Livestock development challenges and access to genetic innovations in the developing world

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC
Workshop on Genome Edited Livestock and Regulatory Stalemates
Livestock production represents more than 40% of the gross value of agricultural production and animal products currently provide around 13% of the energy and 28% of the protein consumed globally. The total demand for animal products in developing countries is expected to more than double by 2030 and it is of global importance that we increase production per animal while at the same time decreasing the emissions intensity (CO2 per unit of animal protein product) of livestock production.

Twenty percent of animal production is lost to disease, and infectious diseases remain an important constraint to more productive and profitable livestock production in many developing regions. Genome editing offers an opportunity to make targeted genomic alterations that decrease livestock susceptibility to certain diseases and increase adaptation to challenging ecologies and production systems. But the global regulatory status of genome edited animals is unclear. Even though methods to genetically engineer (GE) animals preceded the discovery of those for GE crops, which are now grown by 18 million farmers on 185 million hectares in 26 countries, only one GE food animal, a fast-growing salmon, is commercially available in a single country, Canada. This lack of progress is in part due to the arbitrary process-based regulatory pathway uniquely associated with GE animals. To avoid this fate for genome edited animals, there is an urgent need for a more product risk-based regulatory approach.

Period15 Feb 2019
Held atAAAS, United States