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Free Detection and Identification of Bacteria in Food

Rapid detection and identification of bacteria in food and clinical laboratories

Abstract

Modern technological progress has affected how microbiology is practiced. There is emphasis on the minimalisation of laboratory costs, cost-efficiency and reliability of tests for efficient bacterial identification from food cultures. Before using any technology, it is recommended that the products’ performance characteristics be first tested, particularly as theses characteristics, are often not determined by the manufacturers. Consequently, the sensitivity and specificity, amongst other factors, associated with the use of these tests will also not have been determined. Additional factors would benefit from the use of controls, such as in the form of large scale and controlled clinical trials, in order to study the products’ performance. It is to be borne in mind that the involvement of ‘rapid’ tests, including an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in bacterial detection may serve bests as methods for expeditious detection and screening than for the purposes of confirmation.

1. Introduction

In order to help diagnose infectious diseases, such as the bacteria Salmonella, a leading cause of food poisoning, the need for specialised microbial tests has arisen. Testing food products using rapid methods is a complicated process requiring the balance of sensitivity and specificity for the achievement of a reliable result. The following sections will discuss the use of five different detection methods, flow cytometry, the enterotube II system, chromogenic media, the Enzyme linked immunoassay and polymerase chain reaction and the necessity to balance the specificity and sensitivity of each technique, for the most accurate means of bacterial detection.

2.0 Flow Cytometry

Flow cytometry (FCM) is based on the principles of excitation of light, light scattering and fluorochrome molecular emission for the purposes of generating data covering a number of different parametric readings. FCM focuses on cells that measure 0.5um to 40 ?m in diameter. The technique of FCM relies on the provision of a light source, which, are usually lasers, and the cells must first be covered in a layer of phosphate buffered saline before being able to intercept the focused source of light. In this technique, a sample, containing the cells being tested, are injected into the centre of a sheath flow. Flow cytometry provides an analysis of cellular interactions at the macromolecular level. FCM is a technique that is considered to be a critical component of research in the biomedical field (Nolan & Sklar,1998).

2.1 Milk testing

FCM is one technique which may be useful when testing the safety and quality of milk. Testing milk requires analysis of somatic cell count and microbial analysis. Tests have shown (Gunasekera, et al., 2003) that the analysis of milk, where a known number of cells have been inoculated, upon clearing can be performed by FCM. FCM is able to give a good indication of the somatic cell count in raw milk and when coupled with other methods such as techniques involving fluorescence staining, can be used in testing biological milk quality. This therefore has an important application in the dairy industry, particularly in quality testing.

2.2 Analysis of Water Quality

The use of flow cytometry has to date also occurred in tandem with heterotrophic plate count (HPC) for the rapid detection of the bacterial count of potable as well as raw water (Hoefel, et al., 2005). The results showed that FCM was much quicker than HCP, in detecting viable bacteria in samples that were classed as viable but not amenable to culture. The FCM method detected bacteria within an hour as opposed to several days, for the HCP technique.

Studies have tested the sensitivity of FC-based assays in comparison to the plaque assay method, to measure levels of an infection virus in a sample (Cantera, et al., 2010). Poliovirus infection (PV1) was tested and the FCM method applied to a water sample infected with PV1-infected cells. The study revealed that a combination of flow cytometry, used with fluorescence resonance energy transfer technology, is able to sensitively and quickly detect the presence of infectious virus in a sample of environmental water.

2.3 Specificity of FCM

FCM has also been used to investigate whether T4 phage infected cells with E. coli ATCC 111303 can be differentiated from uninfected cells, based on phage DNA fluorescent detection. The technique, involving the lysis of bacterial cells by phage, allowed for the detection for infected cells 35 minutes post infection. Thus, FCM is able to be specific, when used combined with phages of predetermined host specificity. Overall, FCM is able to quantitatively measure and sensitively detect molecular level interactions and as such it may be considered to be a robust and adaptable technology (Nolan & Sklar, 1998).

3.0 The enterotube ll system

The Enterotube II was described for the first time in 1969 (Painter & Isenberg, 1973). This technology is an example of a rapid system of multi-test nature, functioning as a biochemical and enzymatic test method. The test system, functions by identifying unclassified gram-negative, rod shaped and oxidase-negative bacteria, belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. The test is often conducted within clinical laboratories. The machine comprises a flat-sided tube within which are 12 compartments, developed to allow different biochemical tests to be conducted. The system does consistently produce accurate results, and hence is liable to produce occasional false results.

3.1 Sensitivity and specificity

Reports such as the one by Dalton et al., (1993) in the detection of bacteriuria, have found that upon screening, only 55% specificity and 93% sensitivity have been obtained. O’Hara (2005) reports that it may be valuable for the diagnostic laboratory running tests, using equipment such as the Enterotube II system, to first stipulate what levels of ‘accuracy’ and ‘discrimination’ they consider are acceptable from their systems of identification. Accuracy of identification may be maximised by using the skills of a qualified microbiologist to confirm the bacterial classification (O’Hara, 2005). An additional way to potentially maximise sensitivity and specificity is to send an isolate to a reference laboratory in order to confirm identity. Use of enterotube II system will be for the testing of oxidase-negative bacteria and hence it should first be established that the oxidase test is not positive. To achieve this, and improve the specificity, an oxidase test may be performed on the relevant cultures.

In order to improve interpretation of results from use of the Enterotube II system, a suitable incubation time should be used, such as 16 hours (in the analysis of carbohydrate reactions (Woolfrey, et al., 1981). Furthermore, tests resulting in ambiguous classifications should be reevaluated (Woolfrey, et al., 1981) in order to improve specificity, without hampering the tests’ sensitivity.

4.0 Chromogenic Media

Chromogenic media (or fluorogenic media) are a microbial growth media of microbial nature. The media contains enzymes that are linked to either fluorogen (involved in light reaction) or chromogen (involved in colour reaction) or a combination of both. The method works by detecting activities that are enzymatic in nature, that are produced by the target microorganisms. Enzymatic activities are detected by the use of either organic compounds or dyes, as microorganisms, which grow in the proximity of these compounds are liable to make a distinctive pattern of colouring or alternatively fluoresce, which can be detected under UV light. Chromogenic media were first designed for application in clinical settings, but have proven to be useful in food testing.

4.1 Sensitivity and specificity of chromogenic media

Chromogenic media are considered to be a sensitive method of media analysis, when compared to more conventional types of media analysis (Downes, 2001). This is because the chromogenic media method allows for a faster analysis, with a turnover time of 24 hours, and it is also considered to have a higher sensitivity. In the identification of E.coli or Listeria monocytogenes, for example, specially designed chromogenic media are available for the purposes of improving test sensitivity.

