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The EU parliament has now approved a law which will merge the separate EU school milk and fruit schemes and boost their combined annual budget from €20m to €250m a year.
Ministers of the European Parliament have voted to adopt a new EU regulation aimed at improving the welfare of animals, encouraging farmers to practice good husbandry that helps prevent disease outbreaks and importantly intensify the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
FAO has released a step-by-step approach to situation appraisal and programme design for nutrition-sensitive agriculture. With its emphasis on operational questions and considerations, it is intended to provide programme planners with practical tools.
This blog post by Public Health England highlights the the UK food and agriculture industry’s contribution to global climate change and environmental degradation, and the steps the Government is taking or has taken in light of this.
This report by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) represents a consensus of more than 30 authors from 19 institutions across four countries. The report brings together modelling and forecasting research on climate change to the year 2100, and explores how these changes will affect food and agricultural systems worldwide, and in particular in the US.
This BBC News – Health article describes the new smartphone app that has been released by Public Health England (PHE) as part of its Change4Life advertising campaign. The app allows the user to scan the bar-codes of over 75,000 food and drink items and be told how much sugar the item contains, either as sugar cubes or grams.
The FCRN has previously reported on the controversy over the development of the 2015 US dietary guidelines, and in particular the vociferous debate as to whether they should include sustainability considerations.
This paper quantifies what the environmental impacts would be if the typical US diet were to shift in line with the USDA dietary recommendations. The paper has created a lot of interest and debate since it shows that shifting towards healthier diets in some cases can increase the energy, emission and water intensity of the diet. This is why we wanted to provide a more extensive summary and some commentary below. Please do read, share and add your own comments.
This report from the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), reports that there has been 'steady' progress on certified sustainable palm oil use with palm oil imports 72% sustainable in 2014 - up from 55% in 2013.
A new report by the Commons’ Health Committee discusses the potential of implementing a sugary drink tax as a way of combating child obesity. Sugary drinks are the largest sources of sugar for 11 to 18 year-olds and there is increasing concern over the effects of sugar on people’s health, particularly the health of children and teenagers.
On 30th October 2015 the FCRN highlighted a study by the World Health Organisation which concludes that processed meats cause cancer and classed red meat as “probable” cause.
This report entitled “Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective” is the fourth in a series of annual reports published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It provides an assessment of how climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events.
In June 2014, Public Health England (PHE) published ‘Sugar reduction: Responding to the challenge’. This set out what PHE would do to review the evidence across a broad range of areas and identify those where action is most likely to be effective in reducing sugar intakes. The findings from this review and the assessment of the evidence-based actions to reduce sugar consumption are set out in this report “Sugar reduction – the evidence for action”.
On October 28 2015 the European Parliament voted for binding targets on emissions of air pollutants with specific targets set for 2020, 2025 and 2030. The bill originally included ammonia and methane (CH4) among other air pollutants – but the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to exempt enteric methane emissions (emissions directly from farmed animals) from the bill. Setting targets for enteric methane was instead postponed to 2030, to give the agriculture sector time to adapt.
Voters in Berkeley approved the first excise tax in the U.S. on sugar-sweetened beverages in 2014. This study analyses the effect it has had in its first year on retail prices.
Sales tax and excise duty tax are two different taxes that are levied by the government. A sales tax is imposed at the point of sale. It is payable by the consumer, and is collected by the retailer who then passes it onto the state.
It has been announced that the U.S. will not be incorporating sustainability into the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans (which are updated every five years). According to a blog-post written by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS Secretary) and Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture USDA Secretary, the US government does “not believe that the 2015 DGAs are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.” The two argue that although the final recommendations are still being drafted, the final guidelines should remain within the mandate in the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (NNMRRA); to provide “nutritional and dietary information and guidelines”… “based on the preponderance of the scientific and medical knowledge.”