Are we a nation at the mercy of a food system that has co-opted common sense with the lure of endless and ever-available combinations of fat, salt and sugar? David Kessler, M.D., Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents Clinton and Bush and author of the 2009 The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, thinks we are. Giant corporations and restaurant chains, he argues, feed on our biological drive for foods that lead to obesity and disease. Kessler will be at UVM to talk about this “conditioned hypereating” and how America can take control on Monday, June 7 at 5:15 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel. The lecture, followed by a book signing, is free and open to the public. UVM has also invited Kessler to take part in the 2010 session of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), a program designed to develop individual and institutional leadership for a 21st Century food system. The university was selected as one of only three land-grant institutions to participate in FSLI, a grant-funded initiative through the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, along with Ohio State and North Carolina State University. This long-term relationship in developing FSLI positions UVM as a leader in striving for sustainability across disciplines. Kessler’s expertise on the nation’s current food system makes him an invaluable contributor to this year’s curriculum.Kessler, professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, was Dean and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs there from 2003 through 2007 and Dean of the Yale University School of Medicine from 1997 until 2003. Kessler headed the FDA from November 1990 until March 1997 where he acted to speed approval of new drugs and placed high priority on expediting promising therapies for serious and life-threatening diseases. Under his direction, the FDA announced a number of new programs, including the regulation of marketing and sale of tobacco products to children; nutrition labeling for food; user fees for drugs and biologics; preventive controls to improve food safety; measures to strengthen the nation’s blood supply; and the MedWatch program for reporting adverse events and product problems. Among his numerous honors and awards, the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley named Kessler 2008 National Hero for leadership as the nation’s top drug regulator and courage in challenging the U.S. tobacco industry.The talk is sponsored by the College of Medicine, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Office of the Provost and Vtrim-Behavioral Weight Management Program.Source: UVM. 5.14.2010 ###
Southern China has been battered by rainstorms that have triggered landslides and flooding since the start of June, with at least 78 people killed according to the emergency management ministry. Another 12 million have been affected by property damage, road closures and other disruptions, including 720,000 people rescued or relocated from flood waters by emergency workers. The flood season has caused 25.7 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) in economic losses, the ministry said, a further blow to a domestic economy already suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.Photos and videos published by state media showed submerged fields and rescuers wading through waist-high water, carrying local residents on their backs. Torrential weekend rains killed at least 12 people in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, state media reported Monday, as rising waters sparked mass evacuations during the annual flood season.The toll from the heavy rainstorm in Mianning county included two people who died when several vehicles plunged into a river after flooding damaged a highway.Ten others were missing and more than 7,000 had been evacuated from their homes, the official Xinhua news agency said. Topics : In the nearby megacity of Chongqing, the water level rose more than five meters above the flood safety line, setting a new record.China’s central government plans to spend at least 200 million yuan on flood relief equipment including tents and beds for evacuees, the emergency ministry said Sunday.