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The Program on America and the Global Economy Presents a Discussion:

Supply & Safety: Monitoring Imported Food

Tuesday, Feb. 5th, 2013

9:30 – 11:00 am

5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Panelists:

Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

Ted Poplawski, Special Assistant to the Director on Import Operations and Policy, FDA

Carmen Stacy, Director, Global Issues & Multilateral Affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association

Les Glick, Partner, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, Washington, D.C.

Moderator:

Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy

According to the USDA, about 15% of all food eaten by Americans is imported. With the growing globalization of our nation’s food supply, imported food safety has become an increasing national concern.  This event will discuss concerns about food imports and the responsibilities of food importers and regulators for the safety of food products grown outside of the United States and their impact on the demand for certain imported products, international food trade patterns, and foreign access to U.S. markets.

Light refreshments and coffee will be provided.

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

For a map and directions see: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

Please bring photo ID and arrive 15 minutes ahead to allow time for the security checkpoint.

Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly to elizabeth.white@wilsoncenter.org

*Media bringing heavy electronic equipment – such as video cameras – MUST indicate this in their response, so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Failure to indicate your intention to bring video cameras 24 hours before the event may result in being denied access to the Wilson Center building, please err toward responding if you would like to attend.

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Sustainable Biofuels: The Brazilian Experience and Opportunities Ahead

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) has sponsored, in partnership with the Wilson Center on the Hill and the Brazil Institute, a series of conferences over the growing importance and role of biofuels in the international market.  The conference, “Biofuels: Food, Fuel, and the Future?” was held in July to discuss the impact of ethanol production and development.  Following the conference, a subsequent publication of the same name was released, and in September, the event Classifying Biofuels Subsidies” focused on the global trade impact of ethanol production.

The following summary is from the Brazil Institute’s event on sustainable biofuels held on November 10th.  The video archive of this event, and the presentations discussed therein, can be viewed here.

On Nov. 10, the Brazil Institute hosted a seminar on biofuels, energy demands, and their implications for global climate change viewed from a Brazilian perspective.  Ambassador André Amado, undersecretary-general for energy and technology with the Ministry of External Relations, discussed the benefits of biofuels, most specifically sugarcane ethanol.

Biofuels have stimulated economic growth in rural areas, as sugarcane production has increased– creating 835,000 jobs, 95 percent of which are in the formal sector.  This expansion has also had substantial labor input, improving the standard of living for many rural laborers.  Also, ethanol production has proven not to require subsidies and can fill gaps created by other renewable energy sources.  Most importantly, increased production of ethanol has occurred alongside a substantial increase in food production, allaying fears that food production would be displaced the biofuels expansion.  To further prevent this, Brazil recently passed agro-ecological zoning laws, which vastly restrict the amount of land that can be used for sugarcane production.

Ambassador Amado pointed out that the potential benefits to be gained from increased use in biofuels are an environmental incentive: the use of sugarcane ethanol over the past 30 years has saved 850 tones of carbon from being emitted.  As demand for energy increases due to economic development, more renewable resources will be needed to meet this demand in a responsible manner.  The current world energy matrix is less than 10 percent renewable, whereas in Brazil it is closer to 50 percent.  Politically, the bulk of the world’s petroleum resources are controlled by a small number of countries, giving them an enormous amount of leverage over world energy prices – a potentially dangerous situation.  Since sugarcane can be grown in so many parts of the world (over 100 countries), increasing the number of producers would be geostrategically advantageous.  In conclusion, he pointed out the remaining barriers to bioethanol becoming a world commodity– chiefly, the lack of international cooperation and the threat to vested business interests that this new industry represents, namely the oil, food, and car industries.

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Biofuels: Food, Fuel and the Future?

The Program on America and the Global Economy recently joined with the Global Energy Initiative and the Brazil Institute, all of the Woodrow Wilson Center, to host an event exploring biofuels.  The event featured two panels, one with a domestic focus and one examing biofuels in an international context.

Speakers included: Robbin Johnson, President, Cargill Foundation & Senior Adviser, Global Policy Studies, University of Minnesota; Alexandros Petersen, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center; C. Ford Runge, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Applied Economics and Law, University of Minnesota; Joel Velasco, Chief Representative for North America, UNICA; and Carl Wolf, BCS Incorporated. The event was moderatored by Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy; and Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

Photo credit: David Hawxhurst

Welcome to PAGE’s Blog

Welcome to the new blog brought to you by the Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) housed within the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  Here we hope to provide you, our loyal reader, with insights into not only domestic and international economic developments, but a myriad of other related issues as well.  Specifically we hope to become a source of reasoned and informed dialogue about innovation, competitiveness, and education.

Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you again soon!

Posted by: PAGE Staff