National Food Agency

Uppsala, Sweden

National Food Agency

Uppsala, Sweden
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News Article | May 4, 2017

There are roughly 1.2 million cattle and nearly a million sheep, goats and pigs in the mountainous Republic of Georgia, providing a vital source of food and income to many of the country's 4.9 million people. Brucellosis is an all-too-common bacterial disease in a country that does a brisk business in livestock and dairy exports. The disease can cause decreased milk production, weight loss, abortions and infertility in infected animals, symptoms that threaten a vital source of food and income. The Government of Georgia has stepped up its efforts to tackle the disease, calling on FAO to help put in place a national strategy for brucellosis control. Brucellosis has become endemic in livestock across Georgia, especially in the country’s eastern region. Infected animals shed the bacteria through their milk or reproductive discharge, which in turn can contaminate communal feed, pasture and water. Left undetected or untreated, the disease can spread quickly among herds or flocks. To make matters more difficult, brucellosis can only be accurately diagnosed by a laboratory test. That’s why preventive measures such as vaccinations, epidemiological surveillance, and proper husbandry practices are the key to curtailing brucellosis. Now, Georgia is shifting into high gear and has begun implementing its national brucellosis control strategy. The FAO project, valued at US$ 280,000, is funded by the Georgian government, using financial resources allocated through the Comprehensive Institution Building (CIB) programme. The disease has a long history in Georgia, according to Andriy Rozstalnyy, Livestock Officer at FAO's Regional Office in Budapest. "Brucellosis, unfortunately, was not managed or properly addressed in the past". Furthermore, agricultural reforms in 2005 saw the privatization of some of the country's agricultural land and services. As a result, there was a decrease in the number of people working for the Ministry of Agriculture and veterinary services. Keeping the disease in check Proper animal husbandry practices and sanitation, vaccines and veterinary support services − along with regular surveillance, accurate and current epidemiological information and greater awareness among farmers and consumers − can minimize the spread of brucellosis. These were issues taken up by FAO through a strategic intervention that helped lay the groundwork for a long-term brucellosis control policy in Georgia − and future investment from the Government and its partners. A baseline assessment, organized by the project, identified priorities, gaps, bottlenecks and opportunities, while findings from the assessment formed the basis of a proposal outlining a control strategy, complete with a plan to carry it out. A workshop and related training materials aimed to strengthen the capacity of the country's National Food Agency and other key institutions engaged in the livestock sector, and to equip them with the technical know-how to deal with brucellosis. "We presented what other countries were doing to control brucellosis, the advantages, the disadvantages," said Rozstalnyy. "There is no perfect recipe. When switching from one strategy to another, countries need to base their decisions on a long list of factors, including the prevalence of the disease, farmers' awareness of transmission routes, animal identification systems and animal movement in the country." Springboard for more resources A Government-funded follow-up project zeroed in on developing and implementing the control strategy and drew on the expertise of multidisciplinary teams − veterinarians and epidemiologists as well as non-governmental organizations and universities − to get the word out about brucellosis and how to minimize the risk of infection. "When countries have limited resources, like Georgia, and they use them for a project like this one, it's confirmation that the FAO’s project was useful," said Rozstalnyy. Furthermore, the European Union has developed a sector policy support programme on agriculture, running until 2015, which focuses on animal health and food safety. It has also introduced a comprehensive institution building (CIB) instrument to help develop the capacity of Georgia's National Food Agency. With funding from the CIB programme, the National Food Agency contracted FAO to carry out the brucellosis inception phase, while a brucellosis control programme is expected to follow in 2014 and 2015. "Brucellosis was quite bad in Georgia, but the country is making progress, investing its own money and increasing the number of people working on it. It's on the right path, but it will take a lot of time, effort, patience and commitment from the Government," added Rozstalnyy. Healthy animals for healthy lives  Together, these efforts, which FAO helped set in motion, are contributing to overall improved animal health. And, in turn, they are helping revitalize Georgia's livestock sector so that it is more vibrant and competitive − good for the country's food security and economy.

Borjesson S.,National Veterinary Institute SVA | Egervarn M.,National Food Agency | Lindblad M.,National Food Agency | Englunda S.,National Veterinary Institute SVA
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2013

Forty-four percent of Swedish chicken meat fillets were contaminated with extended-spectrum or transferable AmpC beta-lactamase- producing Escherichia coli strains. Isolates from Swedish chicken meat and broilers were closely related to isolates from chicken meat imported into Sweden; these results indicate a common source of the contamination. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

Hossain M.B.,Lund University | Hossain M.B.,International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research | Vahter M.,Karolinska Institutet | Concha G.,National Food Agency | Broberg K.,Lund University
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2012

