The World Farmers Organization (WFO), which represents more than 1.2 billion farmers worldwide, has taken a stand against the adoption of lab-grown food as an alternative to farmer-made food. The Organization, in a document adopted by its General Assembly, underlines the importance of sustainable agriculture and raises concerns about the potential impact of laboratory-grown foods on global food security, food safety and human health, heritage culture and the means of subsistence of rural communities.
For this reason, the WFO is strongly opposed to replacing farmer-grown food with laboratory-made food. “Such substitutes discard the work and contribution of farmers to sustainability and push consumers towards a homogeneous food model that undermines the tradition, diversity, richness, quality and uniqueness of regional food systems across the planet.”
The WFO report, which represents 1.2 billion farmers and ranchers around the world, insists that achieving sustainability means embracing diverse farming systems, ensuring inclusiveness and transparency, and promoting research and innovation while tradition is preserved.
A WFO press release explains that “lab-grown foods are created using tissues or cells and are not produced naturally on a large scale. They are supported by marketing campaigns that promote the myth of greater sustainability versus the Agriculture”.
Farmers strongly reject this narrative that lacks scientific evidence
The recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), entitled “Food safety aspects of cell-based foods”, makes it clear that “there is still there is much to consider about its nutritional value and how it might affect human health in the long term.In addition, claims about less land and water use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, animal welfare and reducing the risk of zoonotic diseases”.
The role of farmers and ranchers is essential to shape resilient and sustainable food systems
The WFO report insists that achieving sustainability means embracing diverse farming systems, ensuring inclusiveness and transparency, and promoting research and innovation while preserving tradition.
For all these reasons, “it values innovation and adopts a bottom-up approach, based on science and oriented to results.” The Organization calls for collaboration between the agro-livestock sector, researchers, and stakeholders in the value chain to address future challenges, develop innovative practices, and provide sustainable solutions to produce, process, distribute, and consume food sustainably.”
The position adopted by the World Organization of Farmers must serve as a strong message that makes the voice of farmers and ranchers heard loud and clear and recalls the invaluable and irreplaceable role that these sectors play in sustainably feeding the planet.