Profile image
By Human Wrongs Watch
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Every Year 700 Million People Fall Ill from Contaminated Food

Sunday, February 12, 2017 5:18
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

Human Wrongs Watch By Baher Kamal* 

ROME, Feb 11 2017 (IPS) – It may sound like an endless tale of modern seven plagues: mad cows, avian flu, led-poisoned fish, swine fever, desert locusts being the most dangerous of migratory pests, let alone new, aggressive rust threatening entire wheat crops in three continents, just to mention a few. Now it is about contaminated food that every year causes illness to 1 in 10 people around the world – or around 700 million – killing 420,000 people as a result. 

Farmers inspect rice seeds in Sierra Leone. Photo: FAO

Farmers inspect rice seeds in Sierra Leone. Photo: FAO

The leading United Nations body in the field of food agriculture has something to say on this. And it does: food availability and food hygiene are compromised every day by diseases and pests that plague plants and animals as well as various types of contaminants.

“This happens on farms, in factories, at home, in fresh or sea water, in the open air and in the midst of dense forests,” warns the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Whether in the form of pathogen, insect or contaminant, threats are now travelling faster and further, making effective and timely responses more difficult and putting people’s food supplies, their health and livelihoods, and often their lives at greater risk, it adds.

Over 70 per cent of new diseases of humans have animal origin, with the potential of becoming major public health threats, FAO adds.

Key facts
• Over the past decade, more than 70 per cent of emerging diseases affecting humans originated from livestock and wildlife,
• More than 200 diseases are spread through food, killing 420 000 people annually,
• More than 3 billion dollars are lost due to shrimp diseases globally,
• Plant pests and diseases account for an estimated 30 per cent of global crop production losses across the world,
• Insect pests affect more than 85 million hectares of forests worldwide.
Source: FAO

On this, another UN specialised agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), has something to add: the great majority of people will experience a foodborne disease at some point in their lives.

This highlights the importance of making sure the food we eat is not contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, toxins and chemicals, according to WHO.

“Food can become contaminated at any point during production, distribution and preparation. Everyone along the production chain, from producer to consumer, has a role to play to ensure the food we eat does not cause diseases.”

Should this not be enough, the UN food and agriculture agency reminds that with more people, plants and animals travelling internationally, there are more pathogens moving with them.

“Pests plaguing plants and trees, diseases passing from animals to humans, pollutants compromising waters and soils, climate patterns undergoing drastic change, the threats to our food supply know no borders.”

Moreover, FAO says that a third of global crop production is lost annually due to insects and plant diseases that can spread to multiple countries and through continents.

Why All This Happens

According to the specialised agency, a number of trends are contributing to this, including certain types of intensive farming, deforestation, overgrazing and climate change.

In addition, conflicts, civil unrest and globalized trade are all increasing the likelihood of threats emerging, passing to other countries and becoming devastating in these newly infected countries, it adds.

“Food can be contaminated in the processing and marketing phases, processes that often take place in different countries making it more difficult to identify the point of contamination.”

To address the rising number of trans-boundary animal and plant pests and diseases, FAO has published “Averting risks to the food chain“, a set of proven emergency prevention methods and tools. They show how prevention, early warning, preparedness, good food chain crisis management and good practices can improve food security and safety, save lives and livelihoods.

“Keeping the food chain safe is becoming increasingly complicated in an interconnected and more complex world. That’s why we believe it’s important for sectors involved in food production, processing and marketing to watch out for current and potential threats and respond to them in a concerted manner,” said FAO Assistant Director-General Ren Wang.

A man beating a bush with a stick to show desert locusts swarming near Fada, Chad. FAO toolbox shows how prevention, early warning and preparedness can help control desert locust and other trans-boundary threats. Photo: FAO

New Technologies

FAO’s toolbox showcases how a multidisciplinary approach can enable a timely response, including how the use of new communication technologies can help to prevent and control trans-boundary threats by facilitating information exchange. See some examples:

In Mali, Uganda and Tanzania, livestock farmers are using the EMA – i app to collect animal disease information from the field on their smartphones.

