Agriculture and Health BBSRC perspective Janet Allen, Director of Research BBSRC 23 rd  June 2010
Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015  The Age of Bioscience Driven by new tools and technologies … .never before have researchers be...
Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015  Food Security Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology Basic bioscience underpinning health Thre...
BBSRC funding of research <ul><li>Grants to HEIs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project and programme (LoLa) grants Responsive Mode...
Broadbalk yields, varieties and  major changes Courtesy of Ian Crute Unmanured, continuous wheat Continuous wheat: FYM   P...
Yield is not everything <ul><li>Maintain the quality of the grain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protein content (40% of population...
Examples where agriculture research impacts health <ul><li>Improving quality of cereals and food </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bre...
Producing novel omega-3 fatty acids in transgenic plants RRes have grown several thousand stearidonic acid (SDA)-enriched ...
Purple tomatoes <ul><li>Example of ability to develop foods that are higher in bioactive compounds - increased health bene...
Global Food Security <ul><li>“ Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture must remain a priority on the politica...
Global Food Security Programme <ul><li>Global Food Security is a   multi-agency programme </li></ul><ul><li>bringing toget...
Stakeholders and the  food supply chain
Themes map on to  Government Strategy and Policy <ul><li>Theme 1 – Economic Resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Theme 2 – Resourc...
Research is essential to  meet the challenge <ul><li>Increased production of crops, livestock, dairy and aquaculture   e.g...
Agriculture and Health: Perspective from the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - Professor Janet...
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Agriculture and Health: Perspective from the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - Professor Janet Allen, BBSRC

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Agriculture and Health: Perspective from the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - Professor Janet Allen, BBSRC

  1. 1. Agriculture and Health BBSRC perspective Janet Allen, Director of Research BBSRC 23 rd June 2010
  2. 2. Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015 The Age of Bioscience Driven by new tools and technologies … .never before have researchers been able to address such a breadth and depth of biological questions….
  3. 3. Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015 Food Security Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology Basic bioscience underpinning health Three major research priorities
  4. 4. BBSRC funding of research <ul><li>Grants to HEIs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project and programme (LoLa) grants Responsive Mode, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training and skills posts (studentships, fellowships) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry clubs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John Innes Centre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rothamsted Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institute for Animal Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institute for Food Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Babraham Institute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roslin Institute (Edinburgh) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institute for Biological and Environmental Research (Aberystwyth) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Broadbalk yields, varieties and major changes Courtesy of Ian Crute Unmanured, continuous wheat Continuous wheat: FYM PK+144 kg N 1st wheat in rotation: FYM+spring N Best NPK fertiliser Red Rostock Red Club Squ. Master Red Standard Squ. Master Cappelle Desp. Flanders Brimstone Apollo Hereward Introduction of: liming fungicides fallowing herbicides Semi-dwarf varieties
  6. 6. Yield is not everything <ul><li>Maintain the quality of the grain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protein content (40% of population dependent on cereals for protein) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trace elements: Iron, selenium </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Examples where agriculture research impacts health <ul><li>Improving quality of cereals and food </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Breeding (e.g. protein content and trace elements) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GM (healthy foods: e.g. omega-3, purple tomatoes) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reducing dependence on pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Breeding resistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GM resistance traits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Protecting against food-borne zoonoses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genetics of host to food-borne pathogens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campylobacter, salmonella, E.Coli 0157 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Producing novel omega-3 fatty acids in transgenic plants RRes have grown several thousand stearidonic acid (SDA)-enriched linseed plants, harvested the mature seed and cold pressed the oil for subsequent analysis.
  9. 9. Purple tomatoes <ul><li>Example of ability to develop foods that are higher in bioactive compounds - increased health benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists at John Innes Centre have expressed genes from snapdragon in tomatoes to grow purple fruits which are high in health-protecting anthocyanins </li></ul>
  10. 10. Global Food Security <ul><li>“ Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture must remain a priority on the political agenda, to be addressed through a cross-cutting and inclusive approach, relevant to all stakeholders at global, regional and national level .” </li></ul><ul><li>[G8 statement July 2009] </li></ul><ul><li>Heading for global shortages of food, water and energy </li></ul><ul><li>Food price spikes in 2007-08 plunged millions back into hunger and triggered riots from Egypt to Bangladesh </li></ul><ul><li>Wake-up call….a sign of things to come </li></ul><ul><li>“ a perfect storm” by 2030 (John Beddington) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Global Food Security Programme <ul><li>Global Food Security is a multi-agency programme </li></ul><ul><li>bringing together the research interests of the Research </li></ul><ul><li>Councils, Executive Agencies and Government Departments </li></ul>
  12. 12. Stakeholders and the food supply chain
  13. 13. Themes map on to Government Strategy and Policy <ul><li>Theme 1 – Economic Resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Theme 2 – Resource Efficiency* </li></ul><ul><li>Theme 3 – Sustainable Production* </li></ul><ul><li>Theme 4 – Sustainable, Healthy, Safe Diets </li></ul><ul><li>* Sustainable ecosystems are embedded in Themes 2 & 3 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Research is essential to meet the challenge <ul><li>Increased production of crops, livestock, dairy and aquaculture e.g. greater resource use efficiency (more food from less input), improved genetics adapted to future climate, pest and disease control (including diagnostics) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced adverse environmental impacts e.g. lower water and energy use, reduced GHG emissions from agriculture and the supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced waste throughout the supply chain e.g. tackling post-harvest losses, reduced waste in food processing and the home </li></ul><ul><li>Improved understanding of the many and diverse social and economic factors e.g. international trade & aid, food choice / consumer behaviour, transport, retail, food service sector, resilient supply chains </li></ul><ul><li>Improved human nutrition & food safety e.g. understanding relationship between diet & health, reducing incidences of food-borne disease </li></ul><ul><li>… through integrated approaches and multidisciplinary research to address these complex problems & pull research communities together </li></ul>

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