“IPES-Food found that many of the severest health conditions afflicting populations around the world – from respiratory diseases to a range of cancers and systematic livelihood stresses – are linked to industrial food and farming practices, i.e. chemical-intensive agriculture, concentrated livestock production, the mass production and marketing of ultra-processed foods, and deregulated global supply chains.
The economic costs of these impacts are huge and likely to grow. Malnutrition costs the world $3.5 trillion per year, while obesity alone is estimated to cost $760 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, combined EU and US losses from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals amount to $557 billion per year, while anti-microbrial resistant infections are already thought to be incurring $20-34 billion of annual costs in the US.
IPES-Food identified five key leverage points for building healthier food systems:
i) promoting food systems thinking at all levels;
ii) reasserting scientific integrity and research as a public good;
iii) bringing the positive impacts of alternative food systems to light;
iv) adopting the precautionary principle; and,
v) building integrated food policies under participatory governance.”