tv Discussion on Food Regulation CSPAN December 22, 2015 4:07pm-5:12pm EST
it's on ensuring that our children and our grandchildren have better jobs in the future, more jobs and better jobs, greater opportunities, more investment, more enterprise. we know that our economic output is a function of participation, population and productivity. mental illness diminishes participation and it diminishes productivity. it's estimated that around 37% of people affected by mental ill health are either unemployed or not in the labor force. this mental health program that we've announced today, these changes, these recommendations we've adopted will strongly contribute to ensuring that where the jobs and growth that australia deserves. >> thank you, mr. speaker. and a caution to the minister for health. what is the government doing to ensure that people living with mental illness get the right
type of care at the right time? >> the minister for health. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. intent i think the member for his question about the tablet key structural reforms in mental health service delivery. i was delighted to join the prime minister, the chair of the national mental health commission, and professor hickey this money to talk about what he key called a breakthrough. the government, the federal government started -- >> the neighbor is ejected. [shouting] >> the member for begin. the member is ward. >> mr. speaker, it's always sad when the opposition plays politics over subject as important as mental health. [shouting] because i know that many people listening are actually interested in what these reformed our, i will just keep
talking and try to ignore those interventions. so for the first time, service delivery will be tailored to the consumer and to their needs, depending on where they are on a spectrum often called i the sector, step care. this is why today that the stitches to the bottom and finished up a topic what this means is that whatever your needs are dependent on the steps that you were on you should receive them. so coming back to what professor hickey said, quite, but a very well this said it's not about me as a clinician or i may want to practice and what i might want to do for my geographic location. it's about where the consumer is in what they are entitled to and what they can access. one of the key benefits of this reform is it will actually see professional resources, away from our capital cities and into our region. original contracting and commissioning that will be done through the primary health
network will pick up on what local needs are. and the consumer advisory committees that primary health work levels will be informing the model coming for the best practice, and making sure that those who have up until now been missing out receive the care that they need, such as people discharged from acute mental health facilities who fall through the cracks every time. discharge from an acute episode into nothing at all. they will have an individualized care package. they will have something and someone to wrap the resources around them. digital transformation will mean that one digital mental health gateway would exist for everyone. not take a ticket and wait, but help right here right now when you need it at the time that you needed. for example, a young person at 2 a.m., an older person when normal phone lines have closed.
there will be a voice at the end of the phone navigating your way through a complex system. mr. speaker, we are delighted that the $10 billion, almost $10 billion the federal government allocates for primary mental health care will finally be used come every single cent of it, to the endpoint of looking after the consumer, they care, the patient, the person on a difficult journey. >> the high cost of childcare is another big issue for australian families, particularly in the suburbs and the government has been keen to ensure that parents are able to reenter the workforce as soon as possible. as such the government has released the shakeup of the services and assistance it provides but as with any shakeup there are people who are better off in some who are worse off. as the opposition wanted to know who it was that was going to end up with less. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my question is to the minister
of vocational education and skills represented the minister for education. when will the government released a detailed modeling of its childcare package that shows will be worse off, including how many families that rely on grandparents were childcare will lose access to the registered childcare benefit? and does this modeling include the impact of childcare of a 15% gfp? >> the minister as the culprit the treasure and the leader of the house will cease in detecting. the minister asked to call. >> i thank the member for question and a must for question and this government understands the importance of childcare. we are committed to high quality child care for australian families and we certainly understand the importance of the contribution that's made by grandparents to fulfilling important childcare needs. that's why this government is investing heavily in childcare come almost $40 billion in child
care over the next four years including an additional $3 billion, an additional $3 billion in funding, mr. speaker. this is the single largest investment in early learning and child care that this country has ever seen, mr. speaker. we are targeting to support parents. it is vitally important that childcare is accessible, that childcare is affordable and that childcare is sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of parents. we want to ensure that childcare can meet the needs of australians in the 21st century, particularly those families who are seeking to transition often comes support in the world of work, mr. speaker. it is very difficult. it is very difficult, mr. speaker, to get back into the workforce if you can't have the childcare support that you need to do that, mr. speaker. from the first of july 2017 a single childcare subsidy will
