US Farmers and advocates to Biden administration: prioritize the rights and livelihoods of workers, food producers, and frontline communities | Pesticide Action Network
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US Farmers and advocates to Biden administration: prioritize the rights and livelihoods of workers, food producers, and frontline communities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 13, 2021

In honor of World Food Day on Saturday, October 16th, over 60 organizations call for a more just approach to agricultural policy development.

WASHINGTON DC—Today, in advance of World Food Day, over 60 United States-based farmers, food and trade justice advocates delivered a letter to the Biden administration urging the U.S. government to fundamentally reorient its approach to global policy development on food and agriculture issues.

The organizations sent the letter amidst three major international events related to food and nutrition security: The United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in late September, the U.N. Committee on the World Food Security (U.N. CFS) plenary currently underway; and World Food Day on October 16. 

The letter calls for a new direction for U.S. government engagement with the CFS and the three Rome-based food and agriculture agencies— the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and World Food Program (WFP). Endorsing organizations argued in their letter to the Biden administration that the U.S. government has continued to promote a policy agenda that supports the interests of corporate agribusiness at the expense of farmers and workers. 

Five priority areas for the U.S. to reorient food and agricultural policy are detailed in the letter: human rights; racial justice; trade; addressing the climate, biodiversity, food and water crisis through agroecology; and strengthening participatory, multilateral policymaking.

Marcia Ishii, Senior Scientist at Pesticide Action Network, a signer of the letter, said:

“We call on the Biden Administration to demonstrate in action, not just word, that its commitment to human rights trumps “business as usual” and that it will reverse past Administrations’ record of prioritizing corporate profits over people. 

Today we urge the US government to commit to a thorough transformation of our own predominantly industrialized agri-food system, which has failed rural and urban communities and severely damaged the ecological integrity of our resource base. 

If the US intends to join the global community as a responsible leader in this time of converging climate, health and food crises, we must join, not block, the agroecological transformation taking place and led by family farmers and Indigenous communities around the world, and demonstrate our steadfast support of other countries’ steps in this direction.”

Media Contacts: Ahna Kruzic ahna@panna.org, (510) 927-5379

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To view a jointly authored press release by signatories, click here.

Pesticide Action Network works to create a just, thriving food system. PAN works alongside those on the frontlines of pesticide exposure — from farmworkers to rural communities to beekeepers. PAN links local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. Together, we challenge the global proliferation of pesticides, defend basic rights to health and environmental quality, and work to ensure the transition to a just and viable food system.