Playing God: Crispr’d GMO Food Will Stock Grocery Shelves Within 5 Years

The FDA is lobbied and dominated by Big-Ag Technocrats who insist that GMO food is ‘substantially equivalent’ to its natural counterpart, so the GMO food race is full-speed ahead. This trend will substantially change the entire global food chain.  ⁃ TN Editor

A geneticist at the University of California who helped invent the gene-editing tool Crispr told Business Insider she believes its most profound impacts will be on food.

Several Crispr’d crops have already been made, and although you can’t buy them yet, she said she expects to see them in grocery stores within 5 years.

In Silicon Valley, some startups are even using Crispr to make lab-grown meat.

The geneticist, Jennifer Doudna, was named to Business Insider’s list of the10 People Transforming Healthcare.

While ethicists debate the applications of blockbuster gene-editing tool Crispr in human healthcare, an inventor of the tool believes it has a more immediate application: improving our food.

“I think in the next five years the most profound thing we’ll see in terms of Crispr’s effects on people’s everyday lives will be in the agricultural sector,”Jennifer Doudna, the University of California Berkeley geneticist who unearthed Crispr in early experiments with bacteria in 2012, told Business Insider.

Crispr has dozens of potential uses, from treating diseases like sickle cell to certain inherited forms of blindness. The tool recently made headlines when a scientist in China reportedly used it to edit the DNA of a pair of twin baby girls.

Then there are Crispr’s practical applications — the kinds of things we might expect to see in places like grocery stores and farmers’ fields within a decade, according to Doudna.

Work on Crispr’d produce has been ongoing for about half a decade, but it’s only recently that US regulators have created a viable path for Crispr’d products to come to market.

Back in 2016, researchers at Penn State used Crispr to make mushrooms that don’t brown. Last spring, gene-editing startup Pairwise scored $125 million from agricultural giant Monsanto to work on Crispr’d produce with the goal of getting it in grocery stores within the decade. A month later, Stefan Jansson, the chief of the plant physiology department at Sweden’s Umea University, grew and ate the world’s first Crispr’d kale.

More recently, several Silicon Valley startups have been experimenting with using Crispr to make lab-grown meat.

Memphis Meats, a startup with backing from notable figures like Bill Gates and Richard Branson that has made real chicken strips and meatball prototypes from animal cells (and without killing any animals), is using the tool. So is New Age Meats, another San Francisco-based startup that aims to create real meat without slaughter.

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GMO Cooking Oil Quietly Arrives In Restaurants

Flipping logic upside-down, the Technocrats at Calyxt state: “At Calyxt, we believe it is unethical NOT to use our technologies to address these issues head-on.” In reality, GMO is not equivalent to traditional plant husbandry. ⁃ TN Editor

Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That’s according to the company making the oil, which says it’s the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S.

Calyxt said it can’t reveal its first customer for competitive reasons, but CEO Jim Blome said the oil is “in use and being eaten.”

The Minnesota-based company is hoping the announcement will encourage the food industry’s interest in the oil, which it says has no trans fats and a longer shelf life than other soybean oils. Whether demand builds remains to be seen, but the oil’s transition into the food supply signals gene editing’s potential to alter foods without the controversy of conventional GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

Among the other gene-edited crops being explored: Mushrooms that don’t brown, wheat with more fiber, better-producing tomatoes, herbicide-tolerant canola and rice that doesn’t absorb soil pollution as it grows.

Unlike conventional GMOs, which are made by injecting DNA from other organisms, gene editing lets scientists alter traits by snipping out or adding specific genes in a lab. Startups including Calyxt say their crops do not qualify as GMOs because what they’re doing could theoretically be achieved with traditional crossbreeding.

So far, U.S. regulators have agreed and said several gene-edited crops in development do not require special oversight. It’s partly why companies see big potential for gene-edited crops.

“They’ve been spurred on by the regulatory decisions by this administration,” said Greg Jaffe of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health watchdog group.

But given the many ways gene editing can be used, Jaydee Hanson of the Center for Food Safety said regulators should consider the potential implications of each new crop. He cited the example of produce gene-edited to not brown.

“You’ve designed it to sit around longer. Are there problems with that?” he said.