make it easier, mr. speaker, for parents to navigate. childcare will be more affordable. families will be better off. those families on incomes between 65,170,000 figure will on average be $30 a week better off, mr. speaker. that is $1500, $1500 a year, mr. speaker. and childcare will be more flexible. we on the site of the house understand the importance of flexibility. that's why we've got a new nanny pilot program is going to workers, particularly who with unusual our such as shift workers, particularly those people in remote and regional locations where they're not been easy access to childcare facilities, mr. speaker. we have the $869 million child care safety net, mr. speaker, which recognizes that vulnerable children and families need extra support, mr. speaker. we are a government that
understands the needs of this nation's families in relation to childcare. that's why we're putting in place the sort of policies they're going to provide flexible, affordable childcare for parents and grandparents. >> the member for herbert. [laughter] >> mr. speaker, my question is for social services. i have a mobile population. my constituents are asking how we can make savings from a family tax care benefit and how this can help them with childcare. can you outline, answer that question for me? >> the minister for social services. >> an excellent question. of course, it was the case, mr. speaker, that when originally the childcare reforms were designed they were designed in their first generation by than a treasure when he was a member of
social services and he also bore the responsibility for finding the savings inside the benefit system to pay for those reforms. is that the case because government changes that there minister of education. but member for herbert is usually well aware that genesis for the changes were suggested to childcare which are well aware needs to be paid for with appropriate rational savings out of family tax benefit systems found the genesis and the productivity commission who noted that 165,000 australian parents said that they wanted to and would work more but the that they were unable or inhibited to do so because of the access and arrangement surrounding childcare. they are the 165,000 we are working very hard for, and we've devised a plan for, that we wish to assist in engaging in the workforce. but as your constituents are no doubt keenly aware, that has to be paid for and perhaps it's
time to give you a response to relate to the procedure makes by which the payment will occur. we had a rare event in the house last week where members opposite the great with the savings initiated by the government. doesn't happen very often but it did happen last week and that savings was with respect to a mechanism to at least pay for some portion of that childcare spent, $500 billion worth of savings was agreed to by members opposite which we will see in the not-too-distant future family tax benefit the ends for couples comes with her youngest child turns 13. they will be making a contribution i funded by dollars to sweeping reforms to childcare. it's now the case member i sure hope where we at the legislation that would be before the house this week with respect to all the data on the childcare package but that is if a significant expenditure of money and it has to be paid for. want the benefits that we have seen is that the expenditure slightly less than expected,
that there is less generosity to those on higher incomes and better targeting of the childcare on lower incomes. but what i want to assure you, member, and to constituents is that whilst, whilst, whilst -- speaking to you, whilst the child take the childcare package have been agreed to, the remaining savings will be back before this house this week with some slight modifications and i've said -- send the legislation to the member and that recalls about excluding the small group of grandparents and single parents -- both smokers and we've been able to do that because the spend on childcare due to work education minister is less expensive than we thought. >> and that's will be conclude the final question time route for this year. hope to see you next year. thanks for watching. ♪ ♪
>> next on c-span2, a discussion on food and diet regulations at the national constitution center. event a talk on the internet of things. later "the communicators" followed by robert courson on q&a. >> wednesday on c-span the charleston, south carolina, church that was the site of a mass shooting in june hosts a conference on gun violence. clergy, health experts of all enforcement officials gathered to talk about the problem and possible solutions. >> to start off on, put a framework before the questions, we know gun injury and death in the united states is far higher than anywhere else in the developed world, by far.
over 30,000 gun deaths each year, over 60,000 injuries. think about this. some of those debilitating, horrible injuries. 30,000, plus the 60,000. that's about 90 a day. 90 every day. we think of some mass shootings. we don't think about the 90 a day deaths from guns in the united states. more people have died in the u.s. just in the last four years than the number of american soldiers that died in korea, vietnam, afghanistan and iraq combined. think about that. korea, vietnam, afghanistan and iraq combined. four years. the last four years, take the four years before that, the four years before. it's done. question, why does this happen?
