Issue Papers

Issue Papers - IP22 - November 2002

This issue paper takes a critical look at the environmental impacts of grazing systems and provides guidance on land management tools. Key issues of concern include alteration of wildlife habitat and degradation of soil and water quality. The authors find that current problems may stem from land use practices of several decades ago and may require active management practices to restore the land's health. Cochairs: William C. Krueger, Department of Rangeland Resources, Oregon State University, Corvallis, and Matt A. Sanderson, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, University Park, Pennsylvania. IP22, November 2002, 16 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP21 - July 2002

This issue paper outlines the technologies and approaches that poultry and livestock producers can use to decrease the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus entering the environment. This study focuses on two nutrients and addresses two environmental concerns: volatilization and manure nutrient distribution. Decreasing the nitrogen and phosphorus excreted by poultry, swine, or cattle can minimize these concerns. Chair: Terry Klopfenstein, Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. IP21, July 2002, 16 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP20 - March 2002

This CAST issue paper provides policymakers and others with a nine-step guide to curtail the impact of non-native pests, including diseases, insects, and animals. These pests are the source of an estimated $137 billion annual economic burden to the United States and are the second leading cause of species endangerment. In addition, bioterrorism introduces another unknown risk factor into the already unstable mix of detrimental exotic species. Cochairs: Don M. Huber, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and Martin E. Hugh-Jones, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. IP20, March 2002, 18 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP19 - October 2001

A group of nine science and policy experts prepared this evaluation of the process by which U.S. regulatory agencies determine the safety of biotechnology-derived crops. The authors found that the U.S. regulatory process is comprehensive and meets its charge of ensuring that biotechnology-derived foods are at least as safe as foods derived using traditional breeding techniques. The paper poses and then answers questions about how safety assessments and regulatory reviews are conducted, what strengths and weaknesses can be identified in those reviews, and whether there are improvements in the regulatory process that would enhance public confidence in the process. The authors offer ten recommendations for policy and research in agricultural biotechnology. Chair: Bruce M. Chassy, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois. IP19, October 2001, 14 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP17 - May 2001

Johne's disease is primarily an intestinal infection of ruminants. Largely ignored by the livestock industry in the past, Johne's disease has gained importance among producers because of the economic losses they incur from herd infections and the potential human health hazards associated with the causative agent Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. This study discusses the diagnosis, transmission, and control of Johne's disease; the impact of the disease on the food animal industry; and the possible impact on human health. Cochairs: Robert D. Linnabary, Department of Large Animal Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Gavin L. Meerdink, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana. IP17, May 2001, 10 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP18 - May 2001

Individuals in the agricultural professions make valuable contributions to society, but the American public sometimes questions the relevance of those contributions and the impact of agriculture on the environment, human health, and the economy. This CAST issue paper was written to help agricultural professionals communicate clearly what they do and why it is important. The authors propose the development of a professional portfolio to be used instead of the traditional curriculum vitae. A portfolio would present career highlights and summarize accomplishments in terms that could be understood and appreciated by a broad spectrum of people--from the general public to funding agencies, colleagues, collaborators, and employers. Cochairs: James R. Fischer, Agriculture and Forestry Research System, Clemson University, and David A. Knauft, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. IP18, May 2001, 8 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP16 - July 2000

Exposure to synthetic and naturally occurring chemicals can affect important endocrine pathways and induce toxic responses. Authors from a variety of scientific disciplines contributed to the CAST paper, which provides an analysis of multiple, widely reported issues, such as altered reproductive development and increased incidences of cancer. Chair: Stephen H. Safe, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station. IP16, July 2000, 16 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP15 - June 2000

This issue paper helps pinpoint factors that need to be considered as farmers and others use soil tests as a guide to protecting the environment while producing economical food. The issue paper provides perspective on the increasingly important role of soil tests, which farmers have long used in making crop production decisions. Chair: Eugene J. Kamprath, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. IP15, June 2000, 12 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).

Issue Papers - IP14 - April 2000

The same farming practices that promote soil conservation can also decrease the amount of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and threatening a global warming. Agricultural practices that conserve soil and increase productivity while improving soil quality also increase the amount of carbon-rich organic matter in soils, thereby providing a global depository for carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere by growing plants. Authors: Norman J. Rosenberg and Roberto C. Izaurralde, Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Washington, D.C. IP14, April 2000, 8 pp. OUT OF PRINT, Available as download only.

Issue Papers - IP13 - February 2000

Findings are presented on the growing danger to national forests, recreational, and agricultural lands from noxious weed infestations. These infestations are causing costly and irreparable damage to wetlands, wildlife habitat, wildlands, rangelands, and aquatic and riparian areas on public and private lands all across the United States, especially in popular western recreation states. The release of the paper was scheduled to coincide with National Invasive Weed Awareness Week, February 28 through March 3, 2000. Chair: Barbra H. Mullin, Montana Department of Agriculture, Helena. IP13, February 2000, 18 pp., FREE. Available online ( AND in print (515-292-2125; fee for shipping/handling).