Upcoming Conferences

Innovative Foods and Ingredients (IFI)

Convened by Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
06-23-2019 - 06-27-2019

The expanding use of advanced preparatory methods and distinct genomic compositions in food is rapidly creating a new age of consumer choices.  Simultaneously, these innovative food and ingredient choices are dramatically altering the decisions being made by stakeholders throughout the food supply system, domestically and internationally.  Scientific, farming, processing, manufacturing, marketing, and retail distribution communities focused on providing commercially viable products are directly affected, as are government regulators overseeing the safety of the food system and public advocates committed to accurately informing consumers.

The Innovative Foods and Ingredients (IFI) conference series, organized and convened by the ISGP with support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is part of the ISGP Food Innovation Program.  The initial IFI conference in this multi-year project is scheduled to be convened June 23-27, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  As a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), non-partisan organization, the ISGP does not lobby on any issue.  The IFI conference series seeks to identify the opportunities, challenges, and priorities recognized by major scientific, technological, private sector, governmental, and public advocacy stakeholders involved in the emergence of innovative foods and ingredients.  The first of these IFI conferences focuses on plant- and microbial-derived foods and ingredients and specifically, excludes consideration of food and ingredients derived from cultured mammalian cells or genetically engineered animals.

To promote the candid exchange of ideas and clarity of priorities, the initial, invitation-only IFI conference is convened in a not-for-attribution environment defined by the Chatham House Rule.  The critical debate/extended caucus format pioneered by the ISGP over more than a decade has proven to be effective in addressing the diverse, often conflicting, views held by stakeholders from widely different communities such as those found in the food supply system.  The IFI conference agenda links options based on evidence-based, credible scientific understanding with commercially realistic decisions concerning how plant- and microbial-derived foods and ingredients can be safely offered to the public under FDA’s statutory frameworks.  Recent history surrounding how technology appears in the food supply system emphasizes the need to balance private sector priorities with regulatory structures and narratives used to accurately, and transparently, inform the public about new food choices.

IFI Conference Structure

The initial two days of the IFI conference are devoted to 90-minute, moderated debates of eight, concise position papers prepared and defended by internationally recognized subject-matter experts.  The 60-70 debaters examine and critique the current realities, opportunities, challenges, and priorities identified by all stakeholders. On the third day, small-group, moderated caucuses attended by all of the approximately 120 participants are held to identify future options and opportunities consistent with stakeholder priorities.  A plenary session reviewing the results emerging from the small-group caucuses is held on the final conference morning. Caucus outcomes, position papers, and not-for-attribution summaries of all debates are anticipated to be published by the ISGP for free public distribution.

For more information about this conference, please contact NiCole Bice at nbice@scienceforglobalpolicy.org


Policy Position papers

Aquatic Plants for Sustainable Food and Protein Production: Implications for Global Food Security

Cecilia Wittbjer, Vice President, Marketing and Matthew Van Ert, Ph.D., Vice President, Growth and Crop Management, Parabel Inc.,
As the 21st century global population expands toward 9 billion people and the demand for higher quality, protein-rich diets increases, a revolution i...

Licensing Innovative Food Additives and Ingredients by FDA

Thomas G. Neltner, J.D., C.H.M.M., Chemicals Policy Director, Environmental Defense Fund
The current system for ensuring the safety of innovative food additives and ingredients was developed by Congress in 1958. It is inadequate in today...

Safety, Benefits, and Transparency Are Critical to Consumer Acceptance of Innovative Foods

Gregory Jaffe, J.D., Biotechnology Project Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Innovative foods are in the marketplace and new ones are forthcoming. To obtain consumer acceptance, innovative foods must be safe, they must provide...

Curing the Language of the Food 2.0 Era

Ilan Samish, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Amai Proteins
The global food system is undergoing tectonic changes involving health, economics, sustainability, and scientific advancement. Emerging innovations t...

Using CRISPR Technology to Improve Health by Increasing the Consumption of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Haven Baker, M.B.A., Ph.D., and Tom Adams, Ph.D., Co-founders, Pairwise
Dietary factors are the number one disease risk globally. In the U.S., on average, Americans consume approximately 50% of the daily recommended intak...

Accelerating Algae Into Our Food System

Jill Kauffman Johnson, M.P.P., Vice-Chair, Algae Biomass Organization; Rebecca White, Ph.D., Board Member, Algae Foundation; Stephen Mayfield, Ph.D....
Algae have tremendous potential to deliver nutrient-dense food to address global challenges in food production and health. Algae produce high-quality...

Gene Editing Enters the Food Supply

Daniel F. Voytas, Ph.D., Professor, Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, and Director, Center for Precision Plant Genomics, University of Minnesot...
Plant agriculture is poised at a technological inflection point. Recent advances in gene editing make it possible to precisely alter DNA sequences in...

Toward a Diversified Protein Future

Ryan Pandya, Chief Executive Officer, Perfect Day
Global demand for high-quality, animal-sourced protein is expected to rise substantially in the coming decades as population grows and household inco...

Innovative Foods and Ingredients (IFI) Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 23-27, 2019

The expanding use of advanced preparatory methods and distinct genomic compositions in food is rapidly creating a new age of consumer choices. Simul...