45th National Food Policy Conference
October 12, 2022

8:10am ET

Susan Weinstock
Consumer Federation of America

Thomas Gremillion
Director of Food Policy
Consumer Federation of America

8:25am – 9:15am ET

Dr. Robert M. Califf
Commissioner of Food and Drugs
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Susan T. Mayne
Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

9:15am – 10:15am ET
Consumer Trends in the Face of Food Inflation

The food system is experiencing significant disruptions, from shortages in basic commodities to soaring transportation and labor costs. How are consumers responding to higher prices and other shifts in the food retail landscape, and how are companies positioning themselves to capitalize on these changes? How should policymakers concerned about nutrition security, sustainability, and rising rates of diet-related disease respond?


Joseph Clayton
International Food Information Council


Radha Muthiah,
President and CEO
Capital Area Food Bank

David Ortega
Associate Professor
Michigan State University

Dasha Shor
Global Food Analyst

10:15 am – 11:15am ET
Ultra-processed Foods: Scoundrel or Scapegoat?

Studies suggest that diets high in “ultra-processed foods” may cause obesity and other health problems, and federal officials recently announced that the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will specifically consider research on the role of ultra-processed foods in diet-related disease. What exactly are ultra-processed foods, and what does the latest science say about their impact on public health? How is this research influencing consumers? How should public policymakers respond?


Margo Wootan
MXG Strategies


Janet Collins
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Government and Industry Affairs
Motif FoodWorks, Inc.

Kevin Hall
Senior Investigator
National Institutes of Health

Allison Sylvetsky
Associate Professor
The George Washington University

11:30am -12:30pm ET
Regionalizing the Food System

Should the food system be less efficient, and more redundant? Advocates claim a more distributed and local food system could help to avoid future supply chain disruptions, foster competition in the food industry, and build prosperity in rural communities. Will more small meatpacking plants, regional “food hubs,” farm-to-school programs, and other “regionalist” strategies make the U.S. food system more resilient and environmentally sustainable? Can local and regional food systems survive, and thrive, in a global economy?


Lisa Held
Senior Staff Reporter
Civil Eats


Jonathan Bethony
Head Baker and Co-Owner
SEYLOU Bakery and Mill

Maureen McNamara Best
Executive Director
Local Environmental Agriculture Project

Robert Paarlberg
Harvard Kennedy School Sustainability Science Program

Lindsay Smith
Regional Food Systems Planner
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

12:30pm ET


1:00pm – 1:30pm ET

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
U.S. Senate

1:30pm – 2:00pm ET
Keynote: From the Food Police to the National Food Museum

Michael F. Jacobson
National Food Museum Founder and Center for Science in the Public Interest Co-Founder

2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
Food and Racism: The Fight for Food Justice

Both the production and consumption of food in the United States are characterized by troubling racial disparities. Historically discriminatory practices at USDA have operated to dispossess Black farmers of their land, and labor laws exempt large numbers of predominantly Latino farmworkers from receiving overtime pay and many other benefits. Black and Latino youth are more likely to be targeted by junk food marketing, and Black and Latino households are more than twice as likely to experience food insecurity. How are policymakers addressing systemic racism in the food system?  What does it mean to support a racially just food system? How should considerations of race inform food policy?


Brian Vines
Deputy Editor
Consumer Reports


John Boyd Jr.
Founder and President
National Black Farmers Association

Ron Estrada
Chief Executive Officer
Farmworker Justice

Dr. Robert S. Harvey

3:15pm – 4:00pm ET

Sara Bleich, PhD
Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity
USDA Food and Nutrition Service

4:00pm – 5:00pm ET
New Frontiers of Food Assistance Programs

Tens of millions of Americans depend on federal nutrition assistance programs, many of them children. For over a decade, pilot programs have experimented with giving recipients incentives to purchase more fruits and vegetables, and research indicates that these incentives succeed in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Yet healthy incentives remain fledgling. As programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) continue to evolve, what role will healthy incentive programs take? What are the potential benefits, and limitations, of using healthy incentive programs to address the obesity epidemic?


Jeanne Blankenship,Vice President
Policy Initiatives and Advocacy
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Sara Bleich, PhD
Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity
USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Mollie Van Lieu, Vice President
Nutrition and Health
International Fresh Produce Association

Molly Pfaffenroth
Federal Food and Nutrition Policy Lead



Speaker Biographies

Attendee List





Consumer Brands Association


American Frozen Food Institute
Danone North America
FMI The Food Industry Association
International Dairy Food Association
International Food Information Council
International Fresh Produce Association
NSF International
Rick and Beth Frank
Watkinson Miller PLLC