When considering Salmonella detection, a number of specialised chromogenic media that are able to improve the specificity of detection are available. A study by Perez et al., (2003) showed that both broth enrichment and increasing the incubation time by a factor of two (from 24 hours to 48 hours) effectively increases the sensitivity of all of the media being used. Furthermore, due to the specificity of the chromogenic media, (determined to be greater than 84% following a two-day incubation period), a reduction in the need to undergo confirmatory tests improved the overall sensitivity of the specialized chromogenic media. A second study by Monneri et al., (1994), for the comparison of two new types of agar, media of chromogenic nature, Salmonella Detection and Identification Medium (SMID) and Rambach agar, against two conventional types of media for the detection of Salmonella. The results revealed that the newer chromogenic agar media were notably more specific than the more conventional media. Rambach agar was furthermore slightly more specific than SMID, being able to detect all Salmonella serotypes following a complementary C8 esterase test. Hence, sensitivity and specificity can be maximised by increasing culture time to 2 days fully, and using Rambach agar where appropriate, such as in the detection of Salmonella serotypes.

5.0 Enzyme Linked Immunoassay

The Enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA) is a common antibody based technique designed for microorganism, or pathogenic, detection. The method is noted to have a high standard of specificity and sensitivity (Evans et al., 1989). A quantitative, or qualitative method may be used for the purposes of interpreting the results, which are, respectively, via the use of an instrumental read-out or through visual means. Specialised test kits to aid in the detection of Listeria, Salmonella and other microorganisms are commercially available.

5.1 Sensitivity and specificity

A study by Evans et al., (1989) utilised ELISA in the detection of Campylobacter pylori. The specificity and sensitivity of the test allowed for the detection of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies targeted against the cell-associated proteins of C. pylori. Values of specificity and positive predictive value were revealed to be 100% for the high molecular weight cell-associated proteins. Furthermore, the assay sensitivity was measured at 98.7%, with the negative predictive value recorded as 98.6%. This indicates that specialised ELISA tests are likely to be valuable in such instances as in the detection of H. pylori. Furthermore, the costs of using the ELISA, as noted by Evans et al., (1989) are that it is cost effective and readily usable, with a lower likelihood of obtaining false negatives than with other tests, such as the use of a ‘urea breath test’ which is also amenable to be useful for the same purpose.

Svennerholm & Holmgren, (1978) report that E. Coli can be sensitively detected using a ganglioside ELISA. The method was deemed to be reliable and allow a high level of reproducibility. In general, it has been reported that the specificity and, or, sensitivity of assays that are commercially available, such as the ELISA may be maximised by having set cut-off values decreed by the manufacturers, according to the target disease (Cuzzubbo, et al., 1999). Furthermore, the IgG test, due to having 100% specificity, is highly likely to be reliable, as a method for bacterial testing.

6.0 Polymerase Chain Reaction

Similar to the ELISA test, the ‘PCR’ or the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most readily recognised and used diagnostic tool currently in use. PCR works by identifying a highly specific sequence of DNA from a microorganism that is under target. Subsequent to this, the sequence much be amplified in order to allow for detection of the microorganism. PCR is considered to be reliable and specific, as a detection method, being able to detect bacteria of pathogenic nature within a time frame of a day. As a form of DNA-based assay, PCR has been developed to detect foodbourne pathogens. For the purposes of DNA hybridization, PCR is able to amplify one single DNA copy in fewer than 2 hours by one million times. However, in situations where amplification is not completely efficient, such as when inhibitors are present in food, the normally extremely high levels of sensitivity of PCR become reduced. In order to improve sensitivity therefore, a form of cultural enrichment is likely to achieve this (Rose & Stringer, 1989).

As a rapid method to screen food samples for bacteria, PCR tests that are run and found to yield positive results are regarded as being ‘presumptive’ and require methods that are more conventional to confirm this (Feng, 1996). For direct testing, due to a lack of adequate specificity and sensitivity, pre-analsysis culture enrichment is frequently called for, which serves to increase specificity (Feng, 1997).

6.1 Sensitivity and specificity of PCR

To maximise the sensitivity of certain types of PCR, such as NK-1R PCR, a form of ‘nested’ PCR, and for this an increased number of cycles of the primary PCR may be helpful. For example, 35 secondary PCR cycles and 45 primary PCR cycles, were performed by O’Connell (2002) as opposed to a more standard number of between 25 and 30 cycles for both to increase sensitivity. In order to identify and detect bacteria furthermore, qcRT-PCR is likely to be less sensitive overall than more conventional PCR and hence, single-target PCR is advisable for a higher level of sensitivity.

It has also been noted that PCR conditions and parameters of cycling should ideally be optimised for every, and each primer in order to allow the achievement of a maximum yield of specific product and miminise monotarget sequence amplification. Knowles (1992) suggests that nested PCR may be helpful in improving both sensitivity and specificity. It is noted that increasing the speed of amplification of PCR has not effect upon test sensitivity, and hence this alteration it is unlikely to be worth the additional costs or time-saving advantage associated with increasing the cycling protocol.

7. Conclusion

Rapid tests such as PCR, the Enterotube II system, ELISA, flow cytometry and chromogenic methods have both benefits and limitations. The relative availability of these techniques and the speed of detection of bacterial pathogens, amongst other factors, suggest advantages but the sensitivity and specificity of the tests must be such that a reliable test result is ensured. In conclusion, a balance of sensitivity and specificity is required, but, by using the techniques mentioned, the reliability of the results obtained by the microbiologist is most likely to be improved.

Bibliography

Cantera, J.L., Chen, W., & Yates, M.V. 2010. Detection of Infective Poliovirus by a Simple, Rapid, and Sensitive Flow Cytometry Method Based on Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Technology. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(2), pp.584-588.

Cuzzubbo, A. J., Vaughn, D.W., Nisalak, A., Solomon, T., Kalayanarooj, S., Aaskov, J., Dung, N.M. & Devine, P.L. 1999. Comparison of PanBio Dengue Duo Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and MRL Dengue Fever Virus Immunoglobulin M Capture ELISA for Diagnosis of Dengue Virus Infections in Southeast Asia. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology. 6(5), pp. 705-712.

Dalton, M.T., Comeau, S., Rainnie, B., Lambert, K & Forward, K.R.1993. A comparison of the API Uriscreen with the Vitek Urine Identification-3 and the leukocyte esterase or nitrite strip as a screening test for bacteriuria. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease. 16(2), pp.93-97.

Downes, F.P. 2001. Compendium of methods for the microbiological examination of foods. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.

Evans, D.J. Jr., Evans, D.G., Graham, D.Y. & Klein, P.D. 1989. A sensitive and specific serologic test for detection of Campylobacter pylori infection. Gastroenterology. 96(4), pp. 1004-1008.

Feng. P. 1996. Emergence of rapid methods for identifying microbial pathogens in foods. Journal of AOAC International. 79(3), pp.809-812.

Feng, P. 1997. Impact of Molecular Biology on the Detection of Foodborne Pathogens. Molecular Biotechnology. 7(3)., pp.267-278.