Already, most corn and soy grown in the U.S. are herbicide-tolerant GMOs. Just last week, regulators cleared a hurdle for salmon genetically modified to grow faster. The fish is the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption in the U.S.

Though regulators say GMOs are safe, health and environmental worries have persisted, and companies will soon have to disclose when products have “bioengineered” ingredients.

Calyxt says its oil does not qualify as a GMO. The oil is made from soybeans with two inactivated genes to produce more heart-healthy fats and no trans fats. The company says the oil also has a longer shelf life, which could reduce costs for food makers or result in longer-lasting products.

Soybean oils took a hit when regulators moved to ban oils with trans fats. Other trans fat-free soybean oils have become available in the years since, but the industry has found it difficult to win back food makers that already switched to different oils, said John Motter, former chair of the United Soybean Board.

Calyxt said the first customer is a company in the Midwest with multiple restaurant and foodservice locations, such as building cafeterias. It said the customer is using it in dressings and sauces and for frying, but didn’t specify if the oil’s benefits are being communicated to diners.

Calyxt is working on other gene-edited crops that it says are faster to develop than conventional GMOs, which require regulatory studies. But Tom Adams, CEO of biotech company Pairwise, said oversight of gene-edited foods could become stricter if public attitude changes.

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Next On Your Plate: Genetically Modified Salmon

The FDA is embattled in lawsuits to stop GMO salmon, but it has already been approved for human consumption. All GMO food is pushed as being equivalent to natural food, but no one will know the impact on humans until it’s too late. ⁃ TN Editor

U.S. regulators on Friday gave the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal, but the company behind it may face legal challenges before the fish can be sold domestically.

The Food and Drug Administration said it lifted an alert that had prevented AquaBounty from importing its salmon eggs to its Indiana facility, where they would be grown before being sold as food. The agency noted the salmon has already undergone safety reviews, and that it lifted its alert because the fish would be subject to a new regulation that will require companies to disclose when a food is bioengineered.

The move comes despite a pending lawsuit filed by a coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups that challenged the FDA’s approval of the fish.

“We think a remedy in our case would stop sale of the fish before they’re allowed to be sold,” said George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups suing the FDA.

AquaBounty was founded in 1991, and it has been working through years of safety reviews and regulatory hurdles to sell its fish in the United States. In 2015, its salmon became the first genetically modified animal approved by the FDA for human consumption. But the agency subsequently issued an alert that stopped the Maynard, Massachusetts-based company from importing its fish eggs until disclosure guidelines for genetically modified foods were resolved.

Called AquAdvantage, the fish is Atlantic salmon modified with DNA from other fish species to grow faster, which the company says will help feed growing demand for animal protein while reducing costs.

AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf said the company expects to get a final certification for its Albany, Indiana, growing facility in the coming weeks. Salmon eggs could then be sent from the company’s research and development facility in Canada, and would be harvested after about 18 months when they reach 10 pounds, she said.

Wulf said it’s been difficult to engage companies in sales discussions because AquaBounty didn’t know when it could start growing the fish in the United States. She said the salmon already has been sold in limited quantities in Canada, where it doesn’t have to be labeled as genetically modified. Wulf said she doesn’t expect the pending lawsuit to affect the company’s U.S. plans.

The genetically modified salmon are raised in tanks and bred to be female and sterile, measures designed to address any fears that they might get into the environment and breed with wild fish.

But Kimbrell, of the Center for Food Safety, said the company’s own tests have shown it’s not 100 percent certain the fish would be sterile, and that concerns about it getting in the environment would grow if the company’s operations were to expand.

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Cattle And Sheep Now Herded By ‘Barking’ Drones

The idea of automated agriculture is gaining ground with various types of drone devices. The only element left to replace is the actual farmer/rancher, but that day drawing closer. ⁃ TN Editor

Robots aren’t just stealing human jobs, they’re after man’s best friend too – now there’s a drone that can bark like a sheep dog.

The latest drone developments come as more farmers have started using the technology for work on the farm in recent years.

Drone specialist from Christchurch-based DJI Ferntech, Adam Kerr, said the uptake in drones for agricultural uses had now made the National Agricultural Fieldays in Hamilton one of the biggest events in the company’s calendar.

