Gene editing in the livestock industry: justice implications for farming systems and non-human animals

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The world population is increasing, possibly reaching 9.7 billion people by 2050. Most of the population growth is estimated to happen in tropical or subtropical regions, like Africa and Asia. Researchers and food producers state that there is the need to produce more food, without increasing the pressure on land usage. Livestock production in these areas in particular has been limited by several factors, including high temperatures, diseases, and feed problems. Gene Editing has been proposed as the solution to tackle these issues. The advantages of Gene Editing are the speed to which certain traits can be achieved compared to conventional breeding and the possibility to produce novel genetic combinations that could not have happened through conventional breeding. On the other hand, this might create a productivity gap between commercial breeders using gene editing and farmers using more traditional breeding methods, potentially altering the configuration of the industry. In fact, gene editing could trigger a potential technological transformation of the commercial breeding sector more generally. There are also animal welfare concerns and societal fears over using gene editing. In addition, the impact on the food systems also has potential food justice implications that need to be considered in addition to the other issues surrounding this new technology. In this concurrent session, the speakers will discuss the application of this technology in livestock, expanding on the risks and benefits, contributing to the broader debate of this topic.

Moderated by Ilaria Cimadori PhD Student, Yale School of the Environment


Lynn Frewer Chair of Food and Society, Newcastle University

Luiz Camargo Researcher, Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

People and Partners