Gunasekera, T.S., Veal, D.A., & Attfield, P.V. 2003. Potential for broad applications of flow cytometry and fluorescence techniques in microbiological and somatic cell analyses of milk. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 85(3), pp.269-279.

Hoefel, D., Monis, P.T., Grooby, W.L., Andrews,S., & Saint, C.P. 2005. Culture-Independent Techniques for Rapid Detection of Bacteria Associated with Loss of Chloramine Residual in a Drinking Water System. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 71(11) pp. 6479-6488.

Knowles, D.M. (ed.). 1992. Neoplastic Hematopathology, 1st ed. Williams and Wilkins. pp. 919–930.

Monnery, I., Freydiere, A.M., Baron, C., Rousset, A.M., Tigaud, S., Boude-Chevalier, M., de Montclos, H. & Gille, Y. 1994. Evaluation of two new chromogenic media for detection of Salmonella in stools. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 13(3), pp. 257-261.

Nolan, J.P & Sklar, L.A. 1998. The emergence of flow cytometry for sensitive, real-time measurements of molecular interactions. Nature Biotechnology, 16(7), pp. 633 – 638.

O’ Connell, J. 2002. RT-PCR Protocols. Totowa: Humana Press Inc.

O’Hara, C.M., 2005. Manual and Automated Instrumentation for Identification of Enterobacteriaceae and Other Aerobic Gram-Negative Bacilli. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 18(1), pp. 147-162.

Painter, B.G. & Isenberg, H.D. 1973. Clinical laboratory experience with the improved Enterotube. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 25(6), pp. 896–899.

Perez, J.M., Cavalli, P., Roure, C., Renac, R., Gille, Y. & Freydiere, A.M. 2003. Comparison of four chromogenic media and Hektoen agar for detection and presumptive identification of Salmonella strains in human stools. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 41(3), pp. 1130-1134.

Rose, S.A., & Stringer, M.F. 1989. Immunological methods, pp. 121-167. In: Rapid Methods in Food Microbiology: Progress in Industrial Microbiology. M.R. Adams and C.F.A. Hope (eds). New York: Elsevier.

Svennerholm, A., Lange, S. & Holmgren, J. 1878. Correlation between intestinal synthesis of specific immunoglobulin A and protection against experimental cholera in mice. Infection and Immunity. 21(1), pp. 1–6.

Woolfrey, B.F., Fox, J.M. & Quall, C.O. 1981. Evaluation of the Repliscan II System for identification of Enterobacteriaceae. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 14(4), pp. 408-410.


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Food Health & Nutrition Dissertation Topics

1. Introduction to Food Health and Nutrition

This guide gives you some ideas for dissertation titles. Food Health and Nutrition covers many areas, so there should be plenty to whet your appetite here.Dissertations typically take one of two forms, focusing either upon collecting and analyzing primary data or upon appraising secondary data only. Either type can be appropriate to your area of study. You will also find an overview of how to structure your dissertation in section three below.

2. Categories and List of Dissertation Titles

2.1 Food, Nutrition and Public Health

2.1.1 To what extent is legislation around food and nutrition designed to serve the interests of large corporationsA comparison of recent policies in the UK and USA.

2.2.2 What impact have recent advances in nutrigenomics had on public health policies, and what potential does it have to change such policies in the futureA review of literature.

2.1.3 Safe upper limits: have guidelines from the Food Standards Agency produced in 2003 recommending safe limits for a number of vitamins been incorporated into the public awarenessA quantitative study amongst over 50’s UK women.

2.1.4 Food and nutrition: does class count Does the knowledge of the link between obesity and diet vary between socio-economic groupsA qualitative study amongst parents of school children in the UK.

2.1.5 Can the concept of household food security (HFS) offer an adequate tool for investigating attitudes towards nutrition and foodA review of recent literature.

2.1.6Is an interdisciplinary and partnership approach the best way to tackle the growing problem of obesity in the UKA literature review.

2.1.7 Can food policies in school shape parent’s and children’s attitudesA qualitative study in an inner London comprehensive school.

2.1.8‘Good food is too expensive and hard to find’: Do women living in poverty in the inner city find choices about food most limited by education, geographical location, unemployment or lack of fundsAn qualitative study using techniques of action research.

2.2 Global Food Issues

2.2.1 To what extent are emergency food programmes successful in reaching those people most in needA critical analysis of three recent responses to emergency food situations after natural disasters.

2.2.2 Is an integrated global policy on food health and nutrition more possible now than in the twentieth centuryA review of the literature.

2.2.3 What is the impact of inflation upon nutritional health in developing countries A literature review.

2.2.4 To what extent do concepts of health differ from country to countryA quantitative study assessing attitudes towards notions of ‘eating well’, ‘a good diet’ and ‘food that is good for you’.

2.2.5 How effective have zinc supplements been in improving health in developing countriesA ciritcal review of the World Health Organisation’s recent policies, priorities and programmes.

2.2.6 Women: poorly served in healthWhat impact does gender have on nutrient deficiencies worldwide A qualitative study amongst healthcare workers in developing countries.

2.2.7 What impact does foreign direct investment have on problems of nutrition and diet within the developing worldA review of recent literature.

2.2.8 A Mediterranean diet for health: can eating the traditional diet of Mediterranean regions have a positive impact on weightA quantitative study.

2.3 General Food Health and Nutrition

2.3.1 Can a case be made for a vegetarian diet in terms of the long-term sustainability of farming and animal productsA literature review.

2.3.2 To what extent do the elderly suffer poor diet and nutritional deficiencies in UK care homesA review of the literature.

2.3.3Does consumer understanding of sustainability impact upon food choicesA qualitative study amongst buyers in a UK supermarket.

2.3.4 What is the relationship between the obesity epidemic and sustainabilityA systematic review of the literature.

2.3.5 Can educational interventions offer a way to increase biodiversity in foodA quantitative study amongst UK school children.

2.3.6Wild plants and traditional medicine: to what extent do UK residents originally from Eastern Europe use foraged plants medicinally, and is their knowledge dissiminated amongst other UK residentsA qualitative study.

2.3.7Home grown bacon or children’s petWhat prompts decisions to slaughter home-bred pigs, and are these mitigated by the views of children in the familyA qualitative study amongst 10 families who bought pigs to raise and slaughter for meat.

2.3.8 What is the most effective way to develop a sustainable food supply and avoid malnutrition worldwide A qualitative study amongst experts around the world.

2.4 Food, Nutrition and the Consumer

2.4.1 Consumer perceptions of non-Polish users of specialist Polish food retailers in the UK: is there a relationship between previous travel habits and use of Polish food retailersA quantitative study in Crewe, Cheshire.

2.4.2 Eat healthy: which factor is more influential in choice of food products associated with health – colour, labeling or layoutA qualitative study amongst UK consumers using action research techniques.

2.4.3Is there a link between consumer recall of nutritional labeling information and the effective use of such information A quantitative study.

2.4.4 Do people who exercise regularly read food labeling information more frequentlyA qualitative study amongst members of a running club.

