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Global Food Safety and Environmental Health

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000339550.64998.5a
Abstracts: ISEE 20th Annual Conference, Pasadena, California, October 12–16, 2008: Symposium Abstracts

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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Objectives of the symposium on Global Food Safety and Environmental Health include:

  • Raise awareness on the impacts of Global Food Production Systems, International Agriculture and Trade Policies, and other food related emerging issues on Health and the Environment.
  • Address the role of environmental health epidemiologists in the provision of information for dietary exposure assessment (to chemical, microbiological and emerging food risks) for adequate risk management and risk communication.
  • Offer a platform to scientists to discuss the road map for the ISEE Conference on Environment, Food and Global Health in 2009.

Proposed sessions include: 1) Global Food Safety and Environmental Health Cristina Tirado, UCLA School of Public Health, USA This session will be provide an overview of the main global environmental health issues related to food production systems (e.g. feed production, animal farming, aquaculture, fisheries, etc.) and the impacts of international agriculture and trade policies on environmental and health. Data on chemical, microbiological and emerging food and environmental risks from new technologies, climate change, etc. will be presented. Current needs for risk assessment by international bodies to protect health and facilitate trade will be discussed. 2) Exposure assessment to chemical contaminants in food. Giovanni Leonardi, UK Health Protection Agency, UK. Exposure measurement of chemical contaminants in food is complex. Information from nutritional surveys of food intake needs to be combined with estimates of contaminant concentration in food items, to produce valid assessment of overall chemical exposure via food. These principles have been applied to a number of chemical contaminants of food, such as metals and persistent organic pollutants. Recent methodological advances in assessment of exposure to chemical contaminants via food are relevant to overall assessment of food safety, and will be presented in this session. 3) Industrial food animal production: food safety, socioeconomic, and environmental health concerns. Ellen K. Silbergeld, Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA Animal feeds may contain drugs and other additives, as well as recycled materials from slaughterhouses and animal wastes. The use of antimicrobials in animal feeds is associated with increasing prevalence of drug resistant pathogenic and commensal bacterial in the food supply. Farmers and farm workers are exposed to these bacteria in animal houses, and rural communities are exposed via environmental pathways of release, including air, soils, and water. Results indicate the importance of re-evaluating methods of food animal production in terms of risks beyond but including the food supply. 4) Food Risk and Benefit Analysis: Case study–Fish Consumption. Cristina Tirado, UCLA School of Public Health, USA Risk and benefits for health and the environment of food production and consumption such as fish, genetically modified foods, organic foods etc. have not been properly addressed. The assessment of risk to human health of food substances or nutrients is usually conducted independently of possible health benefits. International risk assessment bodies have been urged to develop guidelines on methodology for risk-benefit assessment. Approaches for conducting a quantitative risk-benefit analysis for food and food ingredients will be presented using fish consumption as a case study.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.