About the One Health Intellectual Exchange Series

This interdisciplinary course will introduce the concept of One Health as an increasingly important approach to a holistic understanding of the prevention of disease and the maintenance of both human and animal health. The list of topics will include a discussion of bidirectional impact of animal health on human health, the impact of earth’s changing ecology on health, issues of food and water security and preparedness, and the benefits of comparative medicine. Learning objectives include 1) to describe how different disciplines contribute to the practice of One Health, 2) to creatively design interdisciplinary interventions to improve Global Health using a One Health model, and 3) to interact with One Health-relevant professionals in the Triangle and beyond. The course aims to include students from Duke, UNC and NC State from diverse disciplines relevant to One Health, including: human medicine, veterinary medicine, environmental science, public health, global health, public policy, and others.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Public Health Preparedness at a National Special Security Event: Epidemiology, Food Safety and Food Defense at the 2012 Democratic National Convention: Tuesday, April 8th

This past week we heard from Mr. Larry Michael of the NC Department of Health and Human Services and Ms. Donna Wanucha or the regional office of the FDA. Their unexpectedly fascinating joint lecture was on the preparedness for NSSE—National Special Security Events, particularly food security.  Their thorough description of the planning for the available food and food preparation of the democratic national convention was unexpected in that I would have never considered food to be a vulnerable point for national events. Yet, when they described calling back all 2,000 lunch boxes for the security teams due to potentially “bad” chicken, it was not difficult to see how easily an entire event could be compromised by a little salmonella.

While the talk opened my eyes to all the potential threats that well trained FDA and Public Health officials deal with daily, I found myself thinking of my pet cat, Chui. I have the choice to only frequent establishments with high safety grades and I trust the local and federal government have tracked the food sources sufficiently that I will not get ill from my food. However, my cat does not have this luxury. As recent as 2007, pet food was recalled from over 100 brands contaminated from imported vegetable proteins from China (Roth, Tsay, Pullman, & Gray, 2008). Though we stringently regulate “farm to fork” production of human food, animal nutrition has fallen by the wayside. This does not pose a direct health concern to humans. Any food-born illness is not transferable to human pet owners, unless they are consuming the pet food themselves. However, especially in America, we have great time, money, and emotional investment in our companion animals.  It is estimated that Americans will spend over 22 billion USD on companion animal food in 2014 alone ("Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics,"). Despite this investment, comparatively poor consideration is given to the supply chain of pet food. Though this does not directly impede on human health, I believe it is a One Health issue as the emotional and financial burden on humans is great. We are becoming accustomed to thinking so carefully about our own food sources; it is time we give as much consideration to the food for our best friends. 

Roth, A. V., Tsay, A. A., Pullman, M. E., & Gray, J. V. (2008). UNRAVELING THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN: STRATEGIC INSIGHTS FROM CHINA AND THE 2007 RECALLS*. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 44(1), 22-39. 

Authored by Chrissy Dideriksen

No comments:

Post a Comment