Time filter

Source Type

Minato-ku, Japan

Hara-Kudo Y.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Kumagai S.,Food Safety Commission
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2014

Consumption of seafood contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus causes foodborne infections, which are on the rise owing to increased consumption of raw seafood in Asia, Europe, North America, and other regions. V. parahaemolyticus infections have been common in Japan since the 1960s. Following an epidemic in 1997, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare instituted regulations for seafood in 1999, which appear to be reducing V. parahaemolyticus infections. In this review, we describe the scientific findings for these regulations. Analyses of the V. parahaemolyticus serotypes and isolate characteristics in samples from infected patients and contaminated seafood are discussed. In addition, based on the results of a survey, we show that new food safety regulations have led to improvements in food hygiene at many seafood retail shops, food service facilities, and restaurants. This example from Japan could be of immense help to control foodborne infections in other countries. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014. Source

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/green/

Alexandra Clark is a sustainable-food campaigner at Humane Society International. She recently presented HSI's meat reduction work at the COP21 in Paris. Prior to joining HSI, Clark worked for the vice president of the European Parliament and was responsible for a number of high-profile parliamentary initiatives on sustainable food systems. She contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Global leaders in Paris accomplished much with the climate change agreement they reached late last year, but it had its shortcomings — including a failure to specifically mitigate the emissions of climate-changing gases from animal agriculture. However, outside of the Paris talks, policymakers in the European Union (EU) are beginning to advance that discussion, pushing for a shift away from diets heavy in meat, egg and dairy products, in an effort to clear the air. There is extensive research showing the outsize impacts of animal agriculture on the environment. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has concluded that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." It's not hard to see why. The process of converting energy and protein in animal feed into meat calories and protein for humans is highly inefficient: For example, a 2014 study led by Henk Westhoek for the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and appearing in Global Environmental Change, found a 50 percent reduction in all EU consumption of meat, dairy and eggs would cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by 19 to 42 percent. Similar research that year in the journal Climatic Change found that, in the U.K., vegetarian and vegan diets had 32 percent and 49 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions , respectively, than medium-meat diets. Compared to high-meat diets, the difference was even starker, with vegan diets emitting 60 percent less greenhouse gasses. Yet, reductions aren't the projected future we face. One 2010 study by Nathan Pelletier and Peter Tyedmers at Dalhousie University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projected a 39 percent rise in emissions from animal agriculture by 2050 over year-2000 levels, accounting for more than two-thirds of the amount of greenhouse gases considered safe by 2050. Given the threats that climate change and other environmental impacts from farm animal production pose to long-term food security, there is a need for a global shift away from meat-heavy diets. Less meat for the wealthy, food security for the poor Eggs, meat and milk can continue to serve as sources of nutrition — particularly in rural areas of developing countries, which sometimes exhibit higher rates of undernutrition. Farm animals can provide a variety of supports to pastoralists, mixed farmers and landless peoples in rural areas. In rural communities around the world, people use farm animals as a means of acquiring cash income, a way to save and accumulate assets, as a food source, and as insurance against health or other financial crises. Integrated into a broader rural landscape of small farms, animals provide inputs and services for crop production. However, most farm animal production (and growth in production) is taking place in polluting and inhumane industrial farm animal production systems. These industrial systems are feeding middle- and higher-income consumers who could benefit from more plant-based diets. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 40 percent of adults across the globe are overweight, and noncommunicable diseases linked to the overconsumption of fats and energy-dense foods (such as meat, eggs and milk) are now a leading cause of illness and death worldwide. The WHO has called for an increase in the consumption of plant-based foods — specifically fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts — as part of the solution. Developed countries like the United States still have the highest per-capita meat consumption. However, according to the FAO, developing and emerging economies already account for the majority of meat production overall, and are projected to account for the majority of growth in animal consumption in the coming years. Developing countries where farm animal production is expanding may no longer require an overall increase in the consumption of animal source foods among all segments of their populations, as a significant proportion of their populations are already meeting or exceeding their energy requirements.  