Food Safety / Seguridad de Comida
|Over the last 100 years, food production has changed dramatically from non-industrial (traditional) to industrial agriculture, brining about the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and genetically modified organisms. While pesticides have known implications for farmworkers because of increased exposure, it is unknown the effects of ingesting the residual pesticides and herbicides left on the food, even after they have been processed and cleaned1, 2. Additionally, these chemicals leach into water systems and have been associated with illnesses including breast cancer3. The long-term effects of ingesting genetically modified organisms is unknown4. There have been claims of health issues relating to the ingestion of antibiotics and hormones as well, but these additives are still in use for food production5.
Food born illnesses are a major concern of modern food. Mad Cow Disease illustrated the connection between animal and human illness. E-coli outbreaks have been on the rise as well, as it was not recognized as a food-borne disease 20 years ago6. Another human and environmental health issue is the accumulation of mercury in fish that may cause harm to humans, especially pregnant women7.
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1. Oregon health Division (1999) Center for Disease Prevention and Epidemiology. Available at governor.oregon.gov/ (accessed Augusts 2009).
2. Dougherty, C.P., Holtz, S.H., Reinert, J.C., Panyacosit, L., Axelrad, D.A., & Woodruff, T.J. (2000) Dietary Exposures to Food Contaminants across the United States. Available at burnbarrel.org/ (accessed August 2009).
3. California Breast Cancer Research Program (2007) Identifying Gaps in Breast Cancer Research. Available at www.cbcrp.org/ (accessed August 2009).
4. World Health Organization (2009) 20 questions on genetically modified foods. Available at www.who.int/ (accessed August 2009).
5. Hoffman, M. (2009) Safer food for a healthier you. Available at www.webmd.com/ (accessed August 2009).
6. Mead, P.S., Slutsker, L., Dietz, V., McCaig, L.F., Bresse, J.S., Shapiro, C., Griffin, P.M., & Tauxe, R.V. (1999) Food-related illness and death in the United States. Available at www.cdc.gov/ (accessed August 2009).
7. Environmental Protection Agency (2009) Fish Consumption Advisories. Available at www.epa.gov/ (accessed August 2009).