Gene editing among top ’emerging innovations’ needed to reach sustainable food system, 50 experts say

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Credit: Colourbox

An international team of almost 50 experts identified 75 emerging innovations and 8 action points that can help speed up the transition to a sustainable and healthy food system. Their recommendations are published in Nature Food.

At present, 40 percent of global land is used for food production, which contributes to land-use change, biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, major transformations in the way food is produced are necessary. The emerging innovations enumerated include genome editing, vertical agriculture, nitrogen-fixing crops that do not need fertilizer, use of insects for food and feed, among others.

Five out of the eight action points for accelerating the food system transformation are centered on trust, changing mindsets, enabling social license, and safeguarding against unwanted effects. The first point focuses on building trust among key players of the food system which include the farmers, consumers, and food companies. They are required to have shared values on the desirability of various food system outcomes, for example, sustainability provenance, and socio-economic advantages.

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