Critical Role of Animal
Science Research in Food
Security and Sustainability
Committee on Considerations for the Future
of Animal Science Research
Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
Policy and Global Affairs
Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division on Earth and Life Studies
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by a grant from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under award number OPP1097068, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Board, Tyson Foods, Inc., the U.S. Department of Agriculture under award number 59-0208-2-169, and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-31644-6
International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-31644-8
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015935247
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Committee on Considerations for the Future
of Animal Science Research
Bernard D. Goldstein (Chair) (IOM), Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Louis D’Abramo, William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University
Gary F. Hartnell, Senior Fellow, Chemistry Technology, Monsanto Company
Joy Mench, Professor of Animal Science and Director of the Center for Animal Welfare, University of California, Davis
Sara Place, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Beef Cattle Systems, Oklahoma State University
Mo Salman, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology, Colorado State University, and Jefferson Science Fellow, U.S. Department of State
Dennis H. Treacy, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
B. L. Turner II (NAS), Gilbert F. White Professor of Environment and Society, Arizona State University
Gary W. Williams, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Co-Director, Agribusiness, Food, and Consumer Economics Research Center, Texas A&M University
Felicia Wu, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition and Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University
Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Staff
Richard Bissell, Executive Director, Policy and Global Affairs Division
Jerry L. Miller, Director
Jennifer Saunders, Senior Program Officer
Dominic Brose, Program Officer
Emi Kameyama, Program Associate
Brent Heard, Sustainability Fellow
Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Staff
Robin Schoen, Director
Kara Laney, Program Officer
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By 2050 the world’s population is projected to grow by one-third, reaching between 9 billion and 10 billion people. With trade globalization, increased urbanization, and expected growth in global affluence, a substantial increase in per capita meat, dairy, and fish consumption also is anticipated. Sustainably meeting the nutritional needs of this population and its demand for animal products will require a significant research and development (R&D) investment so that the productivity of today can be sufficiently enhanced to meet the much heightened demands of the year 2050. The challenges to be met go beyond research into enhanced animal agricultural productivity. Research will be required into how to anticipate and meet significant changes in the global environment impacting on animal agriculture, how to improve equitable distribution of animal agricultural products today and in the future, and how best to improve engagement and respectful bidirectional communication between those engaged in animal agriculture and the public. Ensuring sustainable agricultural growth will be critical to addressing this global challenge to food security.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in 2010, the food animal sector contributed 40 percent of the global value of agricultural output and supported the livelihoods and food security of almost a billion people. This sector, one of the fastest growing areas for agricultural development, is driven by income growth and supported by technological and structural change. Several challenges compound this rapid growth, including increasing pressure on the availability of land, water, and energy to sustainably increase animal agricultural productivity, and the potential adverse impacts of global climate change on agricultural productivity. A further challenge is the overuse of medically important antibiotics leading to an increased risk of infectious disease in humans and in animals, particularly with increasing globalization leading to more rapid spread of disease. The FAO notes that the “speed of change has often significantly outpaced the capacity of governments and societies to provide the necessary policy and regulatory
framework to ensure an appropriate balance between the provision of private and public goods.”1
Advances in animal agriculture have been a result of R&D and new technologies, particularly in areas such as food safety, genetics, reproductive efficiencies, nutrition, animal welfare, disease control, biotechnology, and the environment. Although investment in agricultural R&D continues to be highly productive, the field has witnessed a marked decrease in funding in terms of real dollars. Recognizing this gap between the animal agricultural research enterprise and the need to address challenges related to global food security and animal protein demand globally and domestically, an ad hoc committee of experts was convened to prepare a report to identify critical areas of R&D, technologies, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. Specifically, the committee was asked to assess global demand for products of animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluate how environmental changes and natural resource constraints may affect the ability to sustainably meet future global demand for animal products in a wide variety of production systems in the United States and internationally; and identify factors that may affect the ability of the United States to sustainably meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and effective communication and adoption of new knowledge, information, and technologies. The committee was also tasked with identifying the needs for human capital development, technology transfer, and information systems for emerging and evolving animal production systems in developing countries, including social science and economic research into understanding the need for, and acceptability of, new knowledge and technologies; and with describing the evolution of sustainable animal production systems relevant to production and production efficiency metrics in the United States and in developing countries.
The task given to the committee was based on three underlying assumptions, which the committee did not reexamine in depth. First, global animal protein consumption will continue to increase based on population growth and increased per capita animal protein consumption. There is a wealth of literature to support this expectation, although assumptions about the various social, economic, and environmental
1 FAO. 2009. The State of Food and Agriculture 2009: Livestock in the Balance. Rome: FAO.
factors that will drive animal food demand in 2050 are, at best, informed conjectures. Second, restricted resources (e.g., water, land, energy, capital) and environmental changes, including climate change, will drive complex agricultural decisions with impacts on research needs. If the natural ecosystem is defined as one that is unaffected by humans, then agriculture is inherently disruptive. Third, current and foreseeable rapid advances in basic biological sciences, as well as social sciences and economics, provide an unparalleled opportunity to maximize the yield of investments in animal science R&D. The following report is a result of the committee’s deliberations based on these assumptions.
