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News 2534 views last update:6 Aug 2012

What nanotechnology can do in animal production

Agrifood nanotechnology is at critical stage in which analysis and deliberation can help shape funding priorities for research and development, risk assessment, and oversight activities.

Significant benefits to society could arise from nanotechnology applied to animal production; however, there is a need to prepare for oversight, health and environmental safety, and other societal issues that are likely to arise from these applications.

In a recently released paper, Jennifer Kuzma from the Humprfrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, examines case studies of nanotechnology applied to animal production that are in research and development in order to demonstrate potential future challenges and opportunities associated with their market entry and diffusion.

The case studies are analyzed from multiple viewpoints including potential societal benefits and risks, public perception, and other science and technology policy challenges.

Broader conclusions about technical and policy preparation are derived from the case studies in order to help inform the development of the field of nanotechnology applied to animal production as it matures.

Subjects covered are:
- Pathogen detection and removal
- Veterinary medicine
- Feed improvement and waste remeditation
- Animal breeding
- Identity preservation and supply-chain tracking

The diversity of nanotechnology applications makes it difficult to discuss nanotechnology as a whole, yet it is suggested that dialogue and deliberation about specific cases and their associated issues prior to market entry can help to ensure the safe, responsible, and equitable deployment of nanotechnology to livestock production.

Nanotechnology in animal production - Upstream assessment of applications. Jennifer Kuzma, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.

See also: Analysis of early stage agrifood nanotechnology research and development

Natalie Berkhout

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