UMass Amherst Professor Served as Panel Member for Congressional Teach-In on Iraq

AMHERST, Mass. - Peter L. Pellett, head of the department of nutrition in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, was a panel member for a Congressional Teach-in on Iraq held on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., Wed., Feb. 25.

The meeting was organized by the Institute of Policy Studies and was chaired by Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).

Pellett said the purpose of the panel was to better inform members of Congress of the current political, legal, and health background to the confrontation between the United States and the Government of Iraq so that multilateral rather than unilateral actions could be taken in the future.

Pellett’s participation was timely, since he led a mission to Iraq in 1997 for the United Nations. The mission’s report, titled "The Evaluation of the Food and Nutrition Situation in Iraq," has just been released by the Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome.

This report describes the effects of seven years of economic sanctions on the health and nutritional status of the people of Iraq as well as the initial impact on the population of the oil-for-food deal between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq.