How Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Enter the Food Chain in non-GMO Producing Countries

The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in livestock and crops, as well as trade and consumption of GMOs are highly controversial topics.

Proponents of genetic engineering argue that GMOs represent the only viable solution to food shortages in an ever-growing global population. They claim that the use of GMOs in agriculture and their consumption have caused no harm to livestock or humans so far. Heated debate also persists over GMO food labelling, with food manufacturers in the USA arguing that mandatory GMO labelling hinders the development of agricultural biotechnology, and may also “exacerbate the misconception” that GMOs endanger human health. Continue reading

Global food security equals national security?

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What motivates you to care for people and environments with whom you’re not in direct contact? That is the question I’ve been pondering today on the fourth International Day of Charity. The day was established by the United Nations to encourage people, NGOs and other stakeholders to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. Such activities naturally mean different things to different people – essentially they are actions through which you express care for humanity and the planet. Perhaps you donate money for a cause, participate in a demonstration, or create new information on topics related to agriculture and global health.

Interestingly, President Obama recently made a distinction between charitable purposes and global development efforts. When announcing the signing of the Global Food Security Act of 2016 (GFSA) in late July, Obama said, “Development isn’t charity; it’s one of the smartest investments we can make in our shared future, in our security and our prosperity.” Loosely summarised his message was that improving food security in developing countries is important not only because it improves the quality of peoples’ lives abroad – it also decreases conflicts and increases well-being globally, including in the United States.

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Veterinary visits to become mandatory in European farming

By Miroslav Djuric, DVM, CAB International, Wallingford, UK

The European Agriculture Council has formally approved a draft law on animal diseases that are transmissible among animals and potentially to humans (zoonoses).

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The provisions in the law on farm animal health visits stipulate that professional animal owners are to receive regular animal health visits from a veterinarian for disease prevention, detection and biosecurity. This new piece of legislation aims to merge and update existing scattered directives and regulations into a single and coherent law.

It is announced as an important step forward, since visits by vets are the cornerstone of the ‘prevention is better than cure’ strategy and indispensable for the prevention and early detection of known and emerging transmissible diseases. The role of the veterinarian in achieving this is defined and highlighted. The veterinary profession also has an active part to play in raising awareness of animal health and of One Health, or the interaction between animal health, animal welfare and public health.

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Happy holidays! ‘Tis the season to be hypertensive

With Thanksgiving now upon us, the holiday season has well and truly arrived.
This not being a diet blog, I will most likely be indulging with the best of
them. Well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

However, while the marketers are encouraging us to stuff it all in (if you’re
UK based, like me, ‘this is not just food…’, after all), the media at
large are busy reminding us just how much fat, salt and potential foodborne
pathogens we will be putting away over the party season.

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