2.4.5 Does the perceived attractiveness of other eaters in a restaurant influence customers towards more healthy or lower calorie choices from the menuA quantitative study in three London restaurants.

2.4.6 Nutrigenomics: a new way of personalizing nutrition, or a passing fadA review of recent literature.

2.4.7 Is purchase behaviour regarding functional foods linked to socio-demographics of consumersA quantitative study amongst shoppers in Tesco.

2.4.8 Is there a relationship between willingness to have surgical treatment for obesity and use of food nutrition labels amongst female consumersA quantitative study amongst morbidly obese women in the UK.

2.5 The Science of Food

2.5.1 Is there adequate evidence that soy phytoestrogen supplements sold commercially have a positive impact upon depression and anxiety in humansA systematic review

2.5.2 To what extent do extraction methods impact on the ability of components of Elettaria cardamomum seeds / pods to produce antioxidant and antimicrobial effectsA review of recent literature.

2.5.3 Can taking Selenium reduce the risk of prostate cancer in menA systematic review of literature.

2.5.4 Has the suggested link between eating garlic and reduced risk of cancer been proven, and, if so, by what mechanisms is this reduced risk possibleA literature review.

2.5.5 Can experiments on animals which suggest that endogenous peptide YY3-36 (PYY3-36) can regulate appetite have implications for the treatment of problems of over-eating in humansA literature review.

2.5.6 Is the evidence that the by-products of coffee decaffeination (crude caffeine) has antioxidant properties sufficient to use it for health benefits, and, if so, what is the most effective way of using itA review of the literature.

2.5.7 Are organically farmed livestock able to offer superior products in terms of biometric and nutritional propertiesA quantitative study comparing meat from organic and non-organic producers.

2.5.8 Another ‘superfood’ Can Maqui Berry extract be used to treat type II diabetes in humansA review of the literature.

3. How to Structure a Food & Health Dissertation, Tips

For details on how to structure a marketing dissertation, kindly check out the following post:

How to Structure a dissertation (chapters)
How to structure a dissertation (chapters and subchapters)
How to structure a dissertation research proposal

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Factors Affecting Food choice

1. Introduction

The study of food is an important area of contemporary and anthropological concern. It is an essential component in our daily lives. Besides providing the basic energy and sustenance necessary for life, it is a way of forging a personal connection with families and friends. While food may not seem to be an obvious marker of identity, it plays a crucial role in demarcating cultural identity. Most importantly, it is a reflection of who we are.

Understanding the choice of diet is a complex endeavor discussed in various disciplines such as nutrition, economics, psychology, physiology and sociology. Food related behavior is influenced by a several variables. The three major determinants outlined by various models are the physical properties, psychological and social factors (Rozin, 2006). This paper explores on its cultural impact among individuals in different societies. Emphasis has been made on its role in social structure. Further, key factors determining the choice of food have been highlighted. The research question being answered here is “Does what we eat define who we are and where we come from?”

2. Literature review

Much of existing literature has been broad based focusing on issues of health, quality and food safety. Studies on the factors affecting the choice of food are still few. In a study on the culinary habits in Hong Kong, David, Siumi & Sidney (2002) were fascinated with the findings of their research. In their title “A study of food culture, changing tastes and identity in popular discourse”, they analyzed food and cultural identity in the context of demographic and family structure in Hong Kong. Their analysis revealed a process of culinary invention which reflected the larger social and cultural trends.

Madison & McFarlin (2009) studies revealed that the history of Britain had played a crucial role determining their cultural foods. The Romans brought cherries, peas, cabbages and stinging nettles. The Danes and the Vikings developed techniques for smoking and drying fish (Madison & McFarlin, 2009). During the 12th century, the Normans did not only invade the country, but also changed their feeding habits. They encouraged consumption of beef, mutton and drinking of wine. This greatly influenced the diet of the British.

These studies have immensely contributed in the coverage of the factors determining the choice diet. Consumer perceptions and attitudes towards their diets say a lot about them.

3. Theory

Food is certainly one of the most favorite obsessions in human beings. We spend most of our time physically and mentally preoccupied with it. Human beings must procure, select, prepare and consume food so as to sustain their daily growth. However, the manner in which they do so reflect a complex interrelationship and interaction between individuals, culture and the society. (Anderson, 2005). Eating has implications on how we relate to the larger culture and what we think of ourselves. It is experienced differently through cultural traditions and forms an important part of our daily lifestyle. It presents a lot about our culture and defines where we come. Human beings are believed to differ from cultural habits in most regions in the world.

The importance of food in understanding the cultural background lies precisely in its infinite variability. These variables include ingredients used, ways of preservation, preference, customs and beliefs (Conner & Armitage, 2002). While anthropological study may arrange these variables systematically and provide a convincing explanation as to why the go together, the research posed here uses culture in relating these variables.

4. Research analysis

Studies have confirmed that particular foods can inspire vivid memories (Carole & Esterik, 1999). For example, people tend to develop great affection for foods taken during their childhood. This is because it reminds them of a particular time when life was less complicated. These memories are important because they provide us with a reflection of who we are.

Sometimes, it reminds us of the past struggles against traditions. For instance, immigrant children are fond of shunning their traditional dietary food, and instead embrace the mainstream eating patterns even if the food is not that good. It should be noted that while human beings grow, they begin to craft their own identities separate from that prescribed by the traditions. People change their eating habits as a symbol of differentiating themselves from the roots embedded in their culture.

Consequently, what we eat reflects our broader values. How we procure, select, prepare and consume food provides a reflection on what we value. Is economy and self discipline an important value to usDoes it provide us an opportunity to demonstrate our skillOr is it deliberately simply a rebellion of our values. A simple illustration is with the American government where the current fascination with obscure regional food traditions is a reflection of authenticity and simplicity in the lives of the Americans (Mason & Singer, 2006).

Different countries and nations associate themselves with certain diets. For example, Italians mainly prefer eating pizza and pasta as their main cultural diet. Chinese foods are often associated with flavorings such as ginger root, soy sauce and rice. Similarly, wine, lime, tomato and chili pepper are attributed to the Mexican cuisine (Logue, 2004).

In Britain, Curry is the most popular food. Britain’s obsession with Indian Curry can be traced back to a time when India was still under British Empire. The fusion between the British and Indian culture is inescapably intertwined. Some of diet that falls in the category of Indian food was developed by British expatriates in India. Other dishes have however resulted from Indian immigration to the UK. Most dishes are now referred to as Indian yet they are a result of the fusion between the British and American Cuisines. This shows complex interrelationship portrayed by the two cultures and hence an important reflection of their cultural historical background.

British children eat according to the directives of their guardians or parents. Some parents may at times take their children to fast food restaurants like McDonalds. However, most of the junky stuff obtained from these restaurants often leads to obesity. A situation characterized by increased mass content which affects both the adults and children.

