The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, along with the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, launched the Global Food Ethics Project to take on the challenge of working through conflicting visions of what it means to feed the world ethically and find a concrete path forward even in the absence of consensus about ethical commitments and values. The Global Food Ethics Project gathered an international group of 23 scholars.

The main product of this three-year project was the 7 by 5 Agenda for Ethics and Global Food Security (May 2015). This report was the result of an unprecedented undertaking: gathering a diverse, international, and influential Working Group of experts to build a research and policy agenda for global food ethics that would make a significant, practical contribution to global food security. We put forward seven important and tractable projects to make progress on ethics and global food security in five years. Over 20 project ideas were analyzed by our group and seven emerged as the most timely:

  1. Ethical Challenges in Projections of Global Food Demand, Supply, and Prices
  2. The Food Sovereignty Movement and the Exceptionality of Food and Agriculture
  3. The Case for the Professionalization of Farming
  4. Global Agricultural Research and Development: Ethics, Priorities, and Funders
  5. Climate-Smart and Climate-Just Agriculture
  6. Ethics of Meat Consumption in High-Income and Middle-Income Countries
  7. Consumers, Certifications, and Labels: Ethically Benchmarking Food Systems



(Affiliations at the time the project was conducted)

Core Hopkins Leadership Team:

Yashar Saghai, MA, PhD, Project Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

Ruth Faden, PhD, MPH, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics


Alan Goldberg, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Robert L. Thompson, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)



David Fraser, CM, PhD, Animal Welfare Program and Applied Animal Biology Program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Canada

Per Pinstrup-Andersen, PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences and Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University; University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Madison Powers, JD, DPhil, Department of Philosophy and Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University


Sara Glass, RD, Project Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

Working Group Members:

Bina Agarwal, PhD, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, UK

Anne Barnhill, PhD, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania

Antônio Salazar P. Brandão, PhD, Department of Economic Analysis, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sylvie M. Brouder, PhD, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

Ettore Capri, PhD, Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment, Catholic University of the Sacred Hearth, Piacenza, Italy

Kenneth G. Cassman, PhD, Department of Agronomy, Depart of Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

William Easterling, PhD, Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University

Jessica Fanzo, PhD, Institute of Human Nutrition and Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University 

Charles Godfrey, CBE FRS, The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, University of Oxford, UK

David Groenfeldt, PhD, Water-Culture Institute and Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico

Michael Lipton, D.Litt., Poverty Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK

Clare Narrod, PhD, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, University of Maryland

Pamela Ronald, PhD, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center, University of California, Davis

Richard Visser, PhD, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands

John Wilkinson, PhD, Graduate Center for Development, Agriculture and Society, Federal Rural University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ruqian Zhao, PhD, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, China