Press Releases

Three Global Leaders Debate the Issues Facing the Food Industry Today


[Lexington, KENTUCKY] - In an unprecedented global event, three of the world's top agricultural policy makers took the stage today to address feed, food and fuel issues as part of Alltech's 24th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium.

Mike Johanns, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); David Byrne, former EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection; and Osler Desouzart, president of OD Consulting in Brazil, informed delegates of green solutions to consumer safety, energy and environmental concerns based on their perspective.

Offering highly informed opinions, the panelists commented on a variety of issues in modern food production, consumer safety and renewable fuels.

With recent concerns over traceability and food safety coming to the forefront of consumers' minds, Mr. Byrne said, "Preserving consumer confidence is paramount in a successful food production system."


David Byrne, former EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Safety; Mike Johanns, former Secretary of the USDA; Osler Desouzart,
Mr. Desouzart, commenting on future agricultural priorities, said, "... between starvation and environmental degradation, one isn't more important than the other."

Presented in front of nearly 2,000 delegates from all regions of the world, the debate also posed such timely questions as:

  • Can we safely feed the world at an affordable economic and environmental cost?
  • What effect does agriculture have on animal welfare and the environment?
  • Do we understand the carbon footprint agriculture leaves behind?
  • What impact will the use of grains for ethanol have on the cost of feed, food and available environmental resources?

The issue of biofuel production, a hot topic in modern agriculture, was summed up by Secretary Johanns, who said, "Biofuels can be part of what I call an American Rural Renaissance."

Commenting on the debate, Alltech President and Founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, said, "Each year, we strive to make Alltech's International Symposium exciting, relevant and informative. I believe that by having Mike Johanns, David Byrne and Osler Desouzart share our stage in a one-of-a-kind debate our delegates have gained a new perspective on the issues that are directly impacting the world. The ideas shared today will become the foundation for building a green legacy for future generations."

Alltech's mission is to improve animal health and performance by improving the nutritional value of animal feed, animal health and nutrition. Since it was founded 28 years ago, the company has developed a strong regional presence throughout the world with 1,900 employees in 113 countries. For more information, visit

Alltech is the proud sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010(TM) to be held September 25-October 10 in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

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