tv Consumer Federation of America Food Policy Conference Dan Glickman CSPAN March 28, 2018 7:24pm-8:02pm EDT
could've been a different outcome had there not been in my view, cheating. >> what th watch the new reports late at 10:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> thursday morning were in washington for the next stop for the 50 capital story. washington governor will be our guest during "washington journal" starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. c-span, where history on full daily. 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today we bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in d.c. and around the country.
>> former agriculture secretary under the clinton illustration spoke at the annual food policy conference hosted by the consumer federation of america. this program is 35 minutes. [applause] thank you. good afternoon i hope you had a great lunch and are feeling nourished and ready for a full afternoon of great content starting with secretary dan who i have the high honor to reduce here today. i don't think there's many of you in the room have not had an opportunity to work on issues that are near and dear to the
secretary because they're not many issues that dan has not focused on in his career which has now lasted many decades positions. dan is not just focused on the food space ol think of him as the secretary of agriculture, the congressman from an agriculture district in kansas we think of him and his work with the bipartisan policy center where he is focused a lot of time of food and nutrition. but he's focused his career in aviation policy and served as the executive director and ceo of america. i think dan will share some interesting analogies and
parallels between disruptions that happened was klingon in the food industry today. a unique perspective and we are honored to have dan bring some of his time and talent. to help me given dan around of applause. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for inviting me here. my long resume has me with about 30 different jobs of last 20 years. i'm not exactly retired but more retired and i been able to keep that job nicely. this is a great group. many of you know more than what i do. she mentioned car gill, their meat division started in wichita
and a lot of my interest in agriculture and grew out from that part of the country. i wanted to go through major trends affecting the food and farm communities. the farmville overhangs a lot of this stuff. congress is wrestling with that right now. i spent time in congress because i run a national institute program and i'm at the bipartisan policy center where i work with others in congress and you can see what i've been doing, just think of how bad it would be if i wasn't there. i may go through some issues that i think are more top-of-the-line issues.
the first one is transparency. that's becoming a bigger issue for consumers in the food industry. what information are consumers demanding and how will these companies choose to provide this information. and what will the governments role play in this issue of transparency either through regulation or encouraging companies. the food companies are more aware of the challenges so are their shareholders. whether it's labeling entrepreneurship or environment, cargo has been involved in this and mcdonald's is making an effort to reduce carbon munitions. shareholders are pushing companies to do things that the government can't to the world is
changing this issue of transparency. what does the consumer need and want to know and how do you address those in an objective way. you have to look at the retail landscape. given consumer demand is changing rapidly. especially in the retail sector. it's being driven by home delivery, online sales, the move of amazon into the area and there's a major force in this business. direct marketing of foods, the farmers market there's many ways people are getting the fruits these days. you ask yourself what will the grocery store the future look like? to be outside of today's store products like produce, meat, bakery, seafood and wine et
cetera while inside the store becomes package goods only? who does. the inside of grocery stores are going to change, the people are great to get their stuff in a different way. changes happening in this regard. i want to give you some parallel to the entertainment industry. when i was in this motion picture we dealt with this. my predecessor for 38 years ahead of the -- and work for president johnson. there is an issue with betamax. does anybody remember that? the issue had to do with recording movies and selling them on devices we would look as
antique today. he testified and said the betamax is the jack the ripper of the movie industry. it will destroy it. what happened was it actually saved it. through the dvds. the wave consumers wanted to see their entertainment. dvds got expensive and easy to pirate them. the monetization became a problem. now we have streaming and cable and people like the convenience and the cost of this new model. it doesn't mean they won't have movie houses or theaters, but it does mean they move beyond the traditional models. that's been a revolution in the entertainment industry and
fought by that industry for a long time. some of these trends are happening in the food industry as well. we should figure out how it affects consumers particularly poor consumers that might not have the access others have. the third change has to do with nutrition. i have thought for some time the relationship between diet, nutrition, health, agriculture them for stovepipe industries. none of which have worked together to blend figure out how one relates to the other. pretty soon the dietary guidelines will come out she was involved in those things when shoes at usda. usda and hhs are seeking input on priority topics to be covered under these rules.
advisory panel will be appointed and chosen soon. they will want recommendations relative to sugar, sodium, dietary fiber and others you can be sure every interest group in the world is going to want to influence these things. but eating habits are changing and more and more health is becoming a bigger factor in what people are eating. i know there was a french philosopher who said you are what you eat and one trend is the growing relationship of diet, nutrition, medicine and health and here are the facts. obesity among all levels of populations is not coming down. among school-age population there was some leveling off of trends but just recently there are studies that show obesity is
going up. the fastest-growing part of the federal budget is healthcare. medicare and medicaid costs with interest on the national debt and the defense budget are driving about 90% of the budget of the united states of america. those healthcare diseases are largely chronic diseases. like type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, arthritis. this epic of healthcare problems are caused by lifestyle changes, exercise. a big part of it is diet. that is very complicated because of marketing and never tyson foods. there is no simple answer.