5. Impact of culture on the choice of food

Culture refers to the style of behavior or pattern that a group of people share. Generally, people within the same culture share the same assemblage of food variables while those of different cultures have different assemblage of these variables. As such we find same eating patterns and habits dominating within the same culture while people from different cultures exhibit entirely different eating habits..

It is important to note that these habits are not necessarily homogeneous within the same culture. People of different occupations or classes eat differently. Moreover, different religious sects have different eating codes. The type of occasion may at times determine what we eat. For example, the meal for a daily routine is totally different from that taken when mourning.

It is a known fact that people differ in taste and preference. People in various stages of their lives eat differently. These differences are rooted in evolutionary and genetic heritage. While some of the differences are those of preference, others are downright prescribed. Identifying these differences and relating them to facets of social life is important in understanding the cultural impact of food among individuals in different societies (Gabaccia, 2000).

Cultural influences often lead to difference in habitual consumption of foods. However, these influences are amenable to change. For example, immigrants may at times adopt a different diet and eating pattern different from that of the local culture. Dietary change is however not an easy task as it requires alteration in habits built over a lifetime

Over hundreds of years, diets have been shaped by the local culture. Foods have immensely contributed in defining the culture and identity of many nations. The Italian, Mexican, Chinese and French foods have evolved independently with unique characteristics. The Southern diet in America has heavily been influenced by French traditions

For a long time, food has played a prominent role in the society. It permeates many facets of our daily life. More so, the choice of diet is largely shaped by the socio cultural context and our own cognitive appraisal. This portrays much about our culture and style within the societal context.

Generally, our eating habits and preference are often determined by the culture. The cultural environment dictates the type of diet and how they can be eaten. For example, insects and caterpillars are often shunned by most cultures; however, these components form an integral food source in Asian and Latin American countries.

6. Current situation and how these reflect on our identity

Today, people eat food with origins in culture different from their own. For instance, In the United States, most of the dishes originated elsewhere yet these dishes have been modified to suit the popularity and taste of the mainstream. In the recent past, there has been increased incorporation of ethnic Cuisines into the diet of Americans. This is a reflection of the adaptability and flexibility of the Americans. Foods from Middle East, Asia and Latin American have also been incorporated into the American diet (Warde et al, 2000).

Americans flexibility and adaptability portrayed by the successive generations experimenting with their neighbors’ customary diet illuminate the market place as one of the most important arena for defining our relations and expressing our identities. Americanized foods such as the spaghetti coexist happily with ethnic dishes and creative hybrids. Americans’ multi-ethnic eating is a constant reminder of how ethnic interaction is widespread and mutually enjoyable in the United States. Amid the existing wrangles over tribal differences and immigration, this reveals that the Americans on a basic level are multicultural.

7. Social context

Social influences on the type of diet and our eating pattern is not a new phenomenon. The choice of food is influenced by social factors because our eating habits and attitude develop through interaction with others. Quantifying the impact on food intake is however difficult. Social influence on customary diet manifests itself through friendship and families.

Dietary traditions vary widely around the globe. Even people from the same cultural background may at time portray different eating patterns. However, it can be associated with hospitality and friendship. While the customary diets vary, being able to share portray a sense of hospitality and friendship. Sharing of customary diets has not only transformed the cuisines of the Americans and Europeans, but also the Asian and African countries. Sharing ethnic diets is a way of sharing culture and this portrays our hospitality and friendship towards other cultures.

Research studies from social sciences and psychology have emphasized on a strong relationship on the choice of food, culture and lifestyle. Evaluation of ourselves is easily made basing on the choice of food and brand selection.

8. Conclusion

In summary, there are intrinsically no right ways of eating. While it may seem bizarre to others to eat certain types of food, these form part of the integral diet of other cultures. Clearly, the choice of food is largely determined by our culture. How we eat and what we eat reveals a lot about our history and defines who we are.

9. Reference

Anderson.E (2005), Everyone eats: understanding food and culture, NYU press

Carole.C & Esterik.P (1997), Food and culture, Routledge

Conner. M. & Armitage. C (2002), Applying social psychology: The social psychology of food, Buckingham, Open University Press

David, Siumi & Sidney (2002), The globalization of Chinese foods, Hawaii, University of Hawaii Press

Gabaccia.D (2000), We are what we eat: Ethnic food and the making of Americans, Harvard university press

Gabaccia.D & Donna R. (1998). We Are What We Eat. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Logue. A.W (2004), The psychology of eating and drinking, New York, Brunner-Routledge

Madison.D & McFarlin.P (2009), What we eat when we eat alone, Gibbs smith

Mason.J & Singer.P (2006), The way we eat: why our food choices matter, Rodale books publishers

Rozin. P (2006), The integration of biological, social, cultural and psychological influence on food choice, Wallingford, Oxfordshire CABI publishers.

Teff. K. & Engelman. K (1996), Palatability and dietary restraint: Effect on cephalic phase insulin release in women. Journal of Physiology & Behavior, 60(2), 567–573

Warde, Alan, Martens, & Lydia (2000), Eating Out. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Categories
Free Essays

UK Food Waste Management following the European Union (EU) Directives

Introduction

Global warming is a well known problem facing our society today however, food waste which contributes about 30-31% of global warming is not largely recognised (EIPRO) Environmental Impact of Product. Food waste, a biodegradable waste is largely disposed in landfill due to unawareness of its effect on the environment. Methane gas is released during the degradation process of food waste and this leads to depletion of the ozone layer and eventually global warming. Food waste also leads to waste of fresh water, fuel for transport, soil nutrient and finance Humpries (2010). European Union( EU) knowing the effect of food waste to the environment and life in general has established laws and made targets to reduce food waste.

What is food waste?

Waste and Resource Action Programme (2009) defines food waste as waste made up of raw food materials or cooked materials such as vegetables, spoiled food, meat trimmings and leftovers. It can also be defined as agricultural products unused, worthless or unwanted. Examples of food waste are leftovers from our homes and food service sectors, bones, spoilt food and food that have exceeded their shelf life.

Sources of food waste

The sources of food waste have been grouped into three major sectors by Waste and Resources Action Programme (2009)

Manufacturing and Processing: In this sector food waste is unavoidable particularly with products such as meat. Bones and animal organs which may not be consumed are examples of unavoidable waste in this sector. Legislative restriction on outsize production of fruit and vegetables is another unavoidable means of food waste Commission Regulation NO 1221/2008.
Retail Sector: The sector includes all sales outlets, wholesale and retail. Food waste in this sector is generated due to overstocking of food products with short shelf lives without matching of demand, Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) (2002). Marketing strategies (two for one deal) is used by retailers to reduce food waste from their sector however, ends up shifting the waste to household where is to enough time to consume these products.
Household and food service sector: This sector was analysed in UK by Waste Resources Action Programme (2009) as of one the major sources of food waste. It further states that almost half of food waste is generated at this sector. In disagreement with Waste Resources Action Programme, Laura and Jon (2008) argues that the percentage of food waste contributed by household and food service sector is less than half with constant development of food industries and supermarket in the UK.

