CAST Educational Videos

The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States – Panel Discussion

This Issue Paper is the focal point for a panel discussion on April 28, 2014. Panelists: Karil Kochenderfer, Principal, LINKAGES; Tom Redick, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environmental Ethics Counsel; Alison Van Eenennaam, Department of Animal Science, University of California – Davis; Mark Walton, Chief Marketing Officer, Recombinetics; Moderator: Charles Weiss, Distinguished Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.




Animal Feed vs. Human Food: Challenges and Opportunities in Sustaining Animal Agriculture Toward 2050

Issue Paper 53, September 2013, 16 pp. FREE.

A popular belief exists that animal agriculture competes for human food supplies and wastes resources. Little scientific information exists regarding this concept, and it is, therefore, necessary to quantify human-inedible feedstuff use and re-examine the feed efficiency concept using a ratio of human-edible feedstuff input to human-edible (animal protein) output. This paper addresses the commonly heard argument that livestock compete with humans for food resources, thus providing support for the continued existence of livestock production.  It also addresses the knowledge gap that currently exists as to the quantity of human feed and fiber by-products used within animal agriculture.


The Direct Relationship between Animal Health and Food Safety Outcomes

Commentary QTA2012-1, May 2012, 12 pp., FREE.

The health of the animals within the food animal production system impacts many aspects of the system far removed from the animals themselves. To promote high productivity in animal agriculture, researchers need to examine nutrition, management systems, and animal care practices including the use of antibiotics and vaccines. This Commentary looks at the pressures to change livestock rearing methods, evidence to support the direct public health impact on human illness days, and good safety and inspection service regulations. The authors use indirect evidence, diagrams, and graphs to deliver their findings about the ways that healthy animals result in safer food.


Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture


The Direct Relationship between Animal Health and Food Safety Outcomes

Commentary QTA2012-1, May 2012, 12 pp., FREE.

PowerPoint Slide Presentation by author Dr. Scott Hurd, Iowa State University, Ames



Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains: Finding a Balance for Soil and Farm Sustainability

Issue Paper 49, February 2012, 16 pp. FREE.

PowerPoint Slide Presentation by Dr. David Shaw, Office of Research and Economic Development, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State


Energy Issues Affecting Corn/Soybean Systems: Challenges for Sustainable Production

Issue Paper 47, January 2012, 16 pp.  FREE.

PowerPoint Slide Presentation by Dr. Douglas Karlen, USDA–ARS


Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities

Task Force Report 142, October 2011, 106 pp., $50.00; Interpretive Summary, 2 pp., free.

PowerPoint Slide Presentation by Dr. Ron Follett, USDA-ARS-NPA


Air Issues Associated with Animal Agriculture: A North American Perspective

Issue Paper 47, May 2011, 24 pp., FREE.

PowerPoint Slide Presentation by Dr. Frank Mitloehner, University of California–Davis


The Science and Regulation of Food from Genetically Engineered Animals

Commentary QTA 2011-2, June 2011, 8 pp., FREE.

PowerPoint Slide Presentation by author Dr. Eric Hallerman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Part 1 of 2

 Part 2 of 2


Probiotics in Human Health

Issue Paper36, October 2007, 20 pp., FREE.

Controlled human studies have revealed a diverse range of health benefits from consumption of probiotics, due largely to their impact on immune function or on microbes colonizing the body. This publication reviews the literature on probiotics, describes the characteristics of probiotics, discusses the microbes that colonize the human body, and explains how probiotics can treat and prevent disease. The paper also addresses safety issues of probiotic use, suggests future developments, and provides research and policy recommendations.


Water, People, and the Future: Water Availability for Agriculture in the United States

Issue Paper 44, November 2009, 20 pp. FREE.

Despite current uncertainty about the United States’ economic future, most reports suggest that growth will resume and competition for freshwater will continue. As one of the largest users of water in the United States, agriculture will be impacted significantly by changes in water availability and cost. How water managers and users respond to water use challenges will determine, in part, the long-term availability of water for municipal, agricultural, and other uses. The authors provide insight into how water challenges are being addressed in four specific areas of the United States as helpful case studies in developing solutions to similar water issues in other regions.


Food Safety and Fresh Produce: An Update

CAST Commentary, QTA2009-1, 8 pp., July 2009. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS FREE DOWNLOAD.

Fresh produce safety continues to be of paramount importance. While the fresh produce industry is striving to improve its food safety record, consumers must continue to be aware of practices in the home which raise the risk of foodborne infection from their fresh produce. This Commentary will update the related 2003 CAST publication by bringing together the current scientific research and recommended practices at the consumer level that will reduce the risk of produce-borne illness.

Food Safety & Fresh Produce part 1

Food Safety & Fresh Produce part 2

Food Safety & Fresh Produce part 3


Ag Science News CAST

Help Support CAST

Your donation to CAST helps support the CAST mission of communicating science to meet the challenge of producing enough food, fiber and fuel for a growing population. Every gift, no matter the size, is appreciated.