“The past two years have seen farmers embrace drone technology to help with those jobs that are dirty, dangerous or just plain dull,” he said.

Corey Lambeth, a shepherd on a North Canterbury sheep and beef farm near Rotherham, said his drone had made work such as moving stock and checking water and feed levels more efficient.

“Winter time it’s ideal for flying it sitting at home on a cold day I don’t want to go outside, so I fly my drone round, have a look make sure all my stock are behind the wire.

“Also when we’re lambing we can fly it round, it’s ideal with the [camera] zoom, going right in, looking at it [the drone monitor], not even disturbing the ewes,” Mr Lambeth said.

The latest drone model, the $3500 DJI Mavic Enterprise, can record sounds and play them over a speaker – allowing a dog’s bark, or other noises, to be loudly projected across a paddock.

Mr Lambeth said this feature helped move stock along faster during mustering while stressing the animals less than a dog could.

Cows could sometimes become protective of their calves and try to lunge at farm dogs when they got too close, he said.

“That’s the one thing I’ve noticed when you’re moving cows and calves that the old cows stand-up to the dogs, but with the drones, they’ve never done that,” he said.

Mr Lambeth said while some farmers might consider it lazy, a drone could save them time and money.

His employer, fourth generation farmer Ben Crossley, bought a drone after seeing how Mr Lambeth was using his for day-to-day work on the farm.

Mr Crossley said while some farmers struggled with the new technology, it was important to keep up.

“Just trying to get efficiencies too, to just save time, it can sometimes take half a day to find a water leak, whereas with a drone you can zip around and have it done in an hour at the longest,” he said.

“I used to go an see my grandfather every night, he lived on the farm, and he used to even struggle with cellphones, so yeah, a drone would be a shock for him,” Mr Crossley said.

While drones were a new part of the farming tool-kit, Mr Lambeth said technology could sometimes let you down, especially in trying weather conditions.

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AI Targets Takeover Of Fast Food Drive Thru Windows

If AI has its way, the drive-through job is headed for mass extinction. Technocrats see no problem in displacing workers and potentially pushing them into a new class of unemployables. ⁃ TN Editor

The drive through window is often considered the most harrowing assignment inside a fast-food restaurant.

A nonstop whirlwind of multitasking, the gig involves organizing multiple orders, communicating with the kitchen, counting money and negotiating with an endless stream of customers who range from polite and coherent to angry and inebriated — all for a minimum wage reward.

If that juggling act wasn’t hard enough, a giant timer hangs in many drive through kitchens, adding urgency to each task, former workers say.

Though the drive through gantlet has broken many a fast food worker, the newest employee at Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard in Denver will not be feeling the heat anytime soon. That’s because she’s an artificially intelligent voice assistant — emotion-free and immune to stress — with the ability to operate a drive through window without fatigue, bathroom breaks or compensation.

She fills a classically American job nearly a century in the making, a rite of passage for generations of teenagers that could be in the very early stages of a mass extinction. But first Rob Carpenter, the CEO and founder of Valyant AI, an artificial intelligence company that designed the customer service platform, will have to prove that his model works as well as he says it does.

The AI assistant has endured months of testing, but officially began handling the restaurant’s breakfast orders at last week. If the fledgling assistant runs into any technical issues, the transaction is handed off to a human employee inside the restaurant.

“The system takes a lot of friction out of interactions between customers and employees,” Carpenter said, noting that the AI was designed to sound like an amiable woman’s voice. “The AI never gets offended and it will just keep talking to you in a very calm and friendly voice.”

There’s an immediate benefit for employees as well, Carpenter maintains.

“Over the course of an eight-hour shift, they don’t have to repeat the same welcome language hundreds of times,” he said.

Intelligent, interactive machines, once the stuff of sci-fi movies and futuristic fantasy, are quickly becoming a reality, especially in the fast food dining world, where repetition rules and improvisation is limited. In restaurants around the globe, machines are already taking orders, flipping burgers, preparing pizzas, pouring stiff drinks and cooking entire meals in full view of hungry customers.