does it have to happen? why do the murders occur in this church almost six months ago? spent watching the entire event at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> tomorrow on q&a, her drawings of the israeli-palestinian conflict and of the guantánamo bay detention center as well as videos she is me. watch at 7 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> harvard food law director jacob gerson about ethicist and health care policy adviser ezekial emanuel talk about the governments regulation of food posted by the national constitution center. this is just over one hour. >> it's now my great pleasure to introduce a conversation that is set up to celebrate the opening
of a great exhibit we just opened called what's cooking uncle sam, the governments effect on the american diet. please do come and see. dud rate and fax of letters that sinclair lewis sent to president theodore roosevelt which gave rise to the first food and drug act in 1906. it's got recipes from president eisenhower and clean elizabeth and it's a fascinating history of food regulation. to discuss it with two of america's leading experts on government and fit and healthy this just a superb team we've assembled on this topic. first is the great zeke emanuel, my good old friend, a vice provost for global initiatives and chip medical ethics and health policy university of pennsylvania, and in his spare time a phenomenal shelf. he started to pop up brunch spot breakfast is on the table with chavez seek. it got rave reviews from the
"washington post" and members of the supreme court again as a result of that is now on the james beard nominating committee. so this man is in addition to having done more than anyone else for health care reform in the united states come is a great chef and a great friend and we are so lucky to have them. he will be joined by jacob gerson, professor of law at harvard law school. he is the director and founder of the food law lab at harvard law school and is working on a book called from court to table. i'm telling you we could not have done better than seek and jacob. this conversation will be moderated by michael gerhardt. michael is our new visiting scholar here at the national constitution center. he is a super presidential historian. you may seem last year discussing his great book on the forgotten presidents, their untold constitutional legacy. is one of the most thoughtful constitutional commentators in the country and i am so thrilled
to have him at my side to oversee all of this great constitutional content that we are hosting. so ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please join me in welcoming our great guests, and enjoy the show. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. we really appreciate it. it's a great honor to be here tonight and went to extraordinary people and scholars share with us their expertise and insights into what's cooking. i have to confess at the outset we will not be able to share food tonight but we will perhaps more poorly be able to talk about quality of food and particularly the reasons why the federal government regulates food and some of the major issues that are a rising right now with respect to food regulation. so without wasting any other time i want to jump right to jacob in having talked to us about wha why is the federal government involved in
regulating food. >> thanks for coming everyone. to start with the federal government is involved and recreated because the law has almost always been involved in regulating food. people can read the bible. the bible has a lot of food law. if you go back and look at roman times, runtime that a lot of law. the basic problems they were actually the basic problems we face today. thetheir feud -- food purity and food safety. they are related but not the same. food purity problem is potentially when i put in my body, am i getting what i see? how do i know that? when we take a glass of milk it's hard to tell if it's milk or milk and water or milk and water of some other, whether it's poisonous per se for organic the it's hard to tell by looking at it in drinking the product. that's true for almost all food and that has always been true for almost all foods. we had ways of addressing that, weights and measures rules, purity disclosure rules today,
labeling rules, safety rules, production programs. so much of what the government is doing that also the state and local government is doing is trying to fix that problem which we never fully fixed. food purity problem and the food safety problem making sure what we eat is what we want and also doesn't make us sick or kill us. >> that gets us off in early. so zeke given all the regulations, what do you believe is the most pressing issue right now relating to food regulation? >> i think obesity has to be at the top of the list, certainly if you're a doctor worried about national health policy. obesity is one, two and three just a small corner of it, a diabetes, we spent a quarter of a trillion dollars. so worrying about how the government is involved in food, promoting food, not promoting certain foods is clearly quite
important. we have a lot to the subsidies for farmers, and buys up growth one way or another. we can issues through food stamps, wic, national school lunch program is a major with the federal government can impact what especially children eat. labeling laws. the issue of should we change the labels? we have what are somewhat complicated labels of ingredients and nutrition. there's been a lot come when i was in the white house we were trying to push for pak labeling. that can be done voluntarily or done by regulation. and we have the affordable care acted included a requirement for caloric menu labeling by any astonishment that has 20 outlets or more.
and again all in attempt to sort of change have an impact on the obesity epidemic. so i think there's a lot of different ways the government does intersect with what we eat, and i think demonstrably it's had a big impact on certainly what children eat if nothing else. >> jacob come in terms of the federal regulation, what are the ways in which he believed the federal government could do more to help ensure people eat more nutritious food? >> i think a lot of that, there's two basic questions. wind is making people aware and giving him access to more nutritious food. that's basically an informational problem at access problem. which foods are not the ones we should be eating. my friends in the public health say we've known that for a long, long time. all my friends outside of the committee think like we have no idea. part of it is conveying the
information window to the public in an effective way of telling us to make choice. choice of. even if one has that information if one doesn't have access to those good food products were everyone is, it's not going to matter much. so there is a question of being able to get both affordable and readily available healthy food, nutritious food, however we decide that is. i think there's a lingering question which i will come back to later which is, even if you have al all the information ande axes, if your palate and taste of such you don't want it, then we have a different kind of problem we need to solve and toi think we all three of those issues currently. >> i would just say one of my great frustrations, having worked in the government, is how much we as a country, it's very understandable like to say, we will give people the information and they will act on it. everything behavioral economics tells us about human behavior is
that junk. it's junk food, because information is never enough to get people to switch. you know this in your life, and just to give a very concrete example, people who smoke know more about the ill health effects than you do about smoking, right? they've gotten that information. they've absorbed it probably more than most people. we have a lot of data about that. hasn't changed their behavior. going from information to the right behavior is a very big step, and it's typically information is of course necessary but it is almost never sufficient. we over and over again i think when we think about government doing things, over and over again behave or pass regulations and laws as if that were easy. just give them the information, they will act and they will be free to act. we don't think about how hard it is. i think he made an excellent
point. we can tell people what to write food is but if they have grown up with excessively sweet, excessively salty at that's what they're palate is educated to, very hard to change that behavior just with information. we need to think more creatively about what we do, and information i think is never sufficient. i know what we do it of course because then we are not biasing. we are not saying these foods are bad. we are leaving it up to the individual and that's a deep american value but it's very ineffective. what we need to do is combat obesity, it's not going to be an effective, a very effective solution. >> i'm wondering to what extent cost is also an issue. jacob, there's a perception, and abroad, healthy food costs more. if that's correct, why is that? hack would lower the cost of healthier food? i suspect it also influences choice as well.
