Food and Agriculture | Wilson Center

Food and Agriculture

What’s Next? Celebrating 20 Years of the Environmental Change and Security Program

Global crises like the Ebola outbreak force us to consider what “security” really means, said Sharon Burke, senior advisor for the New America Foundation. “Is security getting our kids to school and food on the table…or are you talking about military security and defense threats that require a weapon to counter?”

Dealing with a Toxic Legacy: Soil Pollution in China

The convergence of toxic waste and agriculture has resulted in a soil contamination crisis in China—nearly one-fifth of China’s farmland is polluted.  For example, in Hunan Province, a center of non-ferrous metal mining, it is estimated that 10% of the rice is contaminated with cadmium, a carcinogenic chemical.

CEF Director Jennifer Turner Delivered a Choke Point China Talk at World Water Week

Stockholm, Sweden –CEF Director Jennifer Turner delivered a Choke Point (water-energy-food nexus) China talk at World Water Week in Stockholm. The Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum and Circle of Blue co-hosted the session, Global Choke Point: On the Front Lines of the Water Food Energy Crisis.

CEF Associate, Susan Chan Shifflett, Interviewed by BBC on Heinz Infant Cereal and China's Food Safety

Following a recent scandal in which a McDonald’s supplier distributed expired meat, US food manufacturer Heinz recalled a baby cereal in China which was detected with excessive levels of lead. CEF Program Associate, Susan Chan Shifflett, was interviewed by BBC discussing why food scandals appear so frequently in China. Susan suggested that besides government regulations, large corporations and individual citizens can play an important role to ensuring food safety. 


Event Summary: Cambio Climatico y Seguridad Alimentaria en America Central

Materials from the event, including presentations, can be found at the bottom of this page.



CEF Associate, Susan Chan Shifflett, Interviewed by Al Jazeera English TV on China's Food Safety Challenges

Recently, the "fake meat" incident haunted foreign fast food giants in China. Several big names such as McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut were involved in this latest scandal. The incident again raised the public attention to continuous food safety issues in China. CEF Program Associate Susan Chan Shifflett was interviewed by Al Jazeera English TV with other experts and NGO workers discussing the political and social reasons and obstacles behind. 

To watch the full-length interview, please click

Migration of Central American Minors: Causes and Solutions

The dramatic rise in unaccompanied minors from Central America arriving in the United States has raised many questions about the factors contributing to this influx. In this event, foreign ministers of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras discuss the roots of this crisis and how their governments are responding.


Andrew Selee
Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute

Environmental Dimensions of Sustainable Recovery: Learning From Post-Conflict & Disaster Response

“Environmental specialists need to change,” said Anita van Breda at the Wilson Center on June 25. “In the new normal, our work has to have a different relevancy.”