The food movement at its most critical juncture in years; Elizabeth Kucinich joins food movement leader to protect hard fought gains, push for needed reforms
Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of Center for Food Safety, today announced a new partnership with noted government affairs professional and food advocate Elizabeth Kucinich. Elizabeth will join forces with the Center for Food Safety (CFS) as Director of Policy and work to address the serious threats facing the food movement in Congress as well as push for better food and agricultural standards.
“The food movement is under attack,” said Andrew Kimbrell. “We have had numerous legal and legislative victories over the years, but our progress is now under threat from legislation that would flood American’s diets with chemicals and pesticides. Elizabeth Kucinich comes to us at a time of ultimate need. The chemical companies have their sights aimed squarely at the regulatory safeguards that protect our health. Elizabeth’s knowledge and skills as an organizer and advocate will help ensure that we in the food movement are ready and able to fight back.”
“For years, I have worked on key issues related to the food movement, from health and sustainability to genetic engineering and intensive animal agriculture,” said Elizabeth Kucinich. “I am proud to partner with Center for Food Safety which has stepped up as the leader of the food movement, providing legal guidance, depth of knowledge and political influence.”
“Through legal challenges, CFS has successfully prevented at least seven potentially hazardous GE crops, including biopharmaceutical crops, from being commercialized. It has also been a key advocate for GE food labeling at both the state and federal level, pushing for new legislation and generating public support across the country for FDA to take action. In addition to its work on GE foods, CFS has filed numerous groundbreaking legal petitions to halt the use of dangerous feed additives in industrial livestock operations and has ramped up its legal and policy efforts to protect pollinators from toxic pesticides while being an advocate for strong organic standards and protections for family farms. CFS is the foremost legal authority on food and agricultural issues and recently won a groundbreaking lawsuit against the FDA over their delay in implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Kucinich.
“It is time for this dedicated and diverse movement to gather the wagons. The food movement and all our gains are under threat. Now more than ever, we must speak with a unified voice to amplify our message,” added Kucinich.
National attention and consumer awareness about food has reached an all-time high. Most recently, nearly 2 million people submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration opposing the approval of a controversial, genetically engineered (GE) salmon. However, the industrial food lobby and their allies in Congress continue to push back against consumer demands and the need for more rigorous, science-based regulation. In April, an amendment was included in a 6-month spending bill that undermines the federal courts’ ability to safeguard farmers and the environment from unlawfully approved, potentially hazardous GE crops. Similar chemical industry earmarks could be including in the Farm Bill, which will come before Congress this month.
“Despite numerous legal victories to stop the onslaught of more pesticides in our environment and on our food, the chemical industry is pushing forward with even more dangerous GE crops that have been engineered to withstand exposure to older, more toxic herbicides like 2,4-D – a major component of infamous Agent Orange - and dicamba. The coming months will be critical and it is imperative that the full strength of the food movement is felt in Washington, D.C.,” said Kucinich.
Elizabeth is an experienced champion for the environment and food policy. A native of England, Elizabeth worked in India, Tanzania and the United Kingdom with rural and urban poor. Elizabeth came to the United States to work on monetary policy reform, and later served as a congressional liaison for the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. Elizabeth is the former Director of Government Affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Elizabeth chairs the board of the Hestia Gaea Foundation and serves as a board director of several other notable organizations including Sean Penn’s Haitian relief organization, J/P HRO, the Rodale Institute, supporting organic agriculture research and advocacy; and a fledgling company producing GardenBar™, the first range of savory vegan food bars.
Elizabeth is the Executive Producer of “GMO OMG,” a documentary exploring genetic engineering, agriculture and food (www.GMOfilm.com), which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013. Elizabeth is also the producer of the documentary film “Hot Water” which premiered at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington D.C. in March 2013.
Elizabeth lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Dennis Kucinich, a former U.S. Congressman and two-time U.S. Presidential candidate.