>> i guess i want to opportunity. the last study i saw said it cost about $1.50 more today to geeat a healthy diet compared ta less healthy diet. per person. that's $500 per year. is that a lot or a little? to our families for whom that's a huge amount of money but for many families it's not that much of the overall annual budget for the family. what does it mean that it cost $1.50 more a year per person to eat a healthier diet and people are not doing so? it might mean they don't know that. they should be eating a healthier diet but i'm not sure that's the case at this point. it might mean they don't value those health effects at more than $500, but again it's hard to imagine unless it's a very strongly behavior world. or it may be they don't like a healthier diet. they prefer the less healthy
foods, the less healthy diet for any number of reasons. i think part of them probably are palate. and we think about the government died of the government marketplace, i think it's worth think about the government pallet. that is the palate we have created in young people as a consequence of the qualities we have that produce certain kinds of become exposed to young kids to those who'd rather than others students to return to young people to talk with school lunches. because that's an opportunity children come and 53 them, make choices. and they may make it on the basis of imperfect information but also the food available to the in school lunches and not the particularly nutritious. is there a problem with the nutritional value of school lunches and how do we fix it? >> under the obama administration, i'm no longer shilling for them, but we did change the formula on school
lunches and maybe more nutritious, more vegetables, fruits. and that is very important. we have data that in that kids are eating more vegetables. they are not eating more fruits although they're taking more fruits speed is never enough fruits and vegetables in my house. >> that has some positive impact. we know that in the past kids who were exposed to the school lunch program sponsored by the federal government actually were more aubisque on average than their peers. it's a little hard to control for all the variables because they come from different economic households, and the rest of the. but in the past, remember, in the past a lot of what went into a school bus was determined by what farmers wanted. program not run by the people responsible for nutrition or health, it was run by the department of health and human services. it was run by the department of agriculture that tells you a lot about what the priority's are
going to be for that. i think because of the awareness of obesity in the country and effort to change it we have gotten a better formulation, a more health focus formation of the national school lunch program and i think that's important. have we gone as far as we should? probably not. when i was in the white house we had a big controversy over mayor bloomberg wanted to event the use of food stamps for sodas. that was of you does not acceptable. i thought it was perfectly acceptable, it would have been a very important task of whether, in fact, or how much soda can contribute to obesity. so we have a lot of play in the government. we have the school lunch program with what we permit people to buy with wic and food stamps, now called snap come influence on what people actually do consume. i think again we all pay for. we pay for it in terms of the
food. we pay for it going out as as people get of these other sites. i think being more come are shaping them much more with an eye to the health of people in a just caloric intake is probably pretty important. >> with regard to school lunch programs do you agree that regulations are the right balance, or is there some other way to perhaps fix that? >> i think they could probably be better. i think we would all agree on that. i think they have gotten better than they were. i think it's probably relatively uncontroversial. some of the action is how this requirement are applied or interpreted to different food groups and there's been some controversy there. i think overall the things to note is that is just remarkable captive audience. we're talking about obesity in kids. it's an amazing captive audience. you can't control it comes you can't control. they are there eight hours a day, six hours a day, eating there. there. it's about 30 million meals.
30 million kids each day that are fit. so that's a massive portion of the u.s. population that we get to decide what to eat. we just get decide what to eat. we can decide they should eat less that is caloric but we should decide they should only eat vegetables or any number of different things. that's a really, really big tool that government has. a wrinkle in the past couple of decades has been the rise of what they call competitive foods in schools, which really were not around when i grew up. what are they competing with? they are competing with the school lunch that is provided. those competitive foods historically have been soda, sugar, candy, increasingly branded fast food for many years in school, and lo and behold if you put pizza, burgers and fries for soda next to the healthier option, a cafeteria worker say the kids don't want the healthier option. very surprising.
