants’ compiled white papers and interviews. They can be used as guides for Food Ethics courses.MM

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Contact Us:

This project was funded by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation