Alongside a coalition of organizations, companies, and trade associations, PBFA recently co-signed a letter to the House Agriculture Committee urging lawmakers to allocate funding for open-access research into alternative proteins.

PBFA joined 45 other institutions in requesting that Congress provide $200 million for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to explore the foods of the future—including proteins derived from plants—as part of the current budget reconciliation bill. By devoting funding to developing, supporting, and scaling open-access research, Congress would demonstrate its commitment to advancing research on sustainable food production. 

Studies have shown that protecting our climate for future generations and meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Accords will require a sizable shift to foods with smaller carbon footprints—and animal-based foods are often significantly more carbon-intensive than their plant-based counterparts. Conventional animal agriculture not only drives greenhouse gas emissions, but also places tremendous strain on our planet’s land, water, forests, and biodiversity; propagates antibiotic resistance; and increases the risks of foodborne illness and zoonotic disease.

“Alternative proteins have a fraction of the direct emissions of conventional animal agriculture, and because they also require much less land, they can decrease pressure on forests and free up land for other climate mitigation efforts, including regenerative agriculture and ranching practices, natural climate solutions, production of renewable energy, and protection for biodiversity.”

(Read the full letter here.) 

PBFA is proud to stand with our colleagues across the plant-based industry and beyond, and we will continue to urge policymakers across the political spectrum to help us build a food system that encourages innovation and ensures a healthier, equitable, and more sustainable future for all.