Conference Agenda

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Thursday May 17, 2012
8:00AM - 9:15AM Registration -
9:15AM - 9:30AM Welcome - Presidential Ballroom


Christopher Waldrop
Director, Food Policy Institute
Consumer Federation of America

9:30AM Facilitated Discussion: Election 2012: Voter Attitudes on Food and Nutrition Issues - Presidential Ballroom
With the election on the horizon, polling experts examine the issues that are likely to be most important to voters in November and explore whether any food-related issues are likely to rise to prominence during the campaign. The demand for more locally-produced food is a major issue in the blogosphere and has spurred activist groups to lobby state legislatures. The economic impact and safety of imported food arouses widespread concern. Rising prices and shrinking packages of some basic foods stress family budgets. Formerly middle class Americans now patronize food banks. Are polling experts who advise candidates asking voters about food prices, safety and nutrition? Are any of these issues likely to play an important role in the campaigns? If so, which food related concerns are most likely to reach that level?


Mary Christ-Erwin
Executive Vice President
Porter Novelli


Jay Campbell
Vice President
Hart Research Associates

Margie Omero
Momentum Analysis, LLC

Susan Pitman

11:15AM Panel Breakout 1: The Challenge of Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens - Congressional
Recent foodborne disease outbreaks have highlighted the challenge of antibiotic resistant pathogen strains. However, the FDA recently announced it would continue to rely on voluntary efforts as the primary means to reduce antibiotic use in animal agriculture. A diverse panel of stakeholders will discuss the importance of addressing this problem, the adequacy of existing data to sustain or overturn current policy, the political challenges to any mandatory action reducing antibiotic use in livestock production, and whether, after 30 years of controversy, there is a path forward on this issue.


Philip Brasher
Editor, Executive Briefing - Agriculture and Food
CQ Roll Call


Caroline Smith DeWaal
Food Safety Director
Center for Science in the Public Interest

Roger L. Saltman
Group Director, Cattle and Equine Technical Services
Pfizer Animal Health

William Flynn
Deputy Director for Science Policy, Center for Veterinary Medicine
Food and Drug Administration

H. Morgan Scott
Professor of Epidemiology, College of Veterinary Medicine
Kansas State University

11:15AM Panel Breakout 2: Seeking a Path Forward on Nutrition Issues - Federal A
Disagreements on nutrition issues are common but stakeholders can sometimes agree to compromise solutions that achieve joint goals of improving nutrition. Recently, however, contentious debates on several highprofile issues have resulted in substantial conflict in the nutrition community. How can we foster a healthy tension among stakeholders yet still move forward on key nutrition issues? What steps can be taken to reach mutually greeable solutions? Can solutions come from outside the government arena? What are some lessons learned from other issues that have been successfully resolved?


Abby Dilley
Vice President, Program Development


Gerald "Chip" Kunde
Vice President, Government Affairs
Darden Restaurants, Inc.

Lawrence Soler
President and CEO
Partnership for a Healthier America

Jennifer A. Weber
Manager of Policy, Office of Child Health Policy and Advocacy

11:15AM Panel Breakout 3: A Changing Climate, a Changing Food Supply - Federal B
Changing weather patterns and higher global temperatures could have a serious impact on our food system in the years to come. Scientists anticipate that extreme weather events could severely disrupt food production, causing food shortages and increasing food prices. Food production practices may have to adjust to new environmental realities. An expert panel examines the nexus between climate change and our food supply and discusses solutions to alleviate the potential impact.

David P. Lambert
Lambert Associates


Jeff Malcolm
Manager, Business & Industry
World Wildlife Fund

Britt Lundgren
Director, Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
Stonyfield Farm, Inc

Gerald Nelson
Senior Research Fellow
International Food Policy Research Institute

Julia Olmstead
Senior Associate, Rural Communities Program
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

12:30PM Lunch - Keynote Address - Presidential Ballroom


Barbara Kowalcyk
CEO & Director of Research & Public Policy
Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention


Catherine Woteki
Under Secretary
Research, Education, and Economics
Department of Agriculture

2:30PM Facilitated Discussion: Meeting Changing Consumer Expectations and Demands - Presidential Ballroom
Consumers continue to seek attributes such as safety, quality and price when they purchase food. But substantial numbers of consumers also want food products that support social values such as ustainable practices, animal welfare, fair trade, and other attributes. How do food companies measure the strength of conflicting demands? How do they determine which expressed needs are most strongly felt and how do they respond while maintaining adequate profits? How do different companies balance social demands against price sensitivity? What innovations are food companies and retailers introducing to remain competitive?


Odonna Mathews
PresidentOdonna Mathews Consulting


Andrea Asch
Manager of Natural Resources
Ben & Jerry’s

Phil Lempert
Editor, Columnist & CEO

Felicia Collins
Senior Vice President, Food and Nutrition

Margaret Henry
Director, Sustainability & CSR Performance
Sodexo North America

3:45PM Networking Break - Capital Terrace

4:15PM Panel Breakout 1: The Latest in the Debate on Food Biotechnology - Congressional
The debate over genetically engineered foods has intensified, as USDA has recently deregulated several GM crops, and FDA considers the approval of a salmon modified for rapid growth – the first genetically engineered animal that would be sold to consumers. How do consumers view these latest developments and what are their expectations regarding food biotechnology generally? How might the introduction of GE foods that convey direct benefits to consumers affect consumer views on biotechnology? Does our regulatory system provide sufficient review and oversight of GE foods to assure consumer confidence and safety? Does labeling provide a middle ground in this debate?