someone once said for every complicated problem there's a simple and wrong issue. there's no one simple solution. i participated in a bipartisan policy center task force that had to do a snap. and i'm a fan of that. we recommended that sugar sweetened beverages be removed in the same way it does not allow tobacco, alcohol and other food items. i'm a huge supporter of snap, i think the allotments are too small and i am opposed to the harvest box proposal that the administration has proposed. [applause] i also think proposals to reduce the snap budget are wrong. it's one of the great programs in the united states and is
countercyclical. if unemployment goes up benefits go up and if things get better the number of recipients have come down. it is a strong support that i believe the end and snap has not been the real priority. we propose doing several things. it was to buy myself the former senate leader and a cardiovascular surgeon the report did a couple of things. it strengthened incentives frozen can also have great value as well.
we propose to improve the snap education which i've had great trouble believing it has much of an impact on what kids eat in the snap program. it needs to be improved and strengthened. we the majority of people and medicaid are snap recipients. yet the stovepipes are there and often in most states there's not the coordination. now with healthcare problems and choices that snap recipients have and how can we approve so their medical conditions improve at the same time. we saw better data to indicate what is the evidence as it relates to snap benefits. our data says the differences between snap and what people are not snap by are not material. but there are differences. a higher percentage of sugar
sweetened beverages. the data is mysteriously missing in terms of what people in stores servants snap. in recent years the usda has done a better job. there's evidence that snap recipients by more sugar sweet beverages that not snap recipients. we recommended congress to take a look and make this recommendation. i know there's many other factors causing obesity and heart disease and younger ages. marketing and advertising, food deserts lack of medical education training. most health professionals are not really trained in the science of nutrition. it seems to me that a program based on health and the
fastest-growing part of the federal budget our health costs in large part because of chronic diseases because of diets and related factors and we should at least be open to looking at this issue i understand it's a tough public policy issue. many retells are happy with this and some -- are happy i understand those proposals. but the healthcare applications are so monumental that we have to be open to the fact that there is another side which is the public health side there are
some good signs happening out there. farmers markets are increasing helping where states are beginning to require phys ed although it's very expensive for them. but nutrition has to be a big part of the game. a few years ago is on the council of foreign relations program on noncommunicable diseases in the developing world. these are like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, not diseases like ebola and malaria. in looking through the report i was amazed at how little attention was given to nutrition. there is a lot given to stopping smoking and giving more pharmaceuticals in the developing world but nutrition had not made its way into this
discussion. this just as big of a problem in the united states is the developing world. i wanted to mention i'm sure it's a subject that will come up and will get some discussion. one relates to the role of science. we are seeing trends in biotech following on the controversy and especially with a gene editing which offers a great new opportunity in the science world. i let the u.s. delegation of the world food summit and we had a press release were i had totally disrupted naked protesters with signs on their body. i did not look but the sign said no jean beans and the naked
truth. my mother was very upset. my father was more interested in what it look like you cannot stop signs for proceeding. in the area of gene editing usda will soon be publishing proposed rules to implement a national bile information food exposure acts. the key issue will be in the rulemaking. you require highly refined ingredients like soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup refined beet sugar how is this debate going on to the future of this technology. going back into the old debate where people are killing each other all the time.
our all sides can feel like their contributor. that's a big issue is biotech in gene editing which is a different technology. another issue is research. i'm on the board as some may know the model here is partnership across food and egg sector to bootstrap additional funding on more cutting-edge projects that u.s. government and usda cannot afford to do and they keep going down. so, leveraging federal dollars. i wanted to give you a few examples.
one were trying to harness the power of photosynthesis. there must be scientists in the room but largely we have not had what we call transformational breakthroughs in photosynthesis and decades. how to increase yields and make plants grow faster and hardier says a partnership with the gates foundation and the university of illinois to deal with that issue. we have crops of the future and collaboratives looking at what were going to be eating in the next 50 years. and how we should be searching other things. what do consumers really wants and building a consortium to figure out how you can produce crops in fruits and vegetables
in nontraditional ways. the land up with the farm bill which thank goodness i'm not an expert in. there seems to be a collision between the people who want to preserve snap in its current form and people who want to make major changes. i think there are fewer differences on the farming commodity titles. myself, i think nothing is perfect. the snap has worked pretty well. were the only country in the world that has a massive multibillion-dollar program helping people eat and get a nutritious diet. nobody else in the world, they have other programs. we should not be using staff as a way to conduct major welfare reform i don't think we need it.
