As populations struggle to find an adequate supply of nutritious foods, more than two billion people worldwide suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Even within the prosperous United States, many individuals who are overfed are at the same time undernourished.

A group of scientific organizations will explore the nutrition, agricultural, and socioeconomic tools and technologies that can help us understand and overcome chronic hunger, malnutrition, and disease in both developed and developing nations at a Congressional Luncheon Briefing on Monday, April 14, 2008, from Noon-1:30 pm in room B-339 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Experts in human nutrition, biofortification of cropping systems, and economics will outline a framework to mitigate world hunger and malnutrition. Biofortification of crops (also known as building "designer crops") is a process that identifies leading causes of nutritional problems, be they depleted soils, soil toxicity, low micronutrient content, or diet uniformity. Together with the sciences of nutrition and behavioral economics, biofortification of crops is a low-cost and viable method of mitigating hunger.

"The research conducted by agricultural scientists contributes to broad societal issues. Our organizations are very pleased to highlight these findings," says Karl Glasener, Director of Science Policy, American SourceSourceSociety of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America.

The speakers include: Jerry Combs, a nutritional scientist and Director of the Human Nutrition Research Center, Grand Forks, ND, who will provide an overview of the nutritional concerns and problems issues that affect human populations;

Ross Welch, a crop physiologist specializing in biofortification and Lead Scientist at the U.S. Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory, Ithaca, NY, who will discuss the agricultural tools available to enhance human health by improving nutrient output of farming systems; and

Alex Winter-Nelson, an agricultural economist at of the University of Illinois, who will discuss how human behavior shapes effective nutritional policies. Sponsoring the Congressional Luncheon Briefing are the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA), and Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE).

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The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing together the world's top researchers, clinical nutritionists and industry to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition for the sake of humans and animals.

The more than 10,000 members of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA) are dedicated to the conservation and wise use of natural resources to produce food, feed, and fiber crops while maintaining and improving the environment.

The Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the national presence of the agricultural economics profession.

Source: Sara Uttech
American Society of Agronomy

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