Ironically, many developing countries with high levels of hunger and malnutrition now simultaneously bear the burden of an obesity-related public health crisis, with the number of overweight women already exceeding the number of underweight women in most developing countriesby 2005, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  To allow for a more equitable distribution of agricultural resources and to ensure long-term food security and health for all communities around the world, society should place greater emphasis on small-scale, multipurpose, more animal-welfare-friendly and environmentally sustainable farm animal production led by small farmers. Middle- and higher-income populations should also reduce their consumption of animal products.  A side event held within the U.N. climate conference — entitled "Meat: The Big Omission from the Talks on Emissions," hosted by leading international organizations such as the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and Humane Society International — brought together policymakers, scientists and civil society groups, and emphasized the need to reduce the number of animals raised for food. The event highlighted successful efforts around the world to achieve this goal by encouraging people to consume more plants and less meat. Jo Leinen, a German member of the European Parliament, spoke at the event, emphasizing nations' inability to mitigate climate change without shifting away from meat-centric diets. His comments came on the heels of a recently published report by Chatham House, "Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption," which specifically addresses potential government interventions to encourage meat and dairy reduction, ranging from public-awareness-raising campaigns to a carbon tax. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed with the event premise — the former California governor, actor and bodybuilder made waves during the climate conference by calling on people to keep meat off their plates one or two days a week to address climate change, according to the BBC. And, a growing number of food service providers, educational institutions, environmental groups and other stakeholders are embracing meat-reduction initiatives such as Meatless Monday.  In October, HSI launched Green Monday South Africa and a Meatless Monday campaign in Mexico with events attended by media, celebrities and other stakeholders. There are also thriving humane eating campaigns in India, China and other emerging economies where meat consumption is rapidly rising, along with problems relating obesity and chronic disease.  The growing middle- and upper-class consumers in these countries are becoming increasingly sensitive to animal welfare, health and environmental issues, as exhibited by the increasing number of food companies in these regions adopting animal welfare policies, and the growth in the market for organic and other sustainable products.  HSI advocates what it calls compassionate eating, or the three R's: "reducing" or "replacing" consumption of animal products, and "refining" diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards. In the EU, those goals are gaining popularity, and there is growing public support for meeting the target of a 30 percent reduction in animal product consumption by 2030 through a variety of policy mechanisms. HSI launched this formal call in September 2015 at The Free Lunch, one of the largest food events ever held outside the European Parliament, where approximately 1,000 people, including politicians, attended in support of reducing the consumption of animal-based foods in the EU. The event featured cross-party members of the European Parliament, including the Parliament's vice president, civil society representatives and a representative of the EU Health and Food Safety Commission. Pathways to the 30 percent goal include incorporating sustainable food consumption into the EU and its member states' climate action plan; revising the European Commission's Green Public Procurement guidelines; and developing guidelines for healthy and sustainable diets.  In early 2015, more than 60 cross-party members of the European Parliament wrote to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and others to demand the publication of the blocked Communication on Building a Sustainable System, as well as EU sustainable dietary guidelines including a reduction in consumption of animal-based foods. The communication has been held up by a "principle of political discontinuity," practically ensuring that this important document never sees the light of day. Yet science demands more work to move this issue forward. With its overall goal and its recognition of the importance of people's consumption choices, the Paris Agreement provides a signal at the global level.  The preamble of the document states that "sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption and production, with developed country Parties taking the lead, play an important role in addressing climate change." The parties should elaborate this at the national and subnational level. Research increasingly shows the benefits of moving toward more plant-based diets — to improve the welfare of farm animals, promote environmental sustainability and protect human health. It is time to really get to the meat of the matter and stop avoiding the elephant — or chicken or pig — in the room.  Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science. Why Does Less Meat Mean Less Heat? (Op-Ed) Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pralatnet S.,Kasetsart University | Poapolathep S.,Kasetsart University | Giorgi M.,University of Pisa | Imsilp K.,Kasetsart University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2016

