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)