i think the end in snap needs to be reinforced. not just a quantity program but the quality and nutrition program that we need to focus much more of that. let me close by saying some of you may remove remember the graduate with dustin hoffman. remember the favorite word his father-in-law gave him as advice for the future that word was plastic. and he said what away do? he said son just remember this word, plastic. i'm from that generation. i saw that movie and 66 was and a senior in college going to the vietnam vietnam war movement. there is no simple answer. i would tell you the whole world
of food and agriculture goes to the heart of what were about. the other advice i would give his remember it's not just the foodies interested in all of this. the polian once said that war is too important to be left to the generals. i make the point that the food industry and agriculture is too important just to be left to people in the food industry because everybody eats and has his or her own opinion about what should be happening in this area. and working together think we can make a better world in this area. thank you very much. i'll be glad to take questions or comments i was the most
assaulted secretary of it agriculture. they threw ties at me and infected buffalo got set me. i'm tried to figure out what else and of course the naked protesters. so i assume there will not be naked protesters in this room. i would be glad to hear comments or questions for memoirs of a next politician. [applause] if you could say your name. >> and robert, student at penn state. and i'm not going to disrobe for this question. i appreciate it might be sensitive if you prefer not to answer that's fine too. in your answer post partial retirement with your various
work when area defined the current members of congress are most ignorance of in the area that cfa is covering. >> most of them are not ignorant. most are smart, capable while in patriotic people. it's when they get into a group like this size it becomes tribal. when i take members on this conferences republicans and democrats to treat each other with respect. the end of the world is not here. i think there is not enough of a knowledge of science and congress we've abolished the office of technology assessment. in the world of fake facts i
think it's accelerated by the fact that basic knowledge of science policy is not part of the process. it encourages sometimes a national attitude about being too cavalier about how strong you feel about something when it's not justified by the facts. congress is the article one part of our government. the founding fathers were intentional making article one not article two. the president is not article one. he is article two. so an asserted congress in charge of policy is really important for this country. we will see what happens as the election year goes on. i will not go into great detail
those obey two of the things. the third thing which does not relate to the food industry as there's more bipartisanship i sense people are really trying to work together with food and agriculture in these complex issues. put money in politics is destructive to this country. it leads to gridlock and is weakening america. it allows others like the chinese to step ahead and did it affects both sides of the political aisle. something has to be done. any other questions?
>> i would like to know if you to talk more about bipartisan policy center's recommendation and what changed if anything in making that recommendation. >> i'm not necessarily hurt the poster boy for good nutrition. so like most people as you age blood sugar goes up a little bit and cholesterol goes up in some people feel this is the natural order of things and it really is and has to do with her general lifestyle in this country. when i see the numbers of the federal budget and i don't have to tell you with the last appropriations and tax bill has done for a deficit.
it's going to grow exponentially. i see the role of healthcare cost. it made me realize that i had some concerns about differentiating snap benefits from non- snap benefits. i don't like it to become the new york new york thing. sugar sweetened beverages are items that metabolize directly into the liver and cause a host of medical problems. the people want to buy them on their own that's fine. but using federal taxpayer money to some of that it does not have any nutritious value at all and leads to massive healthcare costs is a problem. i talked in length with senator frist on this. he's talked to several thousand patients and he says you look in those arteries and you get a
feeling about what has happened to people's lifestyle and type. i think we can do some good here. and just to get the level of debate, we should focus much less on issues like work requirements. the majority of people and snapper families with small children or all the other eligibility requirements. those things are necessary. the program operates reasonably freely from people taking advantage of it and using the system wrongfully. we need to focus on quality and quantity of nutritional food they put in their mouth's. i watch a lot of television. if i were born 50 years ago i would have any mental capacity whatsoever because that's all i would've been doing is watching
television. i'm old now so at least i've lived a life between now and then. i watch the pressures and influences on people about what seat what they do. the amount of time watching television in the messages they're getting. forgiveness is not good for country. they took my message of what can i do that was snap. at least get people discussing it seriously. that's why i changed my views on at least this part of the program. i don't want it to be misled that i think it needs a major overhaul, it actually means an increase in funding not a decrease.
>> thank you for comments. since you've had good success in smaller groups with republicans and democrats getting together what advice would you give so that could be replicated in a bigger way? >> our country was set up not to work well. we have separation of powers, effectively her founding fathers and mothers decided they wanted to have 1 foot on the brake in 1 foot on the accelerator at all times. they wanted to make progress slow and methodical because they did not trust government much. that works but only when you can build consensus and work together. if you cannot work together then gridlock happens. their members of congress who
really do work together, last year the they pass the 21st century cares act. that was republicans and democrats got together to increase funding for medical research. it doesn't seem to happen on a lot of big things. rhetoric is still too high. all we can do is try to get people to work together. this works well in agriculture and has been banned a bipartisan area. that seems to be breaking down a little bit right now. i hope that is not the case. i was lucky, i left before there's been so much time raising money that we spent all this time trying to get dollars
it's difficult to legislate well. there's so much money coming into politics that if a member of congress or senator, good one of either party wants to take any risky position you might find yourself $250,000 worth of television ever typing. i keep telling these people there's no harm in losing, after all, i lost and became secretary of agriculture and sheep chief lobbyist for hollywood. i'm not sure everybody could do that but i do think there is probably little too little risk-taking. nobody wants to deliberately get rid of their jobs. i think most of these people are trying to do their best under difficult circumstances.
i work for a president who is a master at reaching consensus. it makes a difference if you have a president who wants the system to work well. while he was not perfect, it was heaven on earth compared to where rat now. [applause] you're watching the tv and c-span2 with nonfiction books and authors every weekend. television for serious readers. >> the tv and primetime looks at the environment. next, charles man of his book, the wizard and profit. then we'll examine the origins of the climate change movement in green tierney. the journalists on the natural and man-made causes of earthquake it quickly i do.