European Commission (2008) reveals that unawareness of the effect of food waste to the environment, finance and percentage of waste produced by this sector to total food waste accumulated yearly as one of the major causes of food waste in this sector.

Effects of food waste to the environment

Environmental Impact of Product (EIPRO) points out that for proper analyses of the effect of food waste on the environment, research should be carried out on the general life cycle or stages of food (production, distribution transport) before and after it becomes waste.

According to Kassem (2010) food been biodegradable has lead to increase level of food waste in land fill leading to increased emission of methane gas and further depletion of the ozone layer causing global warming. Similarly, Kassem (2010) and Vidal (2002) agreed that food production consumes 70% of the world’s fresh water. The work of United Nations Environmental Programme (2009) reveals that most of the food produced ends up as waste thus leading to wastage of fresh water. In reference to Jodie Humpries (2010) other resources wasted as a result of food waste includes soil nutrient, energy put in during agricultural process and fuel for transport.

New EU directives on food waste

The European Union is a body that controls or Legislates environmental issues. Food waste, an environmental issue is under control by some binding laws. The new EU Directives on food wastes 2008/98/European Commission simplifies how food waste should be controlled or managed.

The Waste Hierarchy

Preferred Option

Least preferred management method

FIG 1 ORDER OF WASTE MANAGEMENT

Fig 1 illustrates the New EU Waste Directive Hierarchy (2008) which directs member state (MS) on the path to follow for effective management of food waste. This waste hierarchy gives high priority to waste prevention and very low priority to landfill. However unavoidable food waste can either be re-used, recycled or use for energy recovery

Article 22 of Revived Waste Framework requires member states to set up separate collection of bio- waste, treat bio- waste in ways that is friendly to the environment and use materials produced from recycled from bio- waste that are safe. The Directive also instructed member states (MS) to recycle 50% of waste from household by 2020.

Salmon (2009) points out that the fundamental laws outlined in the food waste directives (prevention, re- use, recycling, energy recovery and landfill for last resort) are been practically employed in the UK.

Conclusion

Proper management of food in UK following the European Union (EU) Directives (prevention, re-use, recycling, energy recovery and landfill for last resort) will reduce food waste disposed in landfill and eventually methane gas and global warming.

REFERENCES

Commission Regulation (EC) no 1221/2008 0f 5 December 2008: eur-lex.europa.eu/Lexuriserv/Lexurisev.do?uri=oj:l:336:0001:0080:EN:PDF

EC (2008). Green paper on the management of bio-waste in the European Union, Brussels, Belgium.

Jodie.H.(2010). The impact of domestic food waste on climate change. Retrieved March 10, 2011 from http://www.nextgeneration food.com/news/looking-at-food-waste/

John. V (August, 2002). Earth’s liquid asset. The Guardian, p.6.

Laura.B and Jon.H (2008). How to break the habit of wasting food. Retrieved March 10, 2011, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/08/food.ethicalliving?INTCMp=SRCH

Norem. K. (2010). How to reduce food waste waste .Retrieved March 8, 2011 from http://www.suite101.com/content/how-to-reduce-food-waste-a212264.

OECD (2002). Environmental Impacts and Policy Responses.Retrieved March 10, 2011 from http://www.oecd.org/department/0,3355,en_2649_34331_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

Salmon.B (2009).The waste frame work directive explained. Retrieved March 10, from http://www.hg.org/law-firms/USA-Environmental -and-Natural-References.html.

United Nations Environmental Programme. (2009). environment’s role in averting food crisis. United Nations Environment Programme:GRID-Arendal

Waste and Resources Action Programme (2009). Household and drink waste in the UK.Retrieved March 8,2011 from http://www.wrap.org.uk/retail_chain/grocery/food/index.html

Categories
Free Essays

The issue of adverse reactions to artificial food additives is not a new one.

Introduction

The issue of adverse reactions to artificial food additives is not a new one. The search for this relationship stems from various parental reports of food additives responsible for their child’s various symptoms.

Investigation of the incidence of food additive intolerance is challenging because of the large number of additives involved and the need for extensive patient compliance. The large number of additives available also makes it difficult to associate specific additives with symptoms.

The gold standard for investigating the association between food additives and adverse reactions in children is a double blinded, randomised placebo-controlled challenge. Despite improved methodology of more recent studies, the overall relationship between these two variables has failed to be clearly established.

Food additives

A variety of symptoms have been reported in children consuming artificial food additives in their diet. Table 1 shows the range of symptoms reported.

Table 1 Symptoms reported to food additives. Taken from (1)

Itching Gastrointestinal

FlushingHeadaches

Eczema Behavioural/mood changes

Urticaria/angioedema Musculo-skeletal symptoms

Asthma Others

Rhinitis

Conjunctivitis

Wilson et al (2) performed a double blind assessment of additive intolerance in 29 children with a clear history of symptoms induced by artificial yellow colourings. The symptoms included cough and wheeze (14 children), behavioural disturbance (7 children), eczema (4 children), urticaria (2 childen) and abdominal pain, pallor and lethargy (2 children). Following a period of additive free diet, the children were challenged daily with drinks containing tartrazine and sunset yellow for 12 days. Out of the 19 children who completed the study, only three children were found to have exacerbation of symptoms, which proved a causal relationship with substances in the challenge drinks.

Epidemiology

In 1997, Young et al (1) conducted a population study in Wycombe to find out the prevalence of food additive intolerance. A total of 30000 people were surveyed, of which 7.4% of those who responded claimed a reaction to food additives. Of the 649 were interviewed for participation in the study, 132 were selected to take part. The subjects were given a low and high dose challenge of additives or placebo (lactose) concealed in opaque capsules. Statistical analysis of the results provided an estimate of 0.01-0.23% prevalence of food additive intolerance in the Wycombe population.

Fuglsang et al (3) performed a similar study in Denmark but looked at children who were referred to paediatric allergy clinics for symptoms of urticaria, asthma, eczema or rhinitis, and found the incidence of intolerance of food additives to be 2% (6/335) on double-blinded challenge of additives.

Pathophysiology

The mechanism of food additive intolerance is not clearly defined. Supramaniam and Warner (4) had disproved the then-held view that altered prostaglandin production was responsible as a reaction can be induced in aspirin-sensitive patients, because aspirin intolerance was uncommon in their study.

Food additives and urticaria

Artificial food additives, particularly tartrazine and benzoates (1) have been shown to trigger urticarial reactions in children in many studies conducted over the last three decades. One of the first few reliable studies to emerge was by Supramaniam and Warner (4). They evaluated 43 children who presented with angioedema and/or utricaria and had responded to an additive free diet in a double-blinded study. These children were challenged with various food additives including tartrazine (E102), sunset yellow (E110), amaranth (E123), indigo carmaine (E132), carmoisine (E122), sodium benzoate and sodium metabisulphite. 24 of the 43 children were found to have reacted to 1 or more of the additives. The authors noted that a very small percentage of these children had a history of atopy; only 9.3% had asthma and 11.6% had postitive skin prick tests and came to the conclusion that food additive intolerance causing urticaria was not an IgE-mediated phenomenon.

