Drastic climatic changes negatively impact food safety

food safety

Accelerating changes in the climatic conditions and the increase in the incidence of natural disaster is threatening the safety of the world’s overall food supply – Speakers at the yearly symposium revealed.

In the past decade, the world has witnessed a vast climatic shift and a tremendous increase in the number of natural calamities and disasters including heavy rains, droughts, floods, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and the likes. If scientific predictions are to be believed, the situation is only going to worsen further and such extreme changes in the climate will continue to occur in the future as well. Apart from the effect it has on the human beings, this drastic change in the climatic conditions negatively affects the safety of food crops and animal products, which will subsequently have a severe impact on the world’s overall food supply.

Ewen Todd, professor of advertising, public relations and retailing at the Michigan State University spoke to the gathering present at a recent yearly conference dealing with the subject titled “How Climate Change Affects the Safety of the World's Food Supply”, conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Todd said that it is high time now to take action and ensure the food safety, because failing to act upon the current state of the climate will endanger the entire food supply of the world.

Other experts who spoke at the session also backed the professor’s words and agreed with the fact that the safety of the world’s food supply is already a matter of serious concern and the situation will only aggravate unless these rigorous climatic changes are dealt with at once.It is believed that the understanding of the effects of climate change on food safety is currently more or less unclear. Nevertheless, Todd pointed out that already a number of instances of severe climatic changes are taking its toll on the world's food supply. During the conference, Todd spoke about one such aspect. Vibrio is a curved rod-like bacterium that is capable of movement and the cause of cholera and other diseases. It is a pathogen that typically lives in warm ocean water. Owing to global warming, the ocean water in the north is becoming warmer now with the rise in temperatures and this lead to the outbreak of vibrio in a region near Alaska, in the year 2005 when the temperature of the water touched the fifteen degree celcius mark. Extreme weather conditions like droughts, floods and heavy rains are already impacting the world's food supply. Due to such occurrences, the crops in some areas were reportedly wiped out completely; a subsequent result of which was a shooting rise in the prices in addition to other concerns.

Reference:
A conference conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science titled "How Climate Change Affects the Safety of the World's Food Supply"- Speakers at the symposium included Raymond Knighton of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture; Sandra Hoffman of the USDA's Economic Research Service; and Cristina Tirado from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Disclaimer: This article is written by a non-medical professional.

Date: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
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