Issue Papers

Issue Papers - IP62 - September 2018

Food Loss and Waste is a paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Reducing food loss and waste (FLW) is one of the key strategies to combat hunger and sustainably feed the world. This paper provides a critical overview of U.S. FLW through an objective, balanced, and data-driven approach. There are four sections. First, the magnitude of the problem is described using four major data sources at the national level and the different scope and boundaries of these data are compared; there follows a discussion of the three fundamental resources for primary food production—land, water, and fertilizer—that are embedded in the lost and wasted food, plus other resource costs. Second, the authors discuss why FLW occurs, drawing attention to the many issues of the FLW problem at the consumer end—food-wasting behavior, the “whys,” and the interacting influence of psychological, social, cultural, and economic factors; they also describe major actions that are being taken across the nation to decrease FLW. Third, a hard look at existing data on the quantity of food waste prevention, recovery, and recycling is taken by compiling all major sources of data that could be located, providing a “reality check” on how well the country is performing on lessening FLW. Finally, the authors present an interpretative and critical analysis concerning three key issues: How can the United States work toward the 50% reduction goal by 2030 knowingly and confidently? What technological innovations may be game changers? What other approaches could be explored to influence consumer food behavior for the better? Chair: Zhengxia Dou, Clinical Studies/NBC, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. IP62, September 2018, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).


 
 
Issue Papers - IP61 - July 2018

This publication serves to review what is known about poultry egg and meat production with specific attention to available research on free-range production systems. Stressors related to alternatively housed and managed birds, as well as the known advantages and disadvantages for farmers, are reviewed. Food quality and food safety in regard to poultry meat and eggs are often understood by farmers and consumers as one and the same. Clarification of food quality and food safety with regard to poultry production systems will be discussed. The role of farming systems in disease control is included in this discussion. Attention to the environmental system, soil contamination, and manure burdens placed on the land by free-range poultry is also considered. This consolidation of information is aimed at helping further the discussion of free-range poultry as it pertains to larger farming systems and the future of this growing field of niche market poultry production. Cochairs: Jacquie Jacob and Tony Pescatore, University of Kentucky. IP61, July 2018, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).

 
 
Issue Papers - IP60 - July 2018

Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance is a paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances in basic and applied biology. This issue paper describes how genome editing is performed, the types of “edits” that can be made, how the process relates to traditional breeding and conventional genetic engineering, and the potential limitations of the approach. The paper also presents an overview of the current landscape of governance of genome editing, including existing regulations, international agreements, and standards and codes of conduct, as well as a discussion of factors that affect governance, including comparison with other approaches to genetic modification, environmental and animal welfare impacts of specific applications, values of producers and consumers, and economic impacts, among others. Chair: Adam J. Bogdanove, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. IP60, July 2018, 24 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).

 
 
Issue Papers - IP59 - March 2018

This report examines the current U.S. regulatory system for GE crops, compares it with those of major trading partners, and considers the effects it has on agricultural biotechnology. The authors of this CAST Issue Paper show that despite foundational contributions requiring considerable public resource commitments for GE crop innovation and development, academic institutions and small private entities have been almost entirely excluded from the agricultural biotechnology market. The regulatory system needs to be adjusted, or "public, academic, and small business entities will continue to be frustrated in using these safe tools to deliver useful products." Chair: Alan McHughen (Chair), University of California, Riverside. IP59, March 2018, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
(key words: biotech innovation, genetic engineering, GM crops, GMO)

 
 
Issue Papers - IP58 - April 2017

Crop Protection Contributions toward Agricultural Productivity is a paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Many rely on just a few to provide food and fiber—and crop protection techniques are a major factor in this essential productivity. Innovation and a push for the development of integrated plant protection technologies must continue to provide effective, economical, and efficient pest management. The authors of this CAST Issue Paper examine the current plant protection revolution that is driven by the biological realities of pesticide resistance, various market forces, and real or perceived side effects of pesticides. This science-based review considers many plant protection trends, considers new technologies, and examines current biotech advancements. Chair: Susan Ratcliffe, University of Illinois, Urbana. IP58, April 2017, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
(Key Words: seed treatments, IPM, insect management, weed management, plant pathogens, biologicals, PIPs)