Amber M. Healy
USDA reporter
Food Chemical News


David Edwards
Director, Animal Biotechnology, Food & Agriculture
Biotechnology Industry Organization

Sarah Gallo
Director, Public Policy
National Corn Growers Association

Jean Halloran
Director, Food Policy Initiatives
Consumers Union

Greg Jaffe
Director, Project on Biotechnology
Center for Science in the Public Interest

4:15PM Panel Breakout 2: Maintaining Food Assistance Programs During Tough Economic Times - Federal A
The U.S. economy remains severely troubled as unemployment remains high. Food assistance programs are designed to respond to economic stress. When unemployment rises more people are eligible for assistance. While these conditions drive up the cost of food assistance programs, both Congress and the Administration seek to reduce federal spending. Will election year imperatives put a higher value on providing for those in need or on reducing spending? Are there opportunities for compromise? How might the 2012 election results affect the responsiveness of the programs in the future? Is a major change in program structure such as block grants a real possibility?


Melissa Musiker
Vice President, Food and Nutrition Policy
APCO Worldwide


Roberta Downing
Senior Legislative Associate
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Jessica Shahin
Associate Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Food and Nutrition Service

Ellen Vollinger
Legal Director
Food Research and Action Center

Paul Winfree
Budget Committee
U.S. Senate

4:15PM Panel Breakout 3: The Impact of Immigration Reform Efforts on Food Production - Federal B
Immigration reform continues to roil the political waters and is likely to play a role in the 2012 election. Some states have passed strict new immigration measures which are having impacts on food production in those states. In particular, farmers find it difficult to retain a labor force to harvest their crops, which can result in reduced income for the farmer and higher prices for consumers. In some states, immigration raids have impacted the labor force in meat and poultry plants. A panel of experts examines these problems and offers various perspectives on ways to resolve this complex problem.


Andrew Wainer
Immigration Policy Analyst
Bread for the World


Maureen Torrey
Torrey Farms

Linda Calvin
Economic Research Service

Bruce Goldstein
Executive Director
Farmworker Justice

Esther Lopez
Director, Department of Civil Rights
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

5:30PM End -
Friday May 18, 2012
8:00AM Welcome - Presidential Ballroom
8:30AM Keynote Address: An Update on the Food Safety Modernization Act - Presidential Ballroom


Carol L. Tucker-Foreman
Distinguished Fellow, Food Policy Institute
Consumer Federation of America

Michael R. Taylor
Deputy Commissioner for Foods
Food and Drug Administration

9:15AM Panel Breakout 1: The Role of Third Party Auditing in Food Safety - Federal A
The recent Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe was the latest in a series of outbreaks to raise concerns about the role of third-party auditors in food safety. Yet the Food and Drug Administration is required by its new food safety law to accredit third-party auditors for imported food. What is the appropriate role for third party audits? a system be developed that would assure credibility and trust in third party audits? What specific requirements are necessary to ensure audit integrity and overcome consumer suspicion that audits will respond to the needs of those who pay for them?


William Fisher
Vice President, Science and Policy Initiatives
Institute of Food Technologists


Charlotte Christin
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Commissioner, Office of Policy
Food and Drug Administration

Hilary S. Thesmar
Vice President, Food Safety Programs
Food Marketing Institute

Christopher Waldrop
Director, Food Policy Institute
Consumer Federation of America

Patricia Wester
Vice President Regulatory Affairs
Food Safety Net Services

9:15AM Panel Breakout 2: Improving Nutrition for Competitive Foods in Schools - Federal B
As required by the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, USDA will soon propose new nutrition standards for foods sold in vending machines and a la carte lines. This will mark the first time that all foods sold in schools, both on the lunch line and off, will be required to meet specific nutrition standards. Meanwhile, some schools and companies are already taking steps to improve foods sold in schools. A panel of experts examines the key issues in this debate, discusses the implications of these standards on child nutrition, and explores what is already being done to improve nutrition in schools.


Tracy Fox
Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants, LLC


Becky Domokos-Bays
Director, School Nutrition Services
Alexandria City Public Schools

Beth Johnson
Principal and Founder
Food Directions LLC

Nancy Lyons
Senior Policy Analyst, Child Nutrition Programs
Food and Nutrition Service

Margo G. Wootan
Director, Nutrition Policy
Center for Science in the Public Interest

9:15AM Panel Breakout 3: Is It Time to Dramatically Alter U.S. Farm Policy? - Congressional
The goal of U.S. farm policy has been to assist farmers economically and help assure sufficient domestic food production. Today, agriculture support programs are challenged by a desire to reduce federal spending, by new technologies, by the negative impact on food availability and cost in developing countries and by their failure to support the goals of dietary guidance. Do we need a significant reshaping of U.S. farm policy to address current needs? What impact, if any, would eliminating subsidies have on volatility and prices? Will the politics of 2012 result in major changes in farm policy or will Congress opt instead for very modest alterations? Will re-election imperatives result in postponing action until after the election?


Neilson C. Conklin
Farm Foundation


Karen K. Ehrens
Vice Chair, Legislative & Public Policy Committee
Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Emmy Simmons

Scott Faber
Vice President, Government Affairs
Environmental Working Group

Todd Post
Senior Editor
Bread for the World Institute

10:45AM Facilitated Discussion: Update on Key Nutrition Initiatives - Presidential Ballroom
Senior Administration officials provide status updates on important food safety and nutrition initiatives, including implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Sally Squires
Director, Food, Nutrition and Wellness Communications
Powell Tate


Kevin Concannon
Under Secretary
Food and Nutrition Services Department of Agriculture

William Dietz
Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

12:00PM End -