Report: U.S. Underfunds Food Research

Feb. 7, 2020
Food research in the U.S. is chronically underfunded, according to a new report from IFT.

Food research in the U.S. is chronically underfunded, with possible long-term consequences for food security in this country and globally, according to a new report from the Institute for Food Technologists (IFT).

The report, “Food Research: Call to Action on Funding and Priorities,” notes that public funding of food research amounted to $100 million in 2018, while venture capital and other private investment was $9.9 billion. As a percentage of gross domestic product, public funding of food research stood at 1%; the figure for pharmaceutical research was 4.9%.

While public funding for food research has declined since 2008, it has increased in China and India, the report notes. It claims that since 2010, China has led the world in such funding.

“Continued underfunding will likely risk public health, food safety, food security, and erode the U.S. talent pipeline and global competitiveness,” the report says. It calls for increased funding, with federal agencies besides USDA underwriting interdisciplinary research, and enhanced public-private partnerships.

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