 
 
Issue Papers - IP57 - March 2017

Plant Breeding and Genetics is a paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Humans depend on plants for food, feed, fiber, and fuel—as well as less tangible aspects of life such as aesthetics and environmental stability. This paper is the first in a series that connects science and technology to agriculture, and it focuses on the critical importance of innovation in plant breeding to meet the challenge of providing food and nutritional security to humankind. Key areas covered include (1) the science of plant breeding and genetics; (2) the need for encouraging the next generation of scientists; (3) the current role of government policy and regulations; and (4) the need for cooperation and collaboration at all levels, including the public-private nexus. Co-chairs: P. Stephen Baenziger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Rita H. Mumm, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IP57, March 2017, 24 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
(Key Words: genetic technologies, genetic variation, phenotyping, hybridization, molecular biology, regulatory oversight, genomics, haploidy, cultivar)

 
 
Issue Papers - IP56-SPA - June 2016

A los niños se les enseña la frase “eres lo que comes” y esta frase se repite posteriormente a lo largo de la vida. Este dicho habla de la íntima conexión entre lo que el individuo decide comer y su salud—y hasta su identidad. Dada la actual cadena de suministro alimentaria, predominantemente global, los consumidores no pueden observar los procesos de producción de los alimentos que consumen. Con frecuencia, los consumidores se ven expuestos a etiquetas que comunican aspectos específicos del proceso de producción de alimentos. El progreso en la ciencia y la tecnología agrícola ha sido de beneficio, tanto para los productores como para los consumidores y será necesario para mejorar la condición de los pobres en los Estados Unidos y el resto del mundo. Este artículo de CAST examina lo que se sabe sobre las reacciones de los consumidores ante las etiquetas de proceso, identifica un marco legal en este sentido y por último, presenta directrices de políticas que ponen en relieve en qué momento el etiquetado de proceso es de beneficio o puede ser perjudicial para el sector agrícola y las personas que consumen los alimentos que éste produce. Chair: Kent D. Messer, Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark. IP56, October 2015, 16 pp. Gratuito. Disponible en línea e impreso (Cuota de envío y manejo).

 
 
Issue Papers - IP56 - October 2015

We live in a world of labels, and even though information is crucial, some labeling leads to confusion, negative views, and misunderstanding. In the supermarket, consumers might misinterpret “facts” or develop disparaging images. The authors of this paper look at the impact labeling has on the food industry—the choices consumers make, the way labeling affects the adoption of technology, and the influence labeling might have on the amount of money spent for research and product development. Legislators, regulatory officials, and consumers will benefit from the thoughtful, science-based information in this Issue Paper. Chair: Kent D. Messer, Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark. IP56, October 2015, 16 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).

 
 
Issue Papers - IP55 - November 2014

Crop protection is critical to the growth of healthy plants, the enhancement of the environment, and the production of healthy foods. Recognition of the critical role of crop protection in food production has been ignored and derided by some sectors. This Issue Paper (IP 55) reviews the benefits of crop protection, including the use of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides in crop production. The information provides a summary of the benefits of Integrated Pest Management as well as a section focusing on new uses of pesticides that are efficacious in reducing risk and providing new benefits. Chair: Stephen Weller, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University. IP55, November 2014, 28 pp., FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling may apply).

Mandarin Chinese translation also available as download (click link).

 
 
Issue Papers - IP54 - April 2014

Although genetically engineered (GE) products are used around the world, the issue becomes contentious when they are present in our food. A key part of the resulting debate centers on proposals regarding the mandatory labeling of GE food. With some states considering legislation to mandate such labels, this CAST Issue Paper (IP 54)examines arguments for and against labels, the costs involved with labeling, and experiences in countries that use mandatory labeling. Chair: Alison Van Eenennaam, Department of Animal Science, University of California - Davis. IP54, April 2014, 16 pp., FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).
(Keywords: GE Labeling, GE Food, Biotech, GMO)

GE Labeling Impact Report - June 2014

View videos of the April 28, 2014 panel discussion here.