Food additives and atopic eczema

No well-controlled studies have been performed to investigate the claims that food additives can induce atopic eczema until Van Bever et al (5) performed a double blind placebo controlled challenge in 25 children with severe atopic eczema. In all the children, a thorough history was obtained linking food intake with exacerbations of eczema. Furthermore, their eczema was poorly controlled despite the use of topical moisturisers and steroids. All the children were admitted to hospital and were fed an elemental diet via a nasogastric tube (NG tube) and 1-2 weeks after this treatment, an improvement in the childrens’ skin was apparent, such that they were almost free from active eczema lesions. They were then given a placebo or the food additives (tartrazine, sodium benzoate, sodium glutamate, sodium metabisulphite, acetylsalicylic acid and tyramine) via the NG tube. The study (5) found that all children challenged with food additives showed positive reactions within 10 minutes after administration and the reactions consisted of pruritus and redness of the skin.

It is not clear whether food additives worsen atopic eczema by inducing erythema and urticaria or whether they exert a direct effect (5). Although the study managed to show adverse reactions to food additives, it failed to describe or measure the severity of the reactions (6) or pick up late reactions as the observation period lasted only four hours (6).

Devlin and David (6) attempted to address these drawbacks in a study of 13 patients with severe eczema (requiring regular attendance at outpatient clinics). The subjects were randomly assigned a regimen of three placebo and three active weeks where they were given capsules containing either tartrazine (50mg) or glucose placebo (50mg) to be dissolved in orange juice and drunk using a straw through an opaque cup. The severity of their eczema was assessed using a chart to record the percentage surface area affected. The results of the study failed to find evidence of a clear relationship between tartrazine and eczema as only one patient out of the 12 who completed the study had a significant correspondence between symptom or disease severity score with tartrazine challenges, and this relationship could have occurred by chance.

The above two studies have failed to demonstrate a significant link between food additives and eczema, although both had evaluated mainly tartrazine, so reactions to other types of food colouring may not have been tested. Furthermore, the mechanism in which food additives trigger exacerbation of eczema is now well known.

Food additives and behaviour

The earliest report of an association between food additives and behavioural problems such as hyperactivity was in 1973 when Dr Benjamin Feingold, Chief Emeritus of the Department of Allergy at the Kaiser-Permanente Foundation Hospital in San Fransisco claimed that much of the hyperactivity and learning difficulties seen in school-aged children was due to the ingestion of foods containing naturally occurring salicylates and artificial colourings and flavourings (7). Feingold devised a diet free from these foods and named it the “Kaiser-Permanente” (KP) diet (8) (see Table 1).

Over 5 separate programs, Feingold managed 260 children whose primary complaint was behaviour disturbance with the KP diet and using the Conners rating scale, discovered that there was marked behavioural change within 3-21 days in 30-50% of the children (8). The studies reached no statistical conclusion but proved that the KP diet influenced behaviour. Feingold also noted that an individual child’s behavioural deficit varies in terms of type and duration and the child’s age influences the speed and degree of response; in early infancy the response may take 24-48 hours, 2-5 year olds, more than 5 days, 5-12 year olds, 10-14 days and in older, post-pubertal adolescents, several months (8).

Feingold’s proposal attracted widespread attention from the media and public but was criticized by many in the medical community because his studies lacked a structured diagnosis for the subjects, control groups, an objective measure of outcome and was not double blinded.

Table 1. The Kaiser Permanente Diet. Taken from (8)

Avoid all artificial colours and flavours contained in foods, medications andcosmetics
Avoid preservatives BHA and BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene)
Avoid the following foods containing natural salicylates:

AlmondsCurrantsPlums, prunes Cloves

Apples Grapes, raisins TangerinesCoffee

Apricots Nectarines Cucumber, pickles Teas

Berries OrangesGreen peppers Oil of wintergreen

CherriesPeaches Tomatoes

Over the subsequent period of 35 years, many studies have been conducted to evaluate Feingold’s hypothesis and these were performed in children who were diagnosed with hyperactivity, ADHD or other behaviour problems. One of the earliest studies to be reported was by Conners et al. (9). The study looked at 15 hyperkinetic children using a double blind crossover design. These children were randomly allocated to 4 weeks of the KP diet followed by 4 weeks of a control diet or they were assigned to the control diet followed by the KP diet. Relative to a 4-week baseline period, parents and teachers were asked to rate the children based on a standardised rating scale of ADHD symptoms. It was found that from teacher ratings, the KP diet was significantly more effective than the control diet with approximately 15% reduction in symptoms (p<0.005) but not on parent ratings. However, when compared with the baseline period, both parents and teachers reported fewer hyperkinetic symptoms- 2.53% reduction in symptoms (parent) and 2.55% (teacher), on the KP diet (p<0.05).

Although this study had an improved methodology compared to Feingold’s, it was limited by a small sample size (n=15), inconsistent results, uncertain control of information and expectation held by parents and findings that the behavioural effect of the diets were related to the order in which they were administered.

Gross et al (10) performed a study of 39 children ranging in age from 11 to 17 with learning problems attending a private summer camp, 18 who had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), amongst which, 17 were taking stimulant medication. All children were given the KP diet for 1 week, and then allowed to eat a typical American diet rich in cookies, cakes, candy, soft drinks and snacks from home during the second week. Each week, the childrens’ behaviour was monitored by videotape placed in the dining hall at 4-minute intervals by three blinded observers (one which included the study author) for motor restlessness, disorganized behaviour and misbehaviour. The authors found no difference in the behaviour of the children while on both diets and also commented that the children disliked the KP diet.

Despite being blinded and the investigators having complete control over the children’s diets, there were several weaknesses in the study. Firstly, there was no specification of the components of the diet rich in food additives. Secondly, the children were aware for the first week that they were eating a different diet (11). Thirdly, all the subjects except for one were taking stimulant medication (10), which arguably might have influenced the outcome of the study. In addition, the sensitivity to changes in children’s behaviour of the outcome measure (coding of videotapes) had not been evaluated (11).

Based on these initial investigations, there has not been a clear and consistent association between the KP diet and behaviour in children with symptoms of hyperactivity. Only a small proportion (11-13%) of hyperactive children respond to the KP diet such that there is an improvement in their functioning at home and in school (11).

Double blind placebo controlled crossover studies

Various studies have been done to investigate the effects of artificial food colourings (AFC) on hyperactive behaviour in children and adolescents by following a methodological pattern of a baseline diet free of AFCs, followed by a double blind, placebo controlled crossover challenge of AFCs (11). However, these studies vary in length, sample size, outcome measure and AFC challenges, which varied in the amounts and selected dyes. Most studies used a mixture of AFCs as a challenge-most commonly allura red, erythrosine, brilliant blue, indogotine, tartrazine and sunset yellow, and a similar amount of AFCs (26 mg) (11).