i think that is getting better, the new rules try to stay competitive foods have to meet the federal standards. that's pretty late in the process and we need to think about how the department is structured. >> what's important, again, see the agthe age of the audience oa brazier osha and of the thank you note is that what you did as kids is what, kids don't go through lots of real radical changes in their food preferences. and all those people who sell cereal, sal soda know this. so if they're worried about if they don't inculcate kids and drinking their soda are eating their serial they probably have lost them for a lifetime. so it's a very formative moment in setting the food palate and food preferences, and so i think again i totally agree with jacob, we need to be more health
conscious in how we are structuring those meals. and by the way, again we can all bbemoan the fact that the glass half empty but we have made some important strides. largely gotten a sodas, not completely out of those schools. we have made stride on the competitive food thing, the vending machines in school, so that they have more nutrition. i think everyone is aware. let's be honest, philadelphia has been a major national theatre indian strategic make a big difference both in getting that soda, sugar-sweetened beverages out of the school and that can make a big difference in kids obesity rates. this is a city that has plateaued and probably gone down all of the data are bouncing, but we have turned a corner in this city because a major leadership in the city from the mayor on down on this very issue. we know that politically you can
take it on and you can make a difference both in what's in the school and impact on kids. we'll have to wait a whole set a generation or years to see that impact. >> where do subsidies come into play? isn't that part of the federal policy as well? i give the perception which may be wrong is that the subsidies that the federal government gives may be given to factory farms, given to producers of foods that are not healthy. so to what extent is that also a problem that has to be wrestled with in this particular area? >> we had a farm bill in various forms of central to the 1930s, and it started like many of these programs after the date the great depression as a pork program. it was a big catastrophe. so i what they did was essentiay pay people not to grow which reduced supply.
if there's to. if there's to much of the government just bought it and that reduced supply. it he reduced supply, prices go up and everyone is happy. so that worked for a while, and it was a great coalition between the food stamps and s.n.a.p. program provincially and the farm program. rural, urban coalition and both groups supported it. over time those payments started being done somewhere to fully. if what you want to do is keep prices high, we start paying farmers to grow more. so the more acreage planted, the more money you got and it was still a cap on the price you could get. prices could go all the way down which put the government or the risk and not the farmers. what happened straightforward aninhis you grow more stuff andt doesn't keep prices high. that makes prices go down. i like low prices as much as an expression for people who really, really like low prices
our people use those commodities as input for their product. that's a lot of the process food industry. is a lot of ethanol industry and biofuels and a lot of the corn syrup, among many others. there's a new coalition that wants those crops to continue to be subsidized in one way or another. not to keep prices high for to keep prices down. again there's this program that gets renewed every five years. every five years is an opportunity to decide how the crops are going to be plenty. if you want different crops planted, or more of those commodity the soy farmers won't like it if you don't subsidized so we farm as much. that's clear. but lots and lots of other people might. fruits and vegetables are known as specialty crops in the farm legislation because of specialty crops. i guess my view is they shouldn't especially cops if we bought more produced domestically, then we should favor those frankly if we're
going to favor one or the other spirit is this based on expertise and study and your experience, andres about your reaction to another, misperception which is a need and chicken industry essentially have taken captive the food and drug administration. to what extent are they in a sense in the driver's seat and we've had to maneuver around the obstacles to put up to diminishing the sales of the products? >> i don't know if captive, that's a little stronger than -- people talk about regulatory capture all the time. it's a very contentious thing. what i like to say to people who just to understand the mindset of a federal bureaucrat come at a domain that -- >> it's become a horror story. >> most of these are incredibly smart, well-intentioned people working incredibly hard, often as we are about to enter again another period of the government is going to shut down, you will be forced to not get a paycheck.
it's a little stressful. one of the things that ends up happening i think for many people who are in the federal government wanted to do the right thing is they have i think the motivation of minimized incoming criticism and fire. because it's never pleasant congressional hearings, newspapers, et cetera. one of the things you end up doing is to try to tread these fine lines. the meat industry is a lot more interested in what happens in a red tory standpoint and consumers. need to come all right, so what is taking care of it, i know it. they are worrying about mad cow disease over there and they are worried that my chicken is going to be clean and they're worried about fish and i get the fish that is labeled in the food store. but those industries have a lot at stake so they can really push their agenda.
if you're a bureaucrat int and u want to do the right thing by consumers and by the producers, the into i think a bias in yourself towards where's the most criticism likely to come from and producers are good at making criticism. they have a lot of money. i think that's what ends up being very powerful. it's hard for some and the federal government to disk some of our big producers and big money makers in this country. nonetheless, again i a few the glass vessel more half-full. without a major conversation about obesity the last five years thanks to the first lady and the recognition of the wide perception of obesity. we have talked about sugar-sweetened, or in this case, corn syrup sweetened beverages, but drinking of those things has gone down not just in the last five years. the last 20 years. coke is in real trouble because of that.
