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Food Safety and Quality in Europe - emerging issues and unresolved problems (France)









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    Questions d’actualité et problèmes non résolus - Moyens de les gérer (France) 2002
    Les questions de sécurité sanitaire et de qualité des aliments revêtent une importance particulière pour la région Europe. La problématique de l’encéphalopathie spongiforme bovine, les thèmes relatifs à l’antibiorésistance, aux dioxines, de même que les craintes face aux innovations technologiques dans le domaine des biotechnologies (organismes génétiquement modifiés) font souvent la une de l’actualité. Au-delà même des sujets sous les feux de l’actualité, d’autres préoccupations moins médiatisé es de sécurité sanitaire des aliments et de santé publique mobilisent les responsables nationaux, européens et internationaux. Ainsi, en est-il, pour en mentionner quelques-unes, de la lutte contre les zoonoses (les salmonelles, les germes du genre listéria), de la détection des contaminants (mycotoxines, métaux lourds…), des résidus de pesticides, ou encore des contaminations radioactives accidentelles.
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    FAO Veterinary Public Health and Food and Feed Safety Programme: the Safety of Animal Products from Farm to Fork 2002
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    The livestock sector plays an essential role in agricultural and economic development as well as in food security. Public concern about the safety of foods of animal origin has recently heightened due to problems that have arisen with outbreaks of food-borne infections (BSE, E.coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, etc.) and chemical contamination (pesticides, heavy metals, dioxins), as well as due to growing concerns about veterinary drug residues and microbial resistance to antibiotics. Th ese problems have drawn attention to the production practices within the livestock industry and have prompted health professionals and the food industry to closely scrutinise quality and safety problems that can arise in foods of animal origin. In addition to national food safety, these issues have serious implications for international trade in livestock products and animal feed.
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    Integrated approaches to the management of food safety throughout the food chain 2002
    Most countries with systems for recording foodborne disease have reported significant increases in the incidence of diseases caused by pathogenic micro-organisms in food over the past few decades. As many as one person in three in industrialized countries may be affected by foodborne illness each year and the situation in most other countries is probably even worse. Apart from the deaths and human suffering caused by foodborne disease, the economic consequences are enormous, running into billion s of dollars in some countries. In Europe bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, "Mad cow disease") and contamination of food with dioxins led consumers to lose confidence in the safety of foods on the market, with severe economic consequences. In many cases, the origins of food safety problems can be traced back to contamination of animal feed or other factors in the early parts of the food chain, an area which until fairly recently had received scant attention from those responsible for food s afety.

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