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sector_ico_Agrifood_trans Agrifood sector_ico_GenomicsSociety_trans Genomics and Society

Dairy 2.0- Exploring policy implications and public perceptions of cellular agriculture

  • Project Leaders: Lenore Newman
  • Institutions: University of the Fraser Valley (UCFV)
  • Budget: $45650
  • Competition: Societal Issues Competition – Round 2
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2018
  • Status: Active

The production of milk through cellular agriculture potentially offers numerous benefits to society.  By increasing the supply of dairy products in remote regions where dairy is expensive or unavailable, cellular agriculture holds the possibility of supporting individual nutrition and advancing community food security. Cellular agriculture may also address pressing environmental and ethical concerns associated with conventional dairy production. However, to realize such benefits, an understanding of public perception and potential barriers to adoption is necessary.

This research will examine the questions raised by cellular agriculture to better understand both the real and perceived impacts of these emerging technologies.  This project will investigate the social impacts of these technologies through three phases of research; first, a literature search to assess the state of the technology and a summary of technology leaders; second, a policy analysis with specific focus on supply management, agricultural land regulation, and food safety regulation; and third, stakeholder interviews and surveys of consumer perceptions.

The outcomes of this research could contribute to the understanding of how cellular agriculture fits within existing policy and regulatory regimes in British Columbia, including dairy supply management, food safety policies, and agricultural land policies. The project could increase the understanding of the potential for local production, and the governance of production and distribution in British Columbia. Further, the project could provide awareness of any legislative or regulatory gaps.  Based on this research into the potential repercussions of dairy production through cellular agriculture, policy recommendations that address these concerns will be made to relevant stakeholders.