Today the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture adopted new policy to emphasize the importance of utilizing a One Health framework in addressing animal, human and environmental health during the hybrid 2021 NASDA Annual Meeting. The new policy formally encourages state departments of agriculture to utilize the science-based method of nourishing whole communities.
“NASDA members understand agriculture is a central component to healthy communities everywhere. Protecting the health of our animals and environment are essential elements to providing nutritious food in a sustainable manner, often requiring state departments of agriculture to work in areas beyond just farming and ranching, such as wildlife preservation, natural disaster response and ensuring food safety,” NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn said. “Our new policy to follow the One Health approach to sustaining thriving communities ties all elements of state agriculture departments’ service into one cohesive response.”
NASDA’s new policy states “NASDA recognizes One Health resides at the intersection of all things living” and that “with animal diseases accounting for nearly 60 percent of all human diseases and 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases being zoonotic, now more than ever we must adapt and recognize the bi-directional movement of high-consequence diseases and be prepared to prevent and mitigate such occurrences.”
NASDA’s policy also recognizes the importance of partnering with corresponding public service agencies, such as wildlife and public health services to build on the capabilities of each, alleviate the undertaking of implementing comprehensive solutions and limit the overextension of any one regulatory authority.
“NASDA members have been champions of partnerships across the food supply chain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recognize the importance of cross-agency collaboration,” Glenn said. The One Health approach naturally encourages state agriculture departments to continue seeking partnerships and bring others’ strengths into the fold when addressing health concerns that affect us all.”
The CDC defines One Health as a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. NASDA members serve on the frontlines of animal disease prevention and response and are an integral part of accomplishing CDC’s One Health approach to sustaining a resilient food system.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances American agriculture through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.