Background: Cadmium, a common food pollutant, alters DNA methylation in vitro. Epigenetic effects might therefore partly explain cadmium's toxicity, including its carcinogenicity; however, human data on epigenetic effects are lacking. Objective: We evaluated the effects of dietary cadmium exposure on DNA methylation, considering other environmental exposures, genetic predisposition, and gene expression. Methods: Concentrations of cadmium, arsenic, selenium, and zinc in blood and urine of nonsmoking women (n = 202) from the northern Argentinean Andes were measured by inductively coupled mass spectrometry. Methylation in CpG islands of LINE-1 (long interspersed nuclear element-1; a proxy for global DNA methylation) and promoter regions of p16 [cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A)] and MLH1 (mutL homolog 1) in peripheral blood were measured by bisulfite polymerase chain reaction pyrosequencing. Genotyping (n = 172) for the DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 1 gene (DNMT1 rs10854076 and rs2228611) and DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase 3 beta gene (DNMT3B rs2424913 and rs2424932) was performed with Sequenom iPLEX GOLD SNP genotyping; and gene expression (n = 90), with DirectHyb HumanHT-12 (version 3.0). Results: Cadmium exposure was low: median concentrations in blood and urine were 0.36 and 0.23 μg/L, respectively. Urinary cadmium (natural log transformed) was inversely associated with LINE-1 methylation (β = -0.50, p = 0.0070; β = -0.44, p = 0.026, adjusted for age and coca chewing) but not with p16 or MLH1 methylation. Both DNMT1 rs10854076 and DNMT1 rs2228611 polymorphisms modified associations between urinary cadmium and LINE-1 (p-values for interaction in adjusted models were 0.045 and 0.064, respectively). The rare genotypes demonstrated stronger hypomethylation with increasing urinary cadmium concentrations. Cadmium was inversely associated with DNMT3B (rS = -0.28, p = 0.0086) but not with DNMT1 expression (rS = -0.075, p = 0.48). Conclusion: Environmental cadmium exposure was associated with DNA hypomethylation in peripheral blood, and DNMT1 genotypes modified this association. The role of epigenetic modifications in cadmium-associated diseases needs clarification.

Broms J.E.,Umeå University | Meyer L.,Umeå University | Lavander M.,Umeå University | Lavander M.,National Food Agency | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The Gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis causes tularemia, a disease which requires bacterial escape from phagosomes of infected macrophages. Once in the cytosol, the bacterium rapidly multiplies, inhibits activation of the inflammasome and ultimately causes death of the host cell. Of importance for these processes is a 33-kb gene cluster, the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI), which is believed to encode a type VI secretion system (T6SS). In this study, we analyzed the role of the FPI-encoded proteins VgrG and DotU, which are conserved components of type VI secretion (T6S) clusters. We demonstrate that in F. tularensis LVS, VgrG was shown to form multimers, consistent with its suggested role as a trimeric membrane puncturing device in T6SSs, while the inner membrane protein DotU was shown to stabilize PdpB/IcmF, another T6SS core component. Upon infection of J774 cells, both ΔvgrG and ΔdotU mutants did not escape from phagosomes, and subsequently, did not multiply or cause cytopathogenicity. They also showed impaired activation of the inflammasome and marked attenuation in the mouse model. Moreover, all of the DotU-dependent functions investigated here required the presence of three residues that are essentially conserved among all DotU homologues. Thus, in agreement with a core function in T6S clusters, VgrG and DotU play key roles for modulation of the intracellular host response as well as for the virulence of F. tularensis. © 2012 Bröms et al.

Gebbink W.A.,University of Stockholm | Glynn A.,National Food Agency | Berger U.,University of Stockholm
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

Concentrations (including isomer patterns) and temporal changes (1997-2012) of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and selected perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acid (PFCA) precursors were determined in serum samples from Swedish women. Perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) and perfluorooctane sulfonamidoacetic acid (FOSAA), as well as its N-methyl and N-ethyl derivatives (MeFOSAA and EtFOSAA) were consistently detected. Highest PFOS precursor concentrations were found for EtFOSAA (before year 2000) or MeFOSAA and FOSAA (after 2000). Disappearance half-lives for all PFOS precursors were shorter compared to PFOS. 4:2/6:2 and 6:2/6:2 polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters (diPAPs) were detected in <60% of the samples, whereas 6:2/8:2 and 8:2/8:2 diPAPs were detected in >60% of the samples, but showed no significant change in concentrations over time. Linear and sum-branched isomers were quantified separately for three PFAAs and three precursors. Significant changes between 1997 and 2012 in the % linear isomer were observed for PFOA and FOSA (increase) and PFOS (decrease). © 2015 The Authors.

Gebbink W.A.,University of Stockholm | Glynn A.,National Food Agency | Darnerud P.O.,National Food Agency | Berger U.,University of Stockholm
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

We analyzed food market basket samples obtained in Sweden from 1999, 2005, and 2010 for perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and a range of precursor compounds. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) precursors were detected in all food year pools with the highest concentrations in 1999. Six polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters (diPAPs, 4:2/6:2, 6:2/6:2, 6:2/8:2, 8:2/8:2, 6:2/10:2, and 10:2/10:2) were detected in the year pools with the highest. © 2014 The Authors.