Fast food restaurants like Starbucks, Wendy’s, Panera and McDonald’s encourage customers to order using self-service kiosks or a mobile app. But Valyant AI appears to be one of the first companies to create a platform for taking orders via an interactive AI voice assistant – one who also happens to be the first company representative many customers will encounter.

Carpenter said the assistant’s conversational cadence — which sounds like a more fluid version of Amazon’s Alexa — was designed to replicate human interactions, with limited pauses and a menu-based script that varies depending on the exchange.

In a video demonstrating the AI assistant, a woman’s voice can be heard saying:

“Hi, I’m your automated order taker. Take your time, order when you’re ready.”

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Obsolete Strawberry Farm Workers Being Replaced By Robotic Pickers

Technocrat engineers build because farmers say Americans don’t want to pick fruit. Seasonal labor used to come from Mexico, but apparently 20 million illegal aliens in America don’t want to pick the fruit either. ⁃ TN Editor

The problem is so pressing that competitors are banding together to fund Harv, which has raised about $9 million from corporate behemoths like Driscoll’s and Naturipe Farms, as well as from local farmers.

Wishnatzki, who created Harv with former Intel engineer Bob Pitzer, one of the minds behind the television hit “BattleBots,” has invested $3 million of his own money.

The electronic picker is still pretty clumsy.

During a test run last year, Harv gathered 20 percent of strawberries on every plant without mishap. This year’s goal: Harvest half of the fruit without crushing or dropping any. The human success rate is closer to 80 percent, making Harv the underdog in this competition.

But Harv doesn’t need a visa or sleep or sick days. The machine looks like a horizontally rolling semitruck.

Peek underneath and see 16 smaller steel robots scooping up strawberries with spinning, claw-like fingers, guided by camera eyes and flashing lights.

Growers say it is getting harder to hire enough people to harvest crops before they rot. Fewer seasonal laborers are coming from Mexico, the biggest supplier of U.S. farmworkers. Fewer Americans want to bend over all day in a field, farmers say, even when offered higher wages, free housing and recruitment bonuses.

Human and machine have 10 seconds per plant. They must find the ripe strawberries in the leaves, gently twist them off the stems and tuck them into a plastic clamshell. Repeat, repeat, repeat, before the fruit spoils.

One February afternoon, they work about an acre apart on a farm the size of 454 football fields: dozens of pickers collecting produce the way people have for centuries – and a robot that engineers say could replace most of them as soon as next year.

The future of agricultural work has arrived here in Florida, promising to ease labor shortages and reduce the cost of food, or so says the team behind Harv, a nickname for the latest model from automation company Harvest CROO Robotics.

Harv is on the cutting edge of a national push to automate the way we gather goods that bruise and squish, a challenge that has long flummoxed engineers.

Designing a robot with a gentle touch is among the biggest technical obstacles to automating the American farm. Reasonably priced fruits and vegetables are at risk without it, growers say, because of a dwindling pool of workers.

“The labor force keeps shrinking,” said Gary Wishnatzki, a third-generation strawberry farmer. “If we don’t solve this with automation, fresh fruits and veggies won’t be affordable or even available to the average person.”

The problem is so pressing that competitors are banding together to fund Harv, which has raised about $9 million from corporate behemoths like Driscoll’s and Naturipe Farms, as well as from local farmers.

Wishnatzki, who created Harv with former Intel engineer Bob Pitzer, one of the minds behind the television hit “BattleBots,” has invested $3 million of his own money.

The electronic picker is still pretty clumsy.

During a test run last year, Harv gathered 20 percent of strawberries on every plant without mishap. This year’s goal: Harvest half of the fruit without crushing or dropping any. The human success rate is closer to 80 percent, making Harv the underdog in this competition.

But Harv doesn’t need a visa or sleep or sick days. The machine looks like a horizontally rolling semitruck.

Peek underneath and see 16 smaller steel robots scooping up strawberries with spinning, claw-like fingers, guided by camera eyes and flashing lights.

Growers say it is getting harder to hire enough people to harvest crops before they rot. Fewer seasonal laborers are coming from Mexico, the biggest supplier of U.S. farmworkers. Fewer Americans want to bend over all day in a field, farmers say, even when offered higher wages, free housing and recruitment bonuses.

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Should Lab-Grown Muscle Tissue To Replace Beef Be Called ‘Meat’?

