Category Archives: Food Safety

Researchers create biosensor to detect pesticide

18By Elton Alisson

Agência FAPESP – Researchers at the Universidade de São Paulo’s São Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP), in collaboration with colleagues from the Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso (UFMT), have created a biological sensor that detects the presence of a highly toxic pesticide in water, soil or food in just minutes. The pesticide in question is methamidophos, which is being banned in Brazil but is still used for several crops in the country.

Developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Organic Electronics (INEO)—one of the National Institutes of Science and Technology (INCTs) funded by FAPESP and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)—the sensor could be adapted for the detection of other types of pesticides, according to the researchers. The basic principle behind the device has also led to the development of a rapid test to detect the dengue fever virus….>>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: Agência Fapesp, 11th September, 2013
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More Than 300 People Hit by Salmonella from Live Birds

The Poultry Site – A total of 316 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 37 states, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The source of infection has been traced to sales of young poultry from agricultural stores, which are mainly frequented by small-scale and hobby farmers.

According to the latest CDC report – dated 19 August – among 199 ill persons with available information, 51 (26 per cent) have been admitted to hospital; 59 per cent of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.

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Quinoa: A Miracle Grain and the Fight for Food Security

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has named 2013 “the international year of quinoa”. This ancestral grain, native to Bolivia and Peru, has been heralded as a super-food with the potential to alleviate hunger and malnutrition globally. Quinoa is rich in protein and other nutrients and, through the Andean ancestral cultivation practices, can provide nutritional and biodiversity benefits to countries looking to improve food security. Yet as international demand for quinoa grows, especially among gourmets in Canada, the US, and Europe, prices have risen, making quinoa less affordable for Peruvians and Bolivians. Despite an overall increase in quinoa production, local consumption has decreased due to a host of factors including competition on the global expert market. This situation has generated questions about the potential for the miracle grain to aid in meeting food security goals globally, if global demand and limited production continues to present challenges to achieving food security locally. For more insight, the publication Agenda: Suramerica, give a local perspective on this issue with their feature, “Global vs. Local Food Security: The Case of Quinoa in Bolivia.”

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Source: Rockefeller Fundation
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Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds

2By Jane Qiu
Nature – A genetic-modification technique used widely to make crops herbicide resistant has been shown to confer advantages on a weedy form of rice, even in the absence of the herbicide. The finding suggests that the effects of such modification have the potential to extend beyond farms and into the wild.
 
Several types of crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide first marketed under the trade name Roundup. This glyphosate resistance enables farmers to wipe out most weeds from the fields without damaging their crops… Continue Reading
 
Source and Photo: Nature, August 16th, 2013
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New Vaccines Target Salmonella and Clostridium in Poultry

1The Poultry Site – Salmonella species are bacteria that can cause foodborne illness in humans when they eat contaminated eggs or other poultry products that are inappropriately cooked. By targeting Salmonella through flock vaccination, contamination of eggs and meat can be reduced without the use of broad scope antibiotics.
 
The poultry industry has been looking for ways to reduce its use of antibiotics due to concerns around the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens. Since only a very small portion of Salmonella species can cause foodborne illnesses in humans, a vaccine would need to target only these pathogenic species.
 
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Buyer, beware: What foods are recalled the most?

42By Eli Epstein

MSN News – Despite advances in food safety and consumer awareness, food recalls impact millions of Americans every year. In July alone, according to the Food and Drug Administration, 17 food and beverage items were pulled from shelves for a wide variety of reasons. They include the detections of disease-causing bacterium such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli; the presence of undeclared milks, nuts, eggs and wheat; and also instances of Hepatitis A tainting.

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H7N9 in China: The Worries Continue

44 By Chris Wright

The Poultry Site – At the same time, the Chinese poultry sector is still having trouble and continues to recover from the crisis caused by avian influenza. The Chinese government just announced that it is giving the industry 300 million yuan (48.5 million dollars) more to help the poultry industry in its recovery. This is added to the 900 million yuan that has already been given to the industry. Aside from the central government subsidies, ten provinces have established preferential policies to support the poultry industry.

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