Herrmann A.,National Food Agency | Rosen J.,National Food Agency | Jansson D.,Swedish Defence Research Agency | Hellenas K.-E.,National Food Agency
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2012

A generic extraction procedure combined with triple quadrupole mass spectrometric detection was evaluated for multi-residue analysis in 19 different foods. Measurable peaks could be obtained at relevant concentrations for 108 out of a total of 127 targeted compounds representing a wide range of physicochemical properties and compound classes related to emergency situations. Recoveries were determined for all 19 foods spiked with the 108 compounds. Seventy-five percent of the compounds had extraction recoveries of 70% or higher, with no compound below 46%. Suppression or enhancement effects on the MS response of the compounds dissolved in the extracts were low, as more than 80% of them had matrix effects between -35% and +20% and no compound was below -44% compared to matrix-free standard. In a validation, all compounds could be quantified at 200 μg/kg and 400 μg/kg food sample and 81% of the compounds at 40 μg/kg. It is concluded that the method is useful for the detection of various types of organic chemical toxicants at levels generally well below concentration thresholds for severe acute intoxication. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Byberg L.,Uppsala University | Kilander L.,Uppsala University | Lemming E.W.,Uppsala University | Lemming E.W.,National Food Agency | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2014

Background: A high proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or a high ratio of MUFAs to saturated fatty acids in plasma, reflecting a high activity of the lipogenic enzyme stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1), has been shown to be related to cancer death and incidence in some studies. Objectives: The objective was to study whether the serum cholesteryl ester proportion of palmitoleic acid [16:1n27 (16:1ω-3)] and the ratio of palmitoleic to palmitic acid (16:1n27/16:0), as an estimation of the activity of SCD-1, are related to cancer death and to investigate whether polymorphisms in the SCD-1 gene are related to cancer mortality. Design: A community-based cohort of 50-y-old men was followed for a maximum of >40 y. Survival analysis was used to relate fatty acid composition in serum, analyzed at baseline by gas-liquid chromatography (n = 1981), and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the SCD-1 gene ( n = 986) to cancer death. A 7-d dietary record was completed at age 70 y (n = 880). Results: The proportions of 16:1n27 and the ratio of 16:1n2 7 to 16:0 were associated with cancer mortality during follow-up in a comparison of the highest with the lowest quartile of 16:1n27 (adjusted HR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.82). Inherited variance of the SCD-1 gene seemed to be related to cancer death, especially among men with a low proportion of PUFA in the diet in a comparison of the highest with the lowest weighted genetic risk score (HR: 2.14; 95% CI: 1.13, 4.04). Conclusion: The findings are compatible with the hypothesis that there is an association between endogenously synthesized MUFAs and cancer death. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

Sand S.,National Food Agency | Becker W.,National Food Agency | Becker W.,Uppsala University
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

The median dietary cadmium exposure for adults in Sweden is around 1 μg/kg/week and the upper 95th and 99th percentiles are 1.6-1.8 and 1.9-2.2 μg/kg/week, respectively. Potatoes and wheat flour were the most important food categories, contributing with 40-50% to the exposure. Differences in dietary patterns between high and low exposed individuals were observed; for high exposed individuals, seafood and spinach contributed with an exposure similar to that low exposed individuals received from potatoes and wheat flour. Consequences of differences in methodology used for exposure assessment are discussed. The median exposure is a factor 2 lower compared to that estimated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It is also a factor 1.4 lower compared to that of the assessment used for development of the EFSA tolerable weekly intake (TWI). The potential importance of this latter fact was addressed by adjusting the present assessment to that used for TWI derivation. While the percentage of the population exceeding the TWI was <1% for the present data, it was around 3% for adjusted data, which is more in line with observations at the level of urinary cadmium. Scenario analysis was also performed to addresses the consequence of increasing/decreasing cadmium occurrence levels. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

The aim of this study is to describe how unsatisfying slaughter hygiene was identified by monitoring of visible carcass contamination, and to review the effectiveness of subsequent official control measures. In 2007, a survey of visible faecal and ingesta carcass contamination was performed by National Food Agency staff at, respectively, 14, 9 and 11 of the largest Swedish slaughterhouses for cattle, lamb and swine. The results revealed that large percentages of beef and lamb carcasses were visibly contaminated and a new control system was introduced in 2008. Data from regular official control collected in 2011, at, respectively, 14, 8 and 12 of the largest slaughterhouses for cattle, lamb and swine show that the general level of cattle and lamb carcasses contamination was significantly lower than in 2007. The median percentage of visibly contaminated carcasses had decreased from 10% (beef) and 13% (lamb) in 2007, to 0% for both species in 2011. For swine, the level of visibly contaminated carcasses was relatively low already in 2007 (median 2%), but tended to be even lower in 2011. According to local official control coordinators, the operators primarily achieved the reduction in contamination of carcasses through improving their own verifying control, trimming, slaughter hygiene and education of personnel. Among the measures taken by the National Food Agency, the enforcement of regular official control and communication with operators was listed as important measures at all slaughterhouses, and sanctions (civil penalty, or consideration of civil penalty) at some slaughterhouses. This study shows how measures taken by the competent authority can lead to substantial reductions in visible carcass contamination. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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