domestically. they are shifting to buying tea companies, buying water companies do things like that. in my mind that's good news, right? the american public has heard the message. sugar-sweetened beverages are not good things. shift over to more healthy items. these are not habits we've got to over a year. it's going to take time to break the habits. similarly i think moving off of junk food and processed food, cereals are another thing. sales of cereals have gone way down. they are hoping to have been substituted by more high protein intake especially in the early morning but these are positive trends that show is first people will change their diets and second we can push harder on those things. meet is one of these funny things with someone and you, you do want people to deed protein, because protein is really good and we probably have more of it,
substitute for carbohydrates but it also has some bad effects, too. but the same thing is true of dairy. in moderation those things are okay. >> except she does. [laughter] >> -- cheetos. >> this is what zeke within. we haven't talked about gmo see it. for example, genetically modified organisms. fds of it is essential between gmo stand on gmos. this is something we should be talking about? isn't something we need to study for the quick what are we with respect to that issued? >> i think what they're talking iis not quite right. i think the loud voices were talking about it who are very, very concerned about it. vermont passed the first gmo labeling law in the country. there is that initiative. >> they will be upheld.
>> he is very good at betting. >> a similar initiative in california failed a few years ago. i think those questions are very much being asked. there is a big push at the federal level of to pass legislation to prevent all those laws and stopping states from acquiring gmo labeling. and also to require it. it's a fairly big fairly vocal push, social media efforts really, really extensive. should be fta be doing anything standing? doubt billy. are we there yet and what do we know? it's less clear. my reading of the literature is that i'm not aware of any study, though i would like to see what if there is, that shows there's a concrete, physical health effect or harm from consuming the gmo products. there's totally sensible literature suggesting that what has happened with some of the
gmo products produces or will produce environmental harm your data should be scared. if you think about for example, monsanto's roundup ready products. what this is to be clear it's a genetically modified feed that you plant that is resistant to monsanto's roundup, herbicide. that nature can put as much of that on the issue and the plant will be fine and all the other weeds are going to go down and that makes for me very, very efficient, yields will go up and all is fine a good bit less using a lot of roundup is bad for the environment or for anyone who consumes that. and the concern is that over a couple of years rather than a couple hundred of years the weeds that survive that roundup are going to be really, really strong and resistant weeds, kind of a super weed so we'll have to ratchet up the next batch of roundup resistance and around the. that process of ratcheting up is a concern environmental the.
we are not sure if it hurts environmentally or if it produces horrible revolutionary effects that people are anxious about it if i ask my students delight this stuff? no, no, no. why? they have no idea. i think it's a very common reaction. there's fear and concern but we can't quite articulate exactly why come exactly what i don't think the site is there but we will study this and talk about it a lot more. >> first, i think i would agree with what you said that the main main, someone help finding there is no study, and again if someone knows of the said i would love to hear about it, there's no study that shows up rob and there's no reason to think there should be any problem healthwise from a gmo. and i think we need to be just up front and honest about that. the environmental factors are a little more unknown. i would say second it has always perplexed me that we've got to get the consumers of information
and let them choose the visit went very what the producers don't want to give them information and don't want him to make choices and it really tries to obstruct providing this basic information. on the idea exact as jacob said that most of us feel queasy about it, and we probably avoid it if we could do if something's a gmo, something said non-gmo and we were sure that we got the right information we would probably make the choice on that basis, even though it may make no health difference to us because who knows why. i've always found this idea that the object suddenly to releasing that information on first amendment grounds, like, or whatever grounds, like kind of crazy. all the other times you want us to regulate, just give the consumer information at the last thing i would point out is i do think in this case personally, the american public is a little more, a lot more rational than the european public. to your appeal judgment the european public, you would think
they with a black plate with where the europeans talk about it or i'm not joking. they are much more into excluding gmos, et cetera. i ought to tell you that is not -- in the developing world become which is if they have gmo seeds, they can't sell to europe. any other product. it creates a real problem because the europeans are very, very stringent about any contamination, et cetera. it has a big impact on farmers in africa which you would think that in terms of restricting the access to markets in europe. and i think the europeans have gone overboard, my own personal view, given of the data we have on health, overboard on this issue that i think we are more sober about it. but if you think this issue, if we have enough dates. if we have more states to pass the vermont law and it is upheld
and you'll see a big push for national legislation because one of the things industry hates is sort of the different laws for different states and they prefer one national law which they are hoping they will be able to get to a lowest common denominator. >> let me get your reactions to the following data and then i want to turn to questions from the audience which are terrific. jacob, you introduced -- that's the possible, possibly negative and environmental impact that genetically food production can produce. and would you agree with that, it's likely to what extent should also become part of the conversation with regard to food regulation speak with i agree with that and i think i'm on record so as saying food is the biggest environmental issue that will be in the next 15 years, 20 years.