The beef industry is fighting tooth and nail to block lab-grown concoctions from being called “meat”, and rightly so. Artificial producers want to capitalize on the reputation and popularity of red meat by deceiving customers to accept their product. Furthermore, testing these artificial products has been virtually non-existent, so the effect on humans is unknown. Nevertheless, producers call their products “functionally equivalent” to the real thing.  ⁃ TN Editor

‘Clean meat’ firms have drawn tens of millions of dollars in investment in recent years, but technical hurdles remain.

Private investment in lab-grown meat is soaring as companies chase the promise of boundless — and delicious — nuggets, steaks and burgers cultured in vitro rather than reared on the hoof. Clean-meat start-ups have raked in tens of millions of dollars in the last two years from billionaires such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, and the agriculture giants Cargill and Tyson.

But funding for academic research on lab-grown meat has lagged behind, and some researchers say that it is sorely needed. Despite the booming commercial interest in developing meat that is eco-friendly and ethically sound, critics argue that the industry lacks much of the scientific and engineering expertise needed to bring lab-grown meat to the masses. And any advances made by commercial firms are often protected as trade secrets.

“There are lots of technical hurdles here to overcome,” says Paul Mozdziak, a muscle biologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh who studies lab-grown chicken and turkey. The challenges include developing better cell lines and nutrient media to feed those cells, along with scaffolding materials to help shape cultured cells into tissue, and bioreactor platforms for large-scale meat production.

Open-source research in the field got a boost on 6 February, when the Good Food Institute (GFI) — a think-tank in Washington DC that promotes alternatives to conventional meat — announced the winners of its inaugural grant programme. The group will split US$3 million among 14 projects — 6 working to develop lab-grown meat and 8 focusing on plant-based proteins. Each team will receive up to $250,000 over two years.

“It does seem like the largest contribution that I can think of toward cellular agriculture research,” says Kate Krueger, the research director of New Harvest, a non-profit organization in New York City that has contributed almost $1 million in the past decade to academics working on clean-meat research.

Meting out funding

One area where the money could make a difference is in developing publicly available cell lines derived from the muscles of cows, pigs, fish and other common food animals. Without such cells, researchers must either obtain tissues fresh from slaughterhouses or run their experiments with mouse cells. The Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research in Oslo plans to use a GFI grant to help build its Frozen Farmyard, a repository of agriculturally relevant cell lines.

Other researchers want to apply lessons learned from decades of research in regenerative medicine. Amy Rowat, a biophysicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who normally studies the biomechanics of cancer cells, is attempting to design scaffolds that can grow combinations of different types of cow cell to promote the marbling of fat in lab-grown steaks.

“It’s still the same basic tissue-engineering principles,” says Andrew Stout, a New Harvest fellow at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “But we need to start thinking about the design constraints from a food and sustainability perspective.”

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Frankenswine: Engineered Food For China’s Engineered Society

China’s Technocracy has a scientific solution for everything, including food. Pork is a staple ingredient in the Chinese diet, but no one knows the long-term health effect of eating genetically modified meat. ⁃ TN Editor

Mutant pigs are to muscle their way onto the dinner tables of China – after the nation fell out of love with fatty meat.

The giant beasts are to become a staple in the pork-loving country which celebrates the start of the Year of the Pig today.

The news comes after China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced hefty hogs have fallen out of fashion due to demands for lean meat.

As the world’s biggest producer and consumer of pork, China has been domesticating hogs to eat for more than 8,000 years.

However, traditional breeds like Jinhua and Chenghua are now dying off as they are deemed too unhealthy for a modern diet.

In 1994, these prize porkers made up 90 per cent of the market in China, but now they account for less than two per cent.

And that leaves the barn door open for double-muscled pigs already being bred in Asia to fill the gap in the market.

Farmers in Cambodia are flogging the breed’s semen across the continent to those looking to cash in on the ‘Frankenswine’ frenzy.

Scientists in South Korea were credited with originally genetically-engineering the mighty hogs to avert a future pork shortage crisis.

They carefully altered pig genes to create super-sized swines capable of producing much more meat with a lot less body fat.

