A World Health Organization official at a conference in China urges greater international cooperation against food-born diseases.
A World Health Organization official at a conference in China urges greater international cooperation against food-born diseases.Dr. Shigeru Omi, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said that similar efforts are also needed against zoonoses — diseases transmitted from animals to humans, Xinhua, China’s official government news agency reported. He said the third major threat in the field is terrorist use of infectious agents.”Rapid globalization of food production and trade has increased the potential for international incidents involving food contamination with microbial or chemical hazards,” Omi said. “Reducing the risk of food-born disease is achieved most effectively by targeted prevention throughout the production, processing and marketing chain and through greater cooperation and information sharing.”Among other measures, Omi recommended greater regulation of the sale of live animals for food. The respiratory infection SARS apparently spread from live birds to humans in China.WHO’s Western Pacific region includes 37 countries and areas in eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands. (Source: United Press, Sept 2004)