The committee operated under a fast-track approach which began in March 2014 and concluded with the submission of the revised report in December 2014. This approach constrained deliberations to those areas clearly within the boundaries of the task. This report points to many directions that can be expanded upon and advanced in future deliberations on the subject of animal agriculture research needs. The committee recognizes that it is not unusual for a National Research Council (NRC) committee charged with evaluating research to find that the area has been relatively underfunded. Accordingly, the committee went out of its way to develop analyses that evaluated this contention. These are detailed in Chapter 5.
The committee recognizes that there is literature advocating the reduction of the amount of animal protein in our diets in order to improve our health and well-being and reduce the impact of these agricultural systems on the environment. We do recommend research to better understand the impact of these dietary preferences as well as other social issues, such as animal welfare. The committee does not, however, directly address how these issues might affect the demand for animal agriculture, because it was specifically tasked with identifying research needs for animal agriculture in light of the projected global increase in human consumption of animal agricultural products. The committee does note that as long as animal protein continues to be consumed, there is value to R&D that improves the efficiency of its production.
In the first paragraph of the Preface of its 2010 report, the NRC Committee on Twenty-First Century Systems Agriculture stated:
Since the National Research Council published the report Alternative Agriculture in 1989, there has been a remarkable emergence of innovations and technological advances that are generating promising changes and
opportunities for sustainable agriculture in the United States. At the same time, the agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous daunting challenges that will require innovations, new technologies, and new ways of approaching agriculture if the food, feed, and fiber needs of the global population are to be met.2
The present NRC committee concurs with this finding as it relates to animal agriculture—and particularly agrees with characterizing the challenges as daunting. We recognize that many supporters of organic animal agriculture may disagree with the committee’s finding that, although organic animal agriculture can contribute to local sustainability, such as by decreasing energy needs for transportation and by lessening the concentration of waste in a single location, in its present form it cannot be scaled up to meet current or future demands for animal protein. It is our hope that the committee’s work will help the dedicated scientists, technicians, and animal agriculturists achieve their mutual goal of nutritiously feeding the world’s population.
In this report, Chapter 1 first describes the challenge that the committee addressed. Chapter 2 discusses the challenge of global food security, Chapter 3 explores key issues for animal sciences research considerations for the United States, Chapter 4 examines global considerations for animal agricultural research, Chapter 5 addresses capacity building and infrastructure for research in food security and animal sciences, and Chapter 6 provides the committee’s findings and recommendations for the field described in Chapters 3, 4, and 5.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.
We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Donald Beitz, Iowa State University; Jason Clay, World Wildlife Fund; Russell Cross, Texas A&M University; Terry Etherton, The
2 NRC (National Research Council). 2010. Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Pennsylvania State University; Terry McElwain, Washington State University; John Patience, Iowa State University; Jimmy Smith, International Livestock Research Institute; Ellen Silbergeld, Johns Hopkins University; Henning Steinfeld, Food and Agriculture Organization; and Peter Vitousek, Stanford University.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by R. James Cook, Washington State University, and Johanna Dwyer, Tufts Medical Center. Appointed by the National Academies, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
The report would not have been possible without the sponsors of this study, including the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Board, Tyson Foods, Inc., the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
The committee gratefully acknowledges the following individuals for making presentations to the committee: Catherine Woteki, USDA; Kathy Simmons, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Ying Wang, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy; Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board; Kevin Igli, Tyson Foods, Inc.; Ted Mashima, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; John Glisson, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association; Donald Nkrumah, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mary Beck, Mississippi State University; Molly Brown, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Dennis Treacy, Smithfield Foods, Inc.; Trey Patterson, Padlock Ranch; Jason Clay, World Wildlife Fund; Suzanne Bertrand, International Livestock Research Institute; Laurie Hueneke, National Pork Producers Council; Mario Herrero, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Henning Steinfeld, FAO; Russell Cross, Texas A&M University; Montague W. Demment and Anne-Claire Hervy, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; Jude Capper, Montana State University; Raymond Anthony, University of Alaska, Anchorage; Randy Brummett, The World Bank; and Clare Narrod, University of Maryland. The committee
would also like to recognize Keith Fuglie of USDA’s Economic Research Service, who provided valuable data that greatly informed committee deliberations.
The deliberations on its broad task occurred on a fast-track schedule that could not have been met without the exceptional support of the committee staff. Staff members who contributed to this effort are Jennifer Saunders, senior program officer of the Science and Technology for Sustainability Program responsible for our study; Robin Schoen, director of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Kara Laney, program officer; Dominic Brose, program officer; Emi Kameyama, program associate; Brent Heard, sustainability fellow; Adriana Courembis, financial associate; Karen Autrey, report review associate; Marina Moses, director (through May 2014); Dylan Richmond, research assistant (through August 2014); Christine Johnson, sustainability fellow (through July 2014); Hope Hare, administrative assistant; Mirsada Karalic-Loncarevic, manager of the Technical Information Center; Marilyn Baker, director for reports and communication; and Richard Bissell, executive director, Policy and Global Affairs Division.