And they say the mutation is safe because rather than transplanting genes from one species to another they are simply editing genes.

Jin-Soo Kim, a biologist at Seoul National University said this way you can quickly create the perfect leaner pig for slaughter.

He said: “We could do this through breeding. But then it would take decades.”

Although, the exact fat content of the mutant pigs is not known, their Chinese counterparts only supply 40 per cent lean meat, reports SCMP.

However, not everybody is a fan of the mutant porkers.

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Chickens Genetically Modified To Lay Eggs Containing Cancer Drugs

Monsanto delivers pesticides in corn seed and not GMO chickens will deliver cancer drugs through their eggs. The problem? The DNA germline is permanently changed and can never be restored to its original state. Secondly, there is no testing possible to see what affect it will have on humans. ⁃ TN Editor

Scientists have genetically modified chickens to lay eggs containing high quality cancer drugs, in the latest breakthrough.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute believe the technique could offer a cost-effective way of producing drugs in the near future.

The chickens were genetically modified to produce drugs in their eggs, and amazingly, the researchers found that the drugs worked just as well as ones produced using existing methods.

Amazingly, just three eggs were enough to produce an adequate dosage, with hens able to lay up to 300 eggs a year.

Professor Helen Sang said: “We are not yet producing medicines for people, but this study shows that chickens are commercially viable for producing proteins suitable for drug discovery studies and other applications in biotechnology.”

Eggs are already used for growing viruses used as vaccines, such as in the flu jab.

But in this case the chicken’s DNA was encoded with proteins produced as part of the egg white – a human protein called IFNalpha2a, which has powerful anti-viral and anti-cancer effects, and the human and pig versions of a protein called macrophage-CSF.

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Giving Up Meat Won’t Save The Planet And Cows Are Not Killing The Climate

The claim that livestock produced 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emission was absolutely false, was corrected by the original author, but the media and eco-fascists refuse to acknowledge the truth. ⁃ TN Editor

As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it.

A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong, as I will show. And its persistence has led to false assumptions about the linkage between meat and climate change.

My research focuses on ways in which animal agriculture affects air quality and climate change. In my view, there are many reasons for either choosing animal protein or opting for a vegetarian selection.

However, foregoing meat and meat products is not the environmental panacea many would have us believe. And if taken to an extreme, it also could have harmful nutritional consequences.

Setting the record straight on meat and greenhouse gases

A healthy portion of meat’s bad rap centers on the assertion that livestock is the largest source of greenhouse gases worldwide. For example, a 2009 analysis published by the Washington, DC-based Worldwatch Institute asserted that 51% of global GHG emissions come from rearing and processing livestock.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the largest sources of US GHG emissions in 2016 were electricity production (28% of total emissions), transportation (28%) and industry (22%). All of agriculture accounted for a total of 9%. All of animal agriculture contributes less than half of this amount, representing3.9% of total US greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s very different from claiming livestock represents as much or more than transportation.

Why the misconception? In 2006 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published a study titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” which received widespread international attention. It stated that livestock produced a staggering 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The agency drew a startling conclusion: Livestock was doing more to harm the climate than all modes of transportation combined.

This latter claim was wrong, and has since been corrected by Henning Steinfeld, the report’s senior author. The problem was that FAO analysts used a comprehensive life-cycle assessment to study the climate impact of livestock, but a different method when they analyzed transportation.

For livestock, they considered every factor associated with producing meat. This included emissions from fertilizer production, converting land from forests to pastures, growing feed, and direct emissions from animals (belching and manure) from birth to death.

However, when they looked at transportation’s carbon footprint, they ignored impacts on the climate from manufacturing vehicle materials and parts, assembling vehicles and maintaining roads, bridges, and airports.

Instead, they only considered the exhaust emitted by finished cars, trucks, trains, and planes. As a result, the FAO’s comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock to those from transportation was greatly distorted.

I pointed out this flaw during a speech to fellow scientists in San Francisco on March 22, 2010, which led to a flood of media coverage. To its credit, the FAO immediately owned up to its error. Unfortunately, the agency’s initial claim that livestock was responsible for the lion’s share of world greenhouse gas emissions had already received wide coverage.

To this day, we struggle to “unring” the bell.

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