there's just no question that the consequences of the farming practices and ranching practices food production and distribution, all of those consequences are massive environmentally. and farming is a very quirky area in u.s. environmental regulation. regulate some stuff, we don't regulate other stuff, and it is i think the next frontier of u.s. environmental law and rightly so. >> actually in that regard i think one of the things we haven't also spoke about is the whole used in the production of antibiotics, and the worry that ththe antibiotics, you know, you get to the cows the chickens ends up in the water supply, ending the itself and we are all the recipients. is not just that of alex. it's hormones and all the rest of it. part of the problem is the data aren't overwhelmingly great, but other countries have restricted use, eliminate it. in denmark the use of antibiotics in food, in meat
production. again i think this is one of those big issues. and here i think actually interesting enough, consumers have driven a lot of change. i think it was for do that just said they are getting rid of the antibiotics just used for growth in their chickens. -- perdue turkey see a lot of companies now, chipola and others talking about how their foods, no antibiotic production, no gmos, et cetera, that i think that is going to drive a much bigger segment of the food industry to try to respond to what consumers want or think they want. and i think that's actually finally we are now having a pretty positive impact your because against the connection between your diet, your health and avoiding disease i think has gotten much, much stronger in most people. and they can see that even they don't cope well for themselves
they conceal these the mandate of the restaurants they do a better job. >> first just a plug, we'll have a conference on friday at harvard law school on antibiotics. so if anyone wants more information should watch us. it's a great conference. i think the operative word is finally. finally, we are a company, finally we are cheating. that's been a very, very long process. the fda started talking about this issue in the late 1970s. there was quite a lot of information there was some cause for concern, this agreement as always is. they start a process to stop the use of antibiotics for growth. .gov halted over a period of decades. what's happened out is the fda has issued a voluntary guideline asking industry to figure out how to reduce the use of antibiotics, and industry has responded i think part of that has been driven by the public as you say, a consumer.
it's been driven by the industry itself and i think all that is to the good. it's been a very, very long process to get there and it's not clear what to think about that as a great success or a failure. with any of these issued to our transitions. the people i talked in the restaurant and food industry say we go to our producers and said we want to do this, can you do it? and basic, in five years. we can get there but not immediately. i think this question of transition and what gets fudged during the transition was is no antibiotics for growth, but antibiotics for anything less than therapeutic purposes, not at all is going to be a lot of detailed and important in a couple of years. >> let me follow up with a question from an audience member which takes us, which continues with a discussion about unhealthy things that end up in our food. the question here is, high fructose corn syrup is a serious health issue in the united states. what does the federal government
allow it to be labeled? >> he's the regulator. >> you are the one who worked in the white house. >> i'll come across this radical. i don't have a problem with not allowing that were even if an agreed is harmful and bad come as no benefit, just keeping it out of the food. we have to allow it to be in the food and people usually -- if it's not safe, because it's causing harm than it is not safe and we shouldn't pretend that it is. this is an example of a general class of problems we see in the federal government which is a non-specification of terms that are used on label and which consumers think, rightly, a whole bunch of different things. so you can describe a can of tomatoes as fresh. what does that mean exactly? if you can describe high court serve as al all-natural?
what does that mean for organic is something they're very clear. that's set by the federal government but these are the terms or not. sometimes there's guidance, sometimes there's a third party industry group that tells us that there's a gap between what people thinks it means of what the term actually means. that's part of the food purity from editing part we need to work hard to solve. >> they can use it to sell. that's what their job is. it's no surprise that if the word organic got a very definitive label, but if it's not very clearly specified what natural means, they will use that to sell us what, that's what they're paid for. i think it's no surprise when we don't have very clear definitions that all sorts of things get put under that rubric. one of the questions is, if you
took it off and you said all right, can't use natural for corn syrup but you can use it for sugar, would we be any better off? >> i'm not sure that i would find that a big positive change. they use corn syrup because it's cheaper and it does have, or appears to have adverse effects in terms of obesity. ..
it makes no sense other than for it or against it. we have a lot of that in politics today and you would have thought that obesity is one of the things which isn't parts we do have facts on this. you can look at the evolution over time. it's very different. one of the interesting things was out in madison wisconsin looking at a whole system and
they were in the historical society and what was remarkable as you go. every kid is scrawny. every kid. and the kids were just much, much skinnier back then. the take was lower, things the eight were different and they were playing constantly outside. one of the interesting things is pictures of baseball or basketball or just running around and it's undeniable we had this shift and that it's a bird into medicare and medicaid and private insurance and all lots of other items in the country it would seem to me that unless we are being ideological there is no reason to oppose it and we should all be able to get
together. i understand liberals are against it and we have to be in that kind of mentality. >> the only thing i might add is that the regulation is ideological in the antistate and i think that's wrong because it's already so heavily regulated and structured by the law and the government that at the very end of the government was going to stay out of it. the whole choice that has been constrained has been affected by the government so it's not libertarian but there is confusion. there is the choice between the use of the and unhealthy things.
