Better tracking of food from 'farm to fork' stressed

DUBAI — Better waste management is needed to prevent the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, an expert said while speaking at the Second Middle East Waste and Water Congress which opened yesterday.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 27 May 2008, 9:03 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

Sandra Cointreau, Advisor, World Bank Solid Waste Management, said the spread of avian influenza could largely be tracked through the legitimate trade of domestic poultry kept in environments with poor waste management.

Additional problems occurred as antibiotic resistance increased, an issue identified by the World Health Organisation as a growing problem.

Cointreau said livestock being fed antibiotics, heavy metals and even arsenics as a growth stimulant, were carrying the products along the food chain and through their waste.

‘The EU and New Zealand are the only countries which have banned arsenicals,’ she said.

‘There needs to be a global ban on arsenicals. Once it's in the environment you can't get it out.’

To reduce the spread of disease and antibiotic resistance, Cointreau called on the authorities to implement better tracking of food from ‘farm to fork’.

Cointreau said farmers should also have to disclose what their livestock or poultry consumes.

Ultimately, Cointreau said, the best waste management practices had to be used. ‘Materials need to be disposed off properly,’ she said.

‘Most diseases start because there is no waste management.’

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