Leading scientists from throughout the United States will gather June 16-18 at UC Davis to identify research priorities and government policies that enhance human health through agriculture, food and nutrition.

"With health care consuming so much of the developed world's resources, there is a critical need to understand how diet, nutrition, and the underlying agricultural production systems impact human health," said Alan Bennett, a UC Davis plant sciences professor and conference organizer.

"Promoting Health by Linking Agriculture, Food and Nutrition" is the theme of the 22nd annual conference of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council. The conference is organized into five sessions that will address topics such as designing and producing healthy food, social and cultural dimensions of eating habits, bringing nutrition science to regulations and how business can find food and nutrition innovations.

"Agriculture and conventional food systems have provided the basis for long and healthy lives, and much of that improvement can be traced to healthier diets," Bennett said. "At the same time, we are faced with a growing critique that conventional food systems are a significant contributor to the health crisis that developed countries are facing, particularly related to obesity and diabetes."

It is with this dichotomy – agriculture and diet being both the problem and the solution to an increasing health crisis – that the conference is framed, addressing both sides of the issue. The conference will also look at ongoing research strategies to promote health through food and diet, as well as examine how governmental regulatory systems are providing oversight of the relationship between food and health.

The National Agricultural Biotechnology Council has been hosting annual public meetings about the safe, ethical and effective development of agricultural biotechnology products since its formation in 1988 by the Boyce Thompson Institute in collaboration with UC Davis, Cornell University and Iowa State University.

Today the organization consists of 36 leading agricultural research and teaching universities, governmental agencies and institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

More detail about the conference agenda, program speakers and online registration is available at http://nabc.ucdavis.edu/.