>> it's opened up the whole session which there is no society ever that hasn't had regulations of food. it's so central to being a human being. no society regulated it's not like a libertarian thing in the sense that there will be no regulation even libertarians want to know that it's pure and want information about what's in it so there's just no way of getting to some natural standpoint that the government will have no impact on. it's just not possible or conceptually possible. >> speaking of the need of the regulation, one question that should be put a warning label on the hyper powerful foods.
>> 70% of chocolate is hyper addictive and it's really good for you so i don't think that would be a fair thing but in general i'm in favor of labeling and i like disclosure so i think disclosure is really good and the problem is to figure out what sorts of things should we disclose because for each individual person we care what different sorts of things in each different product indicates a laundry list of the different characteristics of the food. where was it produced big farmer or small farmer last year or this year how is it distributed how did they get here all these things we might care about i might care about or you might care about we have the issues among those things otherwise the information is completely overwhelming and useless and so
there is a real challenge they are i think. >> isn't it a related issue specifically from you in the audience. isn't it also likely that people aren't of course going to be reading the wonderful data data into labeled with what they might rely on is a good deal of the brand is so much. i am an expert but i'm going to wage on the water it is the same ingredient. >> i'm going to wager that in which case why would i end up with this one as opposed to the brand in part so how does that work itself into the calculation people make about what to buy regardless of what the label says. >> it says a lot. right now it is exactly this question so we are running surveys to show people differently some heavy
percentage and some do not and trying to understand the instances page all about the product on the basis of the brand and the label and the ingredient into the information disclosed. >> they think about the product is difficulty, does it taste good, does it cost a lot, would i buy it and we are still teasing that out i think that it's pretty good making those differences and what they say they care about is the standard cost and that's relevant of the structural policy. >> i spent a large part of my time in addition to working on healthcare reform and trying to get food labeling done. there's a lot of reasons to think it's important. we know that people don't read the nutrition facts. a small fraction of shoppers read the nutrition but as you
know it's very hard to read the nutrition. they are not the most intuitive and you don't add up everything you eat across the day and so we worked for very long time a very long time with the grocery manufacturing association to negotiate a voluntary path with the hope the fda would be willing to step in. they made a big announcement -- sort of short circuit that they would do it voluntarily and of course you have seen how much they've done voluntarily but it's contentious. you put deep on calories, sugar, saturated fat, salt. >> there's a lot of information but it depends on what your main objective is and what you think with the most important. in my view that calories are a very important goal and the
question of some of the other factors, whether sugars were saturated fats tutti is some of the contention. i will say they are very fearful about having red, yellow, green or some other measure. and as you know, no single match wreck is taken off in the united states. and i think that it partially is contentious and partially they don't want to do it but it also is hard to figure out what the best message is invalid depended on what we think we need to be aiming for. certainly i think that obesity is so high on the national agenda that has to be major. >> secures a question that is directed, and i will ask you to both of you. maybe even jakob you could take jacob you could take the first crack at it. the theme is about what we were
just talking about such is the question given the perils of excessive sugar intake why is there no recommended dalia allowance on the u.s. food labels most countries provide allowances and separate items but no specific limit for sugar in the united states. >> i am aware of no defensible. >> i don't know of any defensible reason not to provide that information. these information have a political story of why we don't and that is true and i think that is to expect politics to be absent from politics which is silly. on the other hand, politics isn't absent from politics, so the industries and organizations that we are talking about are powerful, strong interests that have been involved in the food policy for many years, some for good and some are ill. and i think the product's name with a lot of sugar in them and do not want to have that
information on the label and the reason is very straightforward. it's incredible how much is in those products. i know this and i teach this. i'm amazed how much is in those products. >> once this is thought to get into the system given the warning label -- >> is a problem if sugar is an example and -- >> this is all we are left with by the way at the end so you know where we are headed. >> we are not going to get that i don't think you are there other ways of conveying that information that we might be able to offer the public that would be very helpful in that regard and one of the ones i've begun thinking about and again, this is sort of in the realm of the glycemic index that has become a very important