The data is sent in real-time to the Global Animal Disease Information System (EMPRES-i) at FAO, where it is shared at national, regional and global levels, facilitating analysis in a timely manner in order to provide a very rapid response to attack the disease at the very early stage of birth.

In Uganda, this surveillance system more than doubled the number of livestock disease reports given to the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Center in recent years, giving farmers the early warning they need to better respond to disease outbreaks.

According to FAO, mobile tools have also been developed to monitor wheat rust –a fungal disease that destroys healthy wheat crops- enabling extension workers and research institutions to regularly exchange information on occurrences of the disease.

“Desert locusts, the most dangerous of migratory pests, often threaten food supplies in Africa and Asia -a swarm of 40 million locusts can eat the same amount of food as about 35,000 people. Thanks to the eLocust3 system, locust monitoring has been improved and is now used in the 19 countries most vulnerable to infestations.”

Every month the FAO Food Chain Crisis Management Framework makes available a new information sheet to support member countries and institutions in the global governance of trans-boundary threats to the food chain. And every quarter early warning bulletins on current threats are issued.

Good to know, but…. will governments and big agriculture and food chains react to this plague? And when?

*Baher Kamal‘s article was published in IPS. Go to Original

*Baher Kamal, Egyptian-born, Spanish-national secular journalist. He is founder and publisher of Human Wrongs Watch. Kamal is a pro-peace, non-violence, human rights, coexistence defender, with more than 45 years of professional experience.
 
With these issues in sight, he covered practically all professional posts, from correspondent to chief editor of dailies and international news agencies. 
.
.

More articles by Baher Kamal in Human Wrongs Watch:

A Dire Vacuum in a World in Crisis  

Indigenous Peoples Lands Guard 80 Per Cent of World’s Biodiversity

World’s 40,000 MP’s Must Enjoy Their Rights – But Are They?

Want to Prevent Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer? Get Moving… Now!

Trump to Pull Out of the UN, Expel It from the US?

Inequality (III): Less Employment… and More ‘Junk’ Jobs

Inequality (II): “It Will Take 170 Years for Women to Be Paid as Men Are”

Inequality (I): Half of World’s Wealth, in the Pockets of Just Eight Men

Poor Darwin – Robots, Not Nature, Now Make the Selection

When Your Healers Become Your Killers

Is Cash Aid to the Poor Wasted on Tobacco and Alcohol?

Poor Darwin – Robots, Not Nature, Now Make the Selection

When Your Healers Become Your Killers

Is Cash Aid to the Poor Wasted on Tobacco and Alcohol?

“Bonn Has Become an Insider Tip on the International Stage”

Battle of the Desert (and III): The Silk Road

Battle of the Desert (II): A ‘Great Green Wall for Africa’

Battle of the Desert (I): To Fight or to Flee?

Children of the ‘Others’, Sons of Minor Gods

Trump – The Symptom

World to Cut Gas Emissions by 25 Percent More Than Paris Agreement

Toxic Air – The ‘Invisible Killer’ that Stifles 300 Million Children

Dying for Europe

Climate Doomsday – Another Step Closer

What Happens When a Small Farmer Migrates?

‘The Earth Is Not Flat; It Is Urban’

Take a Deep Breath?… But 9 in 10 People Live with Excessive Air Pollution!

Believe It or Not, Pulses Reduce Gas Emissions!

Ships Bring Your Coffee, Snack and TV Set, But Also Pests and Diseases

One Humanity? Millions of Children Tortured, Smuggled, Abused, Enslaved…

Arable Lands Lost at Unprecedented Rate: 33,000 Hectares… a Day!

War on Climate Terror (II): Fleeing Disasters, Escaping Drought, Migrating

War on Climate Terror (I): Deserts Bury Two Thirds of African Lands

African Farmers Can Feed the World, If Only…

Climate Victims – Every Second, One Person Is Displaced by Disaster

400 Million People Live with Hepatitis But They Do Not Know

Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‘Critical’ to Combat Climate Change

Forests: To Farm or Not to Farm? That’s the Question!