We thank especially the members of the committee for their tireless efforts throughout the development of this report.
Bernard D. Goldstein, Chair
Committee on the Considerations for
the Future of Animal Science Research
Abbreviations and Acronyms
|ACDC||Agricultural Communications Documentation Center|
|ADSA||American Dairy Science Association|
|AFO||animal feeding operation|
|AFRI||Agriculture and Food Research Initiative|
|APLU||Association of Public and Land-grant Universities|
|ARS||Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture)|
|ASAS||American Society of Animal Science|
|ASC||Aquaculture Stewardship Council|
|ATIP||Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership|
|AVMA||American Veterinary Medical Association|
|BANR||National Research Council’s Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources|
|BSE||bovine spongiform encephalopathy|
|CAADP||Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme|
|CAC||Codex Alimentarius Commission|
|CAFO||concentrated animal feeding operation|
|CAP||Coordinated Agricultural Project (USDA)|
|CAST||Council for Agricultural Science and Technology|
|CDC||Centers for Disease Control and Prevention|
|CFD||computational fluid dynamics|
|CGIAR||Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research|
|COOL||Country of Origin Labeling|
|CRADA||Cooperative Research and Development Agreement|
|CRIS||Current Research Information System (USDA)|
|CSES||Coalition for a Sustainable Egg Supply|
|CSREES||Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA)|
|DDGS||distillers dried grains with solubles|
|DOE||U.S. Department of Energy|
|EADD||East Africa Dairy Development Project|
|ECF||East Coast fever|
|EFSA||European Food Safety Authority|
|EPA||U.S. Environmental Protection Agency|
|ERS||Economic Research Service (USDA)|
|ESMIS||Economics, Statistics, and Market Information System (USDA)|
|FAEIS||Food and Agricultural Education Information System (USDA)|
|FAIR||Farm Animal Integrated Research|
|FAO||Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations|
|FASEB||Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology|
|FASS||Federation of Animal Science Societies|
|FCR||feed conversion ratio|
|FDA||Food and Drug Administration|
|FFAR||Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research|
|FPCM||fat- and protein-corrected milk|
|FSIS||Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA)|
|FVE||Federation of Veterinarians of Europe|
|GAFSP||Global Agriculture and Food Security Program|
|GATT||General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade|
|GCM||general circulation model|
|GDP||gross domestic product|
|GEBV||genomic estimated breeding values|
|GLOBIOM||Global Biosphere Management Model|
|GSI||Global Salmon Initiative|
|HACCP||hazard analysis and critical control points|
|HIV/AIDS||human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome|
|HPAI||highly pathogenic avian influenza|
|ICAR||International Committee for Animal Recording|
|ILRI||International Livestock Research Institute|
|ILSI||International Life Sciences Institute|
|IPCC||Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change|
|IPPC||International Plant Protection Convention|
|ISEAL||International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling|
|IVF||in vitro fertilization|
|IWG-A||Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture|
|IWG-OA||Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification|
|LCA||life cycle assessment|
|LEAP||Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance|
|MAP||modified atmosphere packaging|
|MERS||Middle East respiratory syndrome|
|MOET||multiple ovulation embryo transfer|
|MRP||multistate research program|
|NAGRP||National Animal Genome Research Program|
|NAHMS||National Animal Health Monitoring System|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|NIFA||National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA)|
|NIH||National Institutes of Health|
|NMSP||Nutrient Management Spear Program|
|NOAA||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|
|NRC||National Research Council|
|NRI||National Research Initiative (USDA)|
|NSF||National Science Foundation|
|OECD||Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development|
|OIE||World Organization for Animal Health|
|OSHA||Occupational Safety and Health Administration (U.S. Department of Labor)|
|PAS||partitioned aquaculture systems|
|PCAST||President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology|
|POP||persistent organic pollutants|
|PSA||Poultry Science Association|
|rBGH||recombinant bovine growth hormone|
|rbST||recombinant bovine somatotropin|
|rpST||recombinant porcine somatotropin|
|RAS||recirculating aquaculture system|
|REDNEX||reduce nitrogen excretion by ruminants|
|REE||Research, Education, and Economics (USDA)|
|R&D||research and development|
|SAES||state agricultural experiment stations|
|SARS||severe acute respiratory syndrome|
|SNP||single nucleotide polymorphisms|
|SPS||sanitary and phytosanitary measures|
|TAD||transboundary animal diseases|
|TFP||total factor productivity|
|THI||thermal heat index|
|TSE||transmissible spongiform encephalopathy|
|UNDP||United Nations Development Programme|
|USAID||U.S. Agency for International Development|
|USDA||U.S. Department of Agriculture|
|USDHHS||U.S. Department of Health and Human Services|
|USGCRP||U.S. Global Changes Research Program|
|USMEF||U.S. Meat Export Federation|
|vCJD||variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease|
|VFD||Veterinary Feed Directive|
|WAAP||World Association of Animal Production|
|WCED||United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development|
|WHO||World Health Organization|
|WTO||World Trade Organization|
|WWF||World Wildlife Fund|