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BARD CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY EXAMINES GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES AND FOOD ON MARCH 22 The 2000-01 Open Forum Series Concludes with Distinguished Panel Exploring the Complex Interrelationship Between Food and the Environment

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Thursday, March 22, the Bard Center for Environmental Policy will host an expert panel that will examine the dynamic relationship between food and the environment. The forum, "Global Environmental Changes and Food," is free and open to the public. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center on the Bard College campus. A reception with the panelists will follow the discussion.

How will global climate change affect agriculture and ocean or freshwater fish stocks? Do genetically modified foods pose a threat to biodiversity? What are the environmental and biological impacts of farm versus wild fish, organic versus conventional farming? What kind of attention is being given to these issues in the national and international political arena? These are a few of the questions that the distinguished panel will explore.

"The relationship between food and the natural environment is a complex one: the drive to improve food production through fish farms, genetically designed crops, and pesticides has the potential to impact the environment—while changes to the environment, such as global warming and pressure on water supplies, create challenges for food producers," says Joanne Fox-Przeworski, director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and former director for North America of the United Nations Environment Programme. "As policymakers, regulators, and environmental groups tighten their focus on genetically modified and organic foods and explore these environmental changes, it is vital that the public—both as consumers and as custodians of the planet's resources—have access to the science behind these issues."

About the panelists:

Barnaby Feder is a science and technology reporter for the New York Times. His current beat encompasses information technology, materials sciences, and environmental and biology-based innovations. He joined the Times in 1980 as a technology reporter covering subjects such as the early commercial stages of biotechnology and, while based in London, business news in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia, and the Benelux countries. From October 1992 until August 1998, he was based in Chicago, where he handled most of the paper's coverage of agricultural biotechnology. He has also worked at World Business Weekly and Energy User News. He is graduate of Williams College and the University of California at Berkeley Law School.

Thor Lassen is the founding director and president of Ocean Trust, an ocean conservation foundation that conducts research, education, and environmental enhancement projects on fishery, ocean wildlife, and marine ecosystem issues. He was the executive director of the National Fisheries Education and Research Foundation and the East Coast Tuna Association. He was the executive secretary of the National Council of Fishing Vessel Safety and Insurance, a government relations representative with the National Fisheries Institute, and a fisheries council representative with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Michael Sligh is director of sustainable agriculture for the Rural Advancement Foundation International–USA. His work includes promoting agricultural biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and organic agriculture reforms, and monitoring biotechnology. He was the founding chair of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board and is a founding member of the USDA's Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Board. He is a member of the United Nations–based Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Codex Commission, serving on the food labeling committee for the development of international biotech and organic food labeling guidelines. He is the author of Toward Organic Integrity, a guide to developing organic standards in the United States, and coauthor of Signposts for Successful Sustainable Agricultural Labeling.

Leslie Land, moderator for the forum, is a freelance writer, contributing editor at Food and Wine, and garden columnist for the New York Times. She has been exploring the connections between food and the environment for 30 years. In 1988 she started writing a column, "Small Matters," for the newsletter of the American Institute of Wine and Food, about the increasing industrialization of agriculture. She has written two cookbooks and is the coauthor of The 3000 Mile Garden, an epistolary Anglo-American garden romance that was made into a six-part PBS series. After several years as senior editor for food and home at Yankee magazine, she has turned her full attention to gardens and food production and their deep connection to the global environment.

The Open Forum series is sponsored by the Bard Center for Environmental Policy as part of its commitment to make current and important environmental issues more accessible to the general public. Through education, research, and public service, the Center, established in 1999, addresses local and global policy issues pertaining to natural and built environments. At the Center’s core is a one- and two-year graduate program that leads to a master of science degree in environmental policy.

Reservations are requested for the forum. Call 845-758-7071 or e-mail for further information.



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This event was last updated on 05-21-2003