The New Politics of Food & Farming

April 8, 2010
12:15 pm – 1:45 pm. You are invited to join us for a light lunch beginning at 11:45 am

Speaker: Robert Paarlberg, Wellesley College; Commentator: Regina Birner, IFPRI; Chair: Rajul Pandya-Lorch, IFPRI

Simone Hill-Lee (Tel: 202.862.8107;


International Food Policy Research Institute
2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC
Fourth Floor Conference Facility


The politics of food and agriculture are changing fast in the 21st Century. Farm lobbies remain as dominant as ever over policy within their own sectors in OECD countries, but in the realm of culture, the sophisticated elite that claim to speak for food safety, food quality, social justice, and the environment have put industrial farming squarely on the defensive. The resulting debate has produced few significant policy changes so far in rich countries, but global institutions of several kinds, including the intergovernmental institutions of the UN system, transnational advocacy networks, and of course transnational corporations, have now brought this cultural debate somewhat prematurely into the politics of non-OECD countries as well. The consequences are not always good for the rural poor.