Crop Biotech Update

FAO, Bioversity Int'l Call for Sustainable Diet and Food Diversity

August 10, 2012

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Bioversity International jointly call for immediate action to promote sustainable diets and food biodiversity so as to improve the health of humans and of the planet.

In a book co-authored by the two institutions entitled Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity, it is indicated that the problem of feeding the world's growing population has so far been seen largely in terms of providing sufficient quantities of food. But the pace of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, coupled with emerging health issues related to diet, make it urgent to address the quality of agriculture and food systems. Poor diets are linked to marked increases in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases across the world.

Barbara Burlingame, Principal Officer of FAO's Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, stated that regardless of the many successes of agriculture in the last three decades, it is clear that food systems, and diets, are not sustainable. She added that while over 900 million people in the world suffer from hunger, even more – about 1.5 billion – are overweight or obese, and an estimated two billion suffer from micronutrient malnutrition including vitamin A, iron, or iodine deficiency.

See the original article at To download the book Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity, go to