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The true cost of American food identified in new report

The Sustainable Food Trust today publishes summary proceedings of an international conference which brought together leading experts to establish the true cost of American food. America was one of the first countries to intensify food production and as a result was also one of the first to suffer from the negative impacts.

Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust said, “More than a year after our conference, at a time when governments are beginning to take action on pollution in transport, with plans for a ban on new diesel and petrol cars by 2040, food producers remain largely financially unaccountable for the terrible damage that current systems are inflicting on the environment and public health.

Mechanisms already exist to make future food pricing more honest, for instance through the introduction of polluter pays taxes on chemical fertilisers and pesticides and the redirection of farm subsidies in such a way that producers whose systems of production sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide and improve public health are rewarded for these benefits.”

Professor Jonathan Foley from the California Academy of Sciences says, “It is undeniable that the global food system is facing a major crisis, with problems impacting food justice, food security, nutrition, the environment and economics. There are some fundamentally broken things in every aspect of the food system.”

Wendy Schmidt, President of the Schmidt Family Foundation, argues that we must, “Re-shape the road map and better design a food system which takes into account all the externalities that are currently not included in the cost of food.”