Throughout history, governments have regulated food and drug products. In general, the focus of this regulation has been on ensuring the quality and safety of food and drugs. Food and drug regulation as we know it today in the United States had its roots in the late nineteenth century when state and local governments began to enact food and drug regulations in earnest. Federal regulation of the industry began on a large scale in the early twentieth century when Congress enacted the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906. The regulatory agency spawned by this law – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – now directly regulates between one-fifth and one-quarter of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and possesses significant power over product entry, the ways in which food and drugs are marketed to consumers, and the manufacturing practices of food and drug firms. This article will focus on the evolution of food and drug regulation in the United States from the middle of the nineteenth century until the present day.
16 January 2012, Rome - FAO and the European Commission announced today a new €5.3 million project aimed at helping Malawi, Vietnam and Zambia transition to a "climate-smart" approach to agriculture.
Agriculture — and the communities who depend on it for their livelihoods and food security — are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. At the same time agriculture, as a significant producer of greenhouse gases, contributes to global warming.
"Climate-smart agriculture" is an approach that seeks to position the agricultural sector as a solution to these major challenges.
It involves making changes in farming systems that achieve multiple goals: improving their contribution to the fight against hunger and poverty; rendering them more resilient to climate change; reducing emissions; and increasing agriculture's potential to capture and sequester atmospheric carbon.
"We need to start putting climate-smart agriculture into practice, working closely with farmers and their communities," said FAO Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department, Hafez Ghanem. "But there are no one-size-fits-all solutions — better climate-smart farming practices need to respond to different local conditions, to geography, weather and the natural resource base," he added.
"This project will look closely at three countries and identify challenges and opportunities for climate-smart agriculture and produce strategic plans tailored to each country's own reality," Ghanem said. "While not all solutions identified will be universally applicable, we can learn a lot about how countries could take similar steps and begin shifting to this approach to agriculture."