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Finardi C.,Confederazione Nazionale Coldiretti | Pongolini S.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dellEmilia Romagna Bruno Ubertini
Progress in Nutrition | Year: 2014

In 2008, a media crisis flared up and the issue triggered a prolonged "food scare": raw milk was blamed as the cause of several cases of Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) due to shiga-toxin producing strains Escherichia coli, which are highly pathogenic and sometimes lethal in children. The immediate response of the Minister of Health was an urgent decree, that ordered to report "raw milk: to be boiled before consumption" in front of the distributors in red-characters and with a defined size. Therefore, instead of reassuring consumers, this warning appeared as the admission that milk was unsafe, and a confirmation that there was a real food safety problem out there. Scope of the present article is to highlight how the risk-management cycle developed, departing from the media framing of the issue. The lack of time (5 days passed from problem recognition to risk management measures) resulted in an over-conservative yet effective policy option, but at the expense of farmers, blamed of selling dangerous milk. Results suggests that there was an inverted policy-making cycle, in the try to reassure the citizens while providing a protective risk management (and at the same time allowing raw milk sales to continue, even if under rigid conditions). We consider how the framework given by the media conditioned strongly the policy measures undertaken, limiting a wider set of policy options and suggestions © Mattioli 1885 Source

Negri M.,University of Milan | Bacenetti J.,University of Milan | Brambilla M.,Unita di ricerca per lingegneria agraria Sede di Treviglio | Manfredini A.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dellEmilia Romagna Bruno Ubertini | And 2 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2014

Global warming is linked to the reduction of green house gas emissions (GHG). The anaerobic digestion of animal manure and energy crops is a promising way of reducing GHG emissions.The increasing number of biogas plants involves a high consumption of energy crops and the needed of big agricultural area. In Italy, cereals silages are the main feedstock for biogas production and are commonly grown under two different crop systems: single crop (only maize) and double crops (maize later winter cereals).In this paper we present the results of experimental field tests carried out by monitoring the anaerobic biomethane potential (BMP) of different cereals silages commonly grown in the Padanian Plan.A laboratory device has been developed to measure the specific biomethane production of the different cereal silages. The different energy crops have been evaluated, in single and double crop systems, expressing the biomethane production per hectare.The maize hybrids show higher specific biomethane potentials respect to winter cereals. Maize FAO class 700 achieves the highest production per hectare as a single crop. Nevertheless, the highest biomethane productions per hectare are reached with double crop system in particular when maize FAO class 500 follows triticale (+12% respect the best single crop system). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Negri M.,University of Milan | Bacenetti J.,University of Milan | Manfredini A.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dellEmilia Romagna Bruno Ubertini | Lovarelli D.,University of Milan | And 3 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2014

Biogas production is mainly based on the anaerobic digestion of cereals silages and maize silage is the most utilized. Regarding biogas production, the most important portion of the plant is the ear. The corn ear, due to high starch content, is characterized by a higher biogas production compared to the silage of the whole plant.In this paper, we present the results of experimental field tests carried out in Northern Italy that aim to evaluate the anaerobic methane potential (BMP) of different portions of ensiled maize hybrids. The BMP production is evaluated considering the possibility of harvesting and ensiling: the whole plant; the plant cut at 75cm of height; the ear only; the plant without the ear. For the different solutions, the results are reported as specific BMP and as average biogas production achievable per hectare. The methane production by harvesting and ensiling the whole plant (10,212 and 10,605m3ha-1, for maize class 600 and 700, respectively) is higher than the ones achievable by the other plant portions (7961 and 7707m3ha-1, from the ear; 9523 and 9784m3ha-1, from the plant cut at 75cm; 3328 and 3554m3ha-1, from the plant without the ear, for maize class 600 and 700, respectively). The harvest of the whole plant, although it is the most productive solution, could not be the best solution under an economic and environmental point of view. Harvesting only the ear can be interesting considering the new Italian subsidy framework and for the biogas plants fed by biomass transported over long distances. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.3-3 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2011

West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most evident examples of emerging/re-emerging pathogens one can nominate, which is characterized by occasional virulent epizootic outbreaks. Despite intensive research done since its first appearance in the Americas in 1999, many aspects of its molecular biology, epidemiology, ecology, pathogenesis and life cycle are still poorly understood. Being a generalist pathogen par excellence, its eco-epidemiology is extraordinarily complex, involving hundreds of different vectors and hosts, which differ between locations. In addition, as other RNA viruses lacking proofreading replication, its genome is highly variable and consequently of extraordinary plasticity. As a result, many WNV variants have evolved independently in different parts of the world. As the virus moves from one area to another, either by nature, through migrating birds, or by human influence (commerce and/or other activities), different WNV variants (lineages) from different origins can coexist and co-evolve in a particular area. This is the case in Europe, with at least five of seven WNV lineages identified to date. This situation is clearly different from that of North America. However, most studies on WNV currently come from the USA, biasing the knowledge available not only toward the virus there -a serious bias with important consequences influencing, for instance, diagnostic methods- but also to the WNV ecology in hosts and vectors. In the present Project we propose to conduct comprehensive studies on the WNV situation in Europe and affected surrounding countries that accounting for the peculiarities of WNV eco-epidemiology in this region. Moreover we will strive to cover knowledge gaps regarding its ecology, epidemiology and pathogenesis in Europe. Finally, the Project aims to develop new tools and strategies for research on treatment and prevention of WNV disease, as well as to produce new diagnostic methods, taking Euro-Mediterranean peculiarities into account

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-3-02 | Award Amount: 4.09M | Year: 2009

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the worlds most infectious diseases of livestock and continues to pose a significant threat to endemic and free regions alike. The impact of FMD on society and international trade is high, thereby demanding stringent prevention, surveillance and control plans taken up in crisis preparedness plans. On the other hand, there is a global increased demand for animal welfare and ethical considerations necessitating a decreased reliance on eradication of animals to control FMD virus (FMDV) spread, and on the use of animals for the regulatory testing of veterinary products. The project seeks to balance these apparently contracting viewpoints by addressing specific gaps in our knowledge on all aspects of FMD control to enable implementation of enhanced animal-sparing vaccine-based control strategies tailored to the needs of free and endemic settings. Consequently, four main objectives have been identified, including (i) the improvement of the quality of existing FMD vaccines and diagnostics, (ii) the refinement and replacement of in vivo FMD vaccine quality tests, (iii) the development of new generation FMD vaccines and diagnostics by applying cutting edge technologies, and (iv) the enhancement of our knowledge on FMDV spread and transmission following the use of high-potency monovalent or multivalent vaccines. The role of wildlife (buffalo, gazelles and wild boar) in FMDV maintenance and transmission will also be investigated. The project consists of seven different, yet interlinked, work packages (WP) each addressing one of the items listed in the Work Programme topic KBBE-2008-1-3-02, and led by renowned WP leaders with years of relevant experience in the field of FMD. As such, significant progress towards the objectives of the Communitys Animal Health Strategy (2007-2013), the European Technology Platform for Global Animal Health, and the Global Roadmap for improving the Tools to Control FMD in Endemic Settings will be achieved.

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