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Essay Sample: National Food Policy

6 pages
1458 words
Middlebury College
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Food policy refers to the part of public policy that has to do with the manner in which food undergoes production, how is processed, distributed, wholesaled, and retailed. Food policies are made and put into effect to influence the activities of the food and agriculture system. For the most part, this has got to do with the making of decisions around processing and production techniques, availability, marketing, the use, and consumption of food, with the intention of realizing or of furthering national social goals and objectives. Foods policy is under a disposition of promulgation on any level, from a national to a world-class level, and through the machinations of a government agency, corporate, or organization. Were it not for national food policy both developed countries like the United States and developing countries would not realize enough food production that would help them survive in between harvests; producers would also not put food safety into consideration.

Makers of policies related to food take part in activities like the regulation of industries related to food, coming up with eligibility performance indicators for food assistance programs for impoverished people, making sure there are safety considerations whenever food supply is necessary, food labeling, and even the processes a food product has to go through so as to be deemed organic.

Most food policy is started at the domestic level for purposes of making sure there is enough food supply for the citizenry. Within a nation that is developing, there are three primary objectives for food policy; to shield people suffering from poverty from crises, to come up with long-run markets that better the efficient utilization of resources, and to increase the production of food that will in turn bring about an increase in income and subsequent Purchasing Power Parity.

Food policy is characterized by the machinations through which food-related issues are taken care of or managed by administrations, inclusive of networks or bodies that are acclaimed worldwide, and by private organizations or public institutions. Agricultural producers many a time endure the weight of federal governments' need to maintain food prices sufficiently low for rising urban residents.

Lowered prices for all the customers happen to have the ability to be a disincentive for agriculturalists to grow and realize more produce, every so often bringing about famine, lowly business prospects, and an augmented need for food imports. In a much more developed country such as the United States of America, nutrition, and food policy ought to be regarded in context with national and regional environmental pressures, economic concerns, inspiring of private businesses and innovation, maintenance of a social safety net, and an agricultural landscape controlled by lesser, superior computerized farms. Technologically advanced nations like the United States of America struggle to make sure that agriculturalists make comparatively constant profits irrespective of supply and price ebbs and flows and hostile weather occasions. The economic cost of backing farm proceeds is passed on to customers in the form of higher food prices (Melillo, Richmond, and Yohe, 35)

Within the United States of America, decisions on food policy are machinated by federal government entities at the state, local, and federal level. The main areas of federal government participation in food policy take account of agriculture, food safety, nutrition assistance, labeling, and dietary guidance. The work of advocacy organizations and industry initiatives that upset food policy is also addressed by the government. A majority of food policies are established on an incremental basis, many a time in response to altered environments, needs, or political climates (Schoultz, 74).

When it comes to matters of food governance, the federal government triad plays a role in the making of food policies all over the United States of America. The three government branches include the executive branch, judicial branch, and legislative branch.

When it comes to the executive branch, the Food and Drug Administration happens to be the federal agency that is charged with the responsibility for making sure the safety of food products is guaranteed, with the exclusion of poultry, meat, and processed eggs. The many offices in the Food and Drug Administration carry out the agency's combined food program that serves in protecting citizens and promoting the health of the public by means of making sure there is safety of foods for human beings, inclusive of dietary supplements and food additives, through setting science-based standards for stopping foodborne disease and seeing to it that there is acquiescence with set standards. Secondly the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs and animal feed; inclusive of the safety of drug residues in human feed sourced from animals is the responsibility of the executive branch. Protecting the food and feed supply from intentional contamination comes third while making sure food labels are truthful and have on them truthful information customers can utilize to select healthy diets comes fourth (Lang and Heisman, 83).

The United States Department of Agriculture has within it a wide range of interests that have to do with food policy. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is on the other hand charged with the responsibility of for making sure that America's commercial supply of poultry, meat, and egg produce is safe, healthful, and appropriately branded and packed. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) concentrates on helping needy families and children to realize good nutrition using nutrition education and food assistance programs. Two well-known projects in FNS are the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Gregory, and Singh, 55).

The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) functions to better the wellness and health of all Americans through the development and promotion of dietary guidance that connects the nourishment requirements of consumers to scientific research. The well-acclaimed food pyramid was utilized as a faction of this specific dietary regulation, but of late My Plate has been machinated to present good practices of nutrition concerning a place setting. The food groups of vegetables, fruits, protein foods, grains, and dairy are all allocated a specified level of space upon the plate, portraying to all Americans the relative portions of every food they ought to be consuming in the course of each meal.

The National Organic Program (NOP) controls the criteria for any ranch or farm that looks to merchandise an agronomic product as being produced organically. Such that for the agricultural product to be deemed organic, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering, and irradiation may not be put to use. Moreover, any product from domestic animals that is labeled biological ought to align to guidelines that the living conditions of the livestock, health care practices, and feed align with organic stipulations.

The Legislative Branch also has a part to play when it comes to the nation's yearly budget. In fact, the U.S. Congress also has a responsibility in the making of national food policies, more so concerning issues related to farming and nutrition assistance. Within the House of Representatives, the Committee on Agriculture happens to be the lead player; in the Senate, the responsibility is charged to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. The appropriations and budget committees of every house also attend to responsibility. The moment a food policy or program is subject to mandatory spending rules, a connotation that budget committees from Congress ought to solely finance the program for every entity that meets suitability requirements, it is the approving agriculture commissions in the two houses that bear the mandate to give definition to the scope of worthiness for the policies. Policies that are never deemed mandatory are taken as unrestricted spending policies, and command more than the bottom line is the responsibility of the annexations boards of every house assigned with projecting yearly expenditure levels.

Finally, the Judicial Branch is the third major player in the making national food policy within the United States. The Supreme Court in the United States has taken part in many decisions that have influenced policies on food around patent and trade concerns, labeling, and food safety. A much better aggressive and systematic utilization of the judicial system to defy lifestyles that are connected to plumpness have been put forward. Instances include coming up with court cases against the developers of real estate who never factor in entertainment joints in their projects, boards of schools that permit special vending privileges to soft drink corporations, and makers of non-nutritious nourishments.


Works Cited

Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Christian Gregory, and Anita Singh. "Household food security in the United States in 2013." (2014).

Lang, Tim, and Michael Heisman. Food wars: The global battle for mouths, minds, and markets. Routledge, 2015.

Melillo, Jerry M., T. T. Richmond, and G. Yohe. "Climate change impacts in the United States." Third National Climate Assessment (2014).

Schoultz, Lars. National Security and the United States Policy toward Latin America. Princeton University Press, 2014.


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