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University of Notre Dame network physicists in collaboration with food scientists have recently published an analysis of the international food-trade network that claims to show a vulnerability to the fast spread of contaminants as well as the correlation between known food poisoning outbreaks and the centrality of countries on the network. The study is causing a new batch of fear mongers to reiterate what many others have already stated--specifically that all food should sterilized by 2030.
The primary claim by the food industry: As the world's population climbs past 7 billion, the sustainable production and distribution of food is balanced against the need to ensure its chemical and microbiological safety. The new paper maps the international agro-food trade network (IFTN) -- a highly complex and heterogeneous system formed around a core group of seven countries, each trading with more than 77 percent of the world's nations. Since any two countries in the IFTN have only two degrees of separation on the network, the fear is that the IFTN is capable of spreading a foodborne contaminant efficiently. They also claim it tends to mask the contaminant's origins once the system is compromised, since so many network paths run through the central nodes.
By 2030, food demand is expected to increase by 50 percent. Global food transport has been increasing at an exponential rate since the 1960s -- faster than food production itself.
What can be done? People will no longer be able to safely rely on the food industry to feed themselves. Food scientists are voicing from their petrified little minds that as the system grows, so will the need to pressure regulation and surveillance organizations to track contaminants and prevent deadly outbreaks, such as the 2011 events in the U.S. (Listeria monocytogenes) and Germany (Escherichia coli). Both these outbreaks initiated government action to promote the agenda of seizing more control over the food supply through expanded "food safety" regulations.
There is even some evidence to suggest that the Escherichia coli superbug was bioengineered to produce human fatalities.
The study in conjunction with the Institute of Food Research in the U.K and Corvinus University in Budapest was published in the journal PLoS ONE. The paper does not predict an increase in food poisoning cases, but rather it emphasizes significant delays with serious potential consequences in the identification of the outbreaks' sources -- calling for an interdisciplinary and incentivized approach to the understanding of the IFTN that will build on its identification of the network's critical spots.
Senior food scientist Toby MacDonald says the only way to protect the population is through current and modified sterilization techniques that will make food safe for all. "Current and modified practices including irradiation and pasteurization are extremely effective in reducing harmful bacteria and pathogens in the food supply," he proclaimed. MacDonald says that as food demand reaches its climax, proper sterilization will be necessary at all levels. "An increase of 50 percent in food demand by 2030 will require more funding into food monitoring infrastructures so that all food with the potential to produce outbreaks can be properly sterilized to prevent those outbreaks," he added.
The USDA has previously stated that by using radiation on all fresh produce, the number of food-borne illness outbreaks that happen each year could be substantially reduced. Despite offering no statistical study to verify this claim, USDA officials remain confident in their assertion.
One can reasonably conclude that if all food is sterilized by 2030, then we will have another epidemic on our hands. Millions will become sick and die from nutritionally deficient foods. Perhaps this has been the plan all along. So we have one option--we must reject our current patterns of food consumerism. We need sustainable communities with independent food sources free from big agriculture and the food industry. It is the only way to guarantee a food supply free of toxins, genetically modified organisms, pasteurization and irradiation. It will be the only way to maintain food sources that nourish our bodies and provide health rather than disease.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
|Comment: I've added both paranoia and schizophrenia to the analecta as this was a good example.|