New alliance to promote dry bean health benefits
April 15, 2004
A new industry group has formed to promote the consumption of dry beans. Through research linking bean consumption to improved health, the group hopes to expand opportunities for the dry bean industry.
The group is called the International Alliance to Promote the Health Benefits of Dry Beans and Other Pulses or Beans for Health Alliance.
The American Dry Bean Board, National Dry Bean Council, Bush Brothers and Company, H.J. Heinz Company, World Vision International and a consortium of universities are currently members. The Beans for Health Alliance is inviting public health organizations, private companies, state grower groups, private volunteer organizations, national and international research centers and universities to join the effort.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the Alliance financially, through a two-year grant totaling $1.5 million. Industry partners have committed to matching that amount. The funds will be used to support three key initiatives:
1) Funding research on the health benefits of beans.
2) Increasing awareness of health professionals about the health benefits of beans.
3) Funding research on bean feeding programs among populations at risk for critical health issues.
The group formed because the members believe that although beans are one of the healthiest foods available, only limited research has been conducted to prove the benefits of bean consumption.
We hope to repeat the successes enjoyed by the soybean industry, the nut industry, and the oat industry. These industries have demonstrated that positive research leads to media coverage and greater consumer awareness and consumption, says Sara Rose, president of the Alliance and a Bush Brothers and Company executive.
A foundation of scientific information is emerging that indicates eating dry beans and pulses significantly contributes to improved health, says Stacey Zawel, executive director of the Alliance. With this support from USAID, we will jump-start more research efforts on the health benefits of beans and influence the research agenda. Initial research shows that bean consumption can reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers, delay the onset of AIDS in HIV positive individuals through improved nutrition, and reduce obesity and type II diabetes. The Alliance, which plans to fund research and promotion projects, has several objectives, including:
· Achieving food based solutions to child malnutrition and critical health problems.
· Generating sufficient scientific knowledge to make health claims regarding the consumption of beans and pulses.
· Increasing the consumption of beans/pulse grain and processed products.
· Stimulating the growth of new and existing markets for dry beans/pulses and processed food products in both developing and developed countries.
Pulse Health Alliance Budget
Program Year 1 Total Year 2 Total Program Total
Education and Promotion $169,175 $256,770 $425,945
Executive management $91,560 $82,495 $174,055
Research (CRSP) $348,127 $351,873 $700,000
Interventions (World Vision) $100,000 $100,000 $200,000
Total $708,862 $791,138 $1,500,000
The National Dry Bean Council named Tim Courneya, executive vice-president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, as its representative on the Alliance executive committee.
For more information about the Alliance, contact Courneya at 50072 E. Lake 7 Road, Frazee, MN 56544. Phone: (218) 334-6351. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach Zawel, executive director of the Alliance at (732) 356-4581 or Stacey@zawelhealth.com
Initial research shows that bean consumption can reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers, delay the onset of AIDS in HIV positive individuals through improved nutrition, and reduce obesity and type II diabetes.