One hundred wheat product samples (50 instant noodle samples and 50 bread samples) were collected from supermarkets in Bangkok, Thailand. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination in these products was analyzed using a validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method. The limit of quantification values of DON and AFB1 in the instant noodles and bread were 2 and 1 ng g-1, respectively. The survey found that DON was quantifiable in 40% of collected samples, in 2% of noodles (0.089 μg g-1), and in 78% of breads (0.004 to 0.331 μg g-1). AFB1 was below the limit of quantification of the method in all of the tested samples. The results suggest that the risk of DON exposure via noodles and breads is very low in urban areas of Thailand. No risk can be attributable to AFB1 exposure in the same food matrices, but further studies with a larger sample size are needed to confirm these data. Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection. Source

Kemmochi S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Kemmochi S.,Gifu University | Fujimoto H.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Woo G.-H.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology | Year: 2011

Purpose: Rat thyroid follicular cell carcinomas invading into the thyroid capsule are highly produced by promotion with sulfadimethoxine (SDM) in a rat two-stage thyroid carcinogenesis model. In this study, we investigated the participation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway that is associated with malignant phenotypes of many cancers on the development of SDM-induced capsular invasive carcinomas. Methods: Thyroid proliferative lesions developed 10 or 15 weeks after promotion with SDM in male F344 rats initiated with N-bis(2-hydroxypropyl)nitrosamine were immunohistochemically analyzed with regard to cellular distribution of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and Akt isoforms, as well as their downstream molecules. Results: Increased expression of PI3K signaling molecules was evident in association with the development of lesion stages from the early focal hyperplasia to the late carcinomas. Capsular carcinomas, and the less frequent parenchymal carcinomas, exclusively expressed phosphorylated, inactive PTEN, and active Akt isoforms, as did their downstream molecules. Among the Akt isoforms, enhanced expression of Akt1 was more prominent than that of Akt2 in both capsular and parenchymal carcinomas. Conclusions: Activation of the PI3K pathway through phosphorylation of PTEN promotes the high production of capsular carcinomas as well as the development of less frequent parenchymal carcinomas. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Asakura H.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Momose Y.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Ryu C.-H.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | Kasuga F.,Japan National Institute of Health Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment | Year: 2013

Providencia alcalifaciens is a member of the Enterobacteriaceae family that occasionally causes diarrheagenic illness in humans via the intake of contaminated foods. Despite the epidemiological importance of P. alcalifaciens, little is known about its pathobiology. Here we report that P. alcalifaciens causes barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cell monolayers and induces apoptosis in calf pulmonary artery endothelial cells. P. alcalifaciens infection caused a 30% reduction in transepithelial resistance in Caco-2 cell monolayers, which was greater than that for cells infected with Shigella flexneri or non-pathogenic Escherichia coli. As with viable bacteria, bacterial lysates treated with heat, benzonase or proteinase, but not with polymixin B, were also involved in the cellular response. TLR4 antibody neutralisation significantly restored the P. alcalifaciens-induced transepithelial resistance reduction in Caco-2 cells, suggesting that lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) might play a central role in this cellular response. Western blotting further indicated that P. alcalifaciens LPSs reduced occludin levels, whereas LPSs from Shigella or E. coli did not. Although the viability of Caco-2 cells was not altered significantly, the calf pulmonary artery endothelial cell line was highly sensitive to P. alcalifaciens infection. This sensitivity was indeed dependent on LPS, which induced rapid apoptosis. Together, these data show that P. alcalifaciens LPSs participate in epithelial barrier dysfunction and endothelial apoptosis. The findings give insight into the LPS-dependent cell signal events affecting diarrheagenicity during infection with P. alcalifaciens. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Discover hidden collaborations