Knowledge for better food systems

Report from European science academies on opportunities and challenges for European food and nutrition security and agriculture

Scientists from national academies across Europe are calling for urgent action on food and nutrition in a new independent report published by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC). This analysis can be relevant for policy-makers working on food, nutrition, health, the environment, climate change, and agriculture.

Some of the different topics the report covers are:

  • food consumption patterns,
  • price incentives,
  • how to measure sustainability related to consumption of healthy diets,
  • food contamination and waste,
  • the Common Agricultural Policy,
  • food and animal feed imports,
  • the role of the livestock sector in greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation,
  • alternatives to traditional forms of animal protein,
  • meat that is cultured in vitro,
  • genome editing, and
  • precision agriculture.

Underpinning all of the scientists’ recommendations is a clear call to integrate research and innovation into all of these topics, where many questions remain from a scientific perspective.

This report is a part of a global project led by the InterAcademy Partnership and will be joined by three complementary reports focusing on the Americas, Africa, and Asia, to be published in the first quarter of 2018. This global project has been supported by 130 science academies around the globe. The global comparative report will be published in mid-2018.

Read the report here.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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