How Climate Change Affects the Safety of the World’s Food Supply

Monday, February 21, 2011: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
146A (Washington Convention Center )
Accelerating climate change is inevitable with implications for animal products and crops. Developing countries in tropical and subtropical regions are likely to fare the worst. The effects of climate change on food security are being explored, but those on food safety are poorly understood. Nutrition and food safety are inextricably linked, particularly in places where food supplies are insecure. When food becomes scarce, hygiene, safety, and nutrition are often ignored as people shift to less nutritious diets and consume more unsafe foods in which chemical, microbiological, zoonotic, and other hazards pose a health risk. Starting to explore these questions are speakers from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), government, and academia. These speakers will present an overview of the effects of climate change on food safety and how limitations to the food supply exacerbate the risks. The types of questions to be addressed will include the following: Will elevated temperatures result in more harmful algal blooms and problems with vibrios? Will fungal diseases destroy essential grain crops and increase the amount of mycotoxin production? How will our food animals adapt to stresses from increased temperatures and lack of food and water? Will genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in crops, fish, and animals become increasingly important in our response to climate change? In view of the recent increase in extreme weather events, will we have a long-term safe and adequate food supply?
Ewen C. Todd, Michigan State University
Ewen C. Todd, Michigan State University
Sandra A. Hoffman, U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service, Food Economics Division
Climate Change, Food Safety, and Policy Analysis: What Are the Fundamental Challenges?
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