‘Monster’ El Niño Subsides, ‘Monster’ La Niña Hitting Soon

‘Modern World Is Chaotic, Confused; Human Security a Must’

Xenophobic Rhetoric, Now Socially and Politically ‘Acceptable’ ?

‘Hate Is Mainstreamed, Walls Are Back, Suspicion Kills’

What If Turkey Drops Its “Human Bomb” on Europe?

Humanitarian Aid – Business As Unusual?

World Oceans Day – A Death Sea Called Mediterranean

The Humanitarian Clock Is Ticking, The Powerful Feign Deafness

Humanitarian Summit, The Big Fiasco

Humanitarian Summit: Too Big to Fail?

Humanitarian Summit Aims to Mobilise Up to 30 Billion Dollars

Africa, Resolved to Address African Problems With African Solutions

‘We Cannot Keep Jumping from Crisis to Crisis’

‘Human Suffering Has Reached Staggering Levels’

Now 1 in 2 World’s Refugees Live in Urban Areas

Middle East – The Mother of All Humanitarian Crises

Mideast: 1 in 3 Pays Bribe to Access Basic Public Services

Any Way to Halt Extremism?

Climate: Africa’s Human Existence at Severe Risk

No Water in the Kingdom of the Two Seas – Nor Elsewhere

Will the Middle East Become ‘Uninhabitable’?

Can an Animal Heist Fable Help Solve the Middle East Crisis?

A “Colombian Triangle” for Daesh in Libya?

‘Worse Than World War I’

‘Take My Iraqis and Give Me Some Syrians’ – Europe to Turkey

New Nuclear Hysteria in the Middle East

Africa Launches Largest Trading Block with 620 Million Consumers

Big War Lords Playing Brinkmanship Game in Syria

Cameron at large: Want Not to Become a Terrorist? Speak Fluent English!

Women’s Rights First – African Summit

Africa, Only If It Bleeds It Leads?

Seven Top Challenges Facing African Women

Africa Focuses on Women Rights, Reaffirms Solidarity with Sahrawi People in Struggle for Self Determination

Once Auctioned, What to Do with the ‘Stock’ of Syrian Refugees?

… And All of a Sudden Syria!

Silence, Please! A New Middle East Is in the Making

The Over-Written, Under-Reported Middle East (II): 99.5 Years of (Imposed) Solitude

The Over-Written, Under-Reported Middle East (I): Of Arabs and Muslims

Syria – Minding the Minds

Egypt in the Rear Mirror (I): The Irresistible Temptation to Analyse What One Ignores

Egypt in the Rear Mirror (II): Who Are the Not-So-Invisible Powers Behind the Troglodytes?

Fed Up With Empty Promises, The Arabs May Abandon Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Anti-Nukes Move from Norway to Bahrain

Middle East Nuclear Free Bid Moves to Finland – Yet Another Lost Chance?

Annual Spending on Nuclear Weapons, Equivalent To UN Budget For 45 Years

Watch The Sky–It May Rain Atomic Bombs

Save The Planet? Just Eat Cars, Drink Fuel!

Who Is Afraid of 300 Or 400 Or 500 Million Miserables?

Violence And Death For Millions Of Life-Givers

Whither Egypt (I) – Did You Say Dictatorship?

Whither Egypt (II) – Economic Bankruptcy

Politicians Promote Fossil Fuels with Half a Trillion Dollars a Year

Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking?

Palestine: Yet Another One Hundred Years of Solitude

Does Anyone Know Anything About A New Country Called South Sudan?

South Sudan: Yet Another Kitchen-Garden?

Somalia? Which Somalia? Some Facts About Everybody’s — Nobody’s Land

Requiem For Palestine (I): A Conflict Born With A Solution

Requiem For Palestine (II): Can Gruyere Be A Solution?

2017 Human Wrongs Watch



Source: https://human-wrongs-watch.net/2017/02/12/every-year-700-million-people-fall-ill-from-contaminated-food/

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories
 

Featured

 

Top Global

 

Top Alternative

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.