Swanson and Kinsbourne (12) performed a short-term trial with 20 hyperactive and 20 non-hyperactive children in a hospital setting. The children were given a diet free of food dyes, artificial flavours and preservatives for 5 days- 3 days of baseline and 2 days of placebo-controlled challenge of 100 to 150 mg of AFCs. The high doses of AFCs were given because the authors concluded from an earlier study (8) that a high dose of 100mg produced significant effect (p<0.001) on the children’s ability to perform a laboratory learning task compared to the 26mg dose. They found that the performances of the hyperactive children on learning tasks were significantly impaired (p<0.05) after the AFC challenge but the performances of the non-hyperactive children were not affected.

This study used an objective measure of outcome (laboratory learning test) and compared the effects of AFCs in hyperactive and non-hyperactive children, as compared to previous studies that only looked into children with diagnosis of hyperactivity or children with suspected behavioural problems associated with AFCs. However, the need to use a high dose of AFC (100mg) to provoke behavioural reactions in hyperactive children suggests that average doses of AFC found in the daily diets of these children might not do so.

Pollock and Warner (13) performed a 7-week double blind AFC crossover challenge, also using a high dose of AFCs (150mg) on 19 children between the ages of 2-8 years (mean 8.9), whose parents had observed that various behavioural problems in these children had improved on a diet free of food additives. The children studied were all normal except for one who had idiopathic global retardation and another who had been diagnosed with hyperkinesis. The food colours used in the challenge were tartrazine (E102) 50mg, sunset yellow (E110) 25mg, carmoisine (E122) 25 mg and amaranth (E123) 25mg, as they were often the blamed food additives causing adverse reactions. These were given in opaque capsules daily for two weeks while placebo capsules given the remaining five weeks, in random sequence. Parents were asked to complete a daily questionnaire of the child’s behaviour and somatic symptoms throughout the seven weeks. Results of the study showed that parents reported more behavioural problems (p<0.01) on the AFC challenge compared to placebo. However, only 2 children demonstrated clinical hyperactivity on their Conners’ score.

They (13) also suggested that food additives given in large doses act as a pharmacological trigger in a small percentage of children with behaviour problems, although their study showed that the effect was small.

Rowe and Rowe (14) investigated the effect of 6 doses of tartrazine (dose range 1-50mg) in 34 hyperactive children and 20 non-hyperactive children in a double blind placebo controlled study for 6 weeks. The parents of the children were asked to complete two rating scales (a behaviour rating inventory devised by the authors and Conners 10 item Abbreviated Parent-Teacher Questionnaire). In total, 24 children (22 hyperactive and 2 comparison children) reacted to the tartrazine challenge. These children demonstrated consistent variations in behaviour for at least 5 of the 6 challenges. The study also found that pre-schooled and school aged children responded differently to the AFC challenge; severe sleep disturbance was the main complaint in younger children (aged 2-6 years), while older (aged 7-14 years) children exhibited negative mood, impulsivity and whining.

This study was able to address the drawbacks in an earlier study by David (15) where tartrazine could not be disguised in capsules due to its bright and early recognizable colour, thus could not be performed in the home environment. In Rowe’s study (14), the capsules were colourless and tartrazine was planted in an inner capsule surrounded by the placebo (lactose).

Based on the above studies (13,14), it can be concluded that in non-hyperactive subjects, there exists a relationship between food additives and behavior but to a much smaller extent compared to hyperactive subjects.

In an attempt to address the problem with generalization of findings from previous studies limited by small samples, dependant on a diagnosis of hyperactivity or in children thought to show adverse behaviour triggered by food additives (11,13,14), Bateman et al (16) devised a population based study to test whether food additives have a pharmacological effect on behaviour. They looked at 277 children aged 3 years, registered with general practitioners in the Isle of Wight, who were given 20 mg in total of AFCs (sunset yellow, tartrazine, carmoisine and ponceau 4R; 5mg of each) and 45 mg of sodium benzoate during the second and fourth week of the 4-week study. As an objective measure of outcome, research psychologists using validated tests assessed the children’s behaviour weekly. In addition, parents were asked to rate changes in their child’s behaviour. The study found that parental ratings showed a significantly greater increase in the hyperactive behaviour during the active period (p<0.007).

The authors suggested that the reason parental ratings have a higher sensitivity to changes in behaviour is because parents experience their child’s behaviour over more prolonged periods of time and in varied environmental settings (16).

The most recent population study by Mc Cann et al (17) was performed on 2 groups of schoolchildren: 137 preschoolers (age 3) and 130 school-aged children (ages 8 and 9) from the general population. Each group was challenged with sodium benzoate combined with 2 different mixtures of dyes. Mixture A had the same content as the Bateman et al study while mixture B contained sunset yellow, carmosine, quinolone yellow and allura red. The doses of dyes were different in the two mixtures and also according to age group- mixture A contained 20mg (preschool) and 24.98mg (school-aged) while mixture B contained 30mg (preschool) and 62.4mg (school-aged). It was found that both age groups had significantly increased Global Hyperactivity Aggregrate scores when challenged with one or both dyes compared with placebo. The younger children significantly reacted to mixture A (p=0.044) but not mixture B while the older children reacted significantly to both mixture A (p=0.023) and mixture B (p<0.001).

Despite much-generated interest from parents and the public over the effect of food additives to children’s behaviour, evidence for this association is generally weak and as described above, some findings can be conflicting. However, recent population studies have managed to show a significant association between food additives and childhood behaviour, particularly in the older age group (8-9 years). Table 2 summarises the studies discussed above.

Table 2: Double blind placebo controlled studies on effect of artificial food colouring on behaviour in children

Studies Number ofRestricted Diet AFCs Medium Amount of Outcome Challenge

Subjects AFC (mg) Measure Effect

Swanson 20KP dietMixCapsules 100-150 Learningp<0.05

et al.(7)task

Pollock 19 Additive freeMixCapsules 125 PRS p<0.01

and Warner(9)

Rowe 34 Additive freeTartra-Capsules 1-50 PRS p<0.001

and Rowe (10) zine

Bateman 277 Mix Drinks20 PRS p<0.007

et al. (13)

Mc Cann 267 Mix Drinks GHAA-p=0.044

et al (14) A- 20(preschool) (preschool)

– 24.98(school-aged) B-p=0.023

B-30(preschool)(preschool)

-62.4 (school-aged) B-p<0.001)

(school-aged)

AFC:Artificial food colouring, PRS: Parental rating scale , GHA: Global Hyperactivity Aggregrate, A:Mixture A, B:Mixture B

References

1) Young E. Prevalence of intolerance to food additives. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 1997;4:111-114

2) Wilson N, Scott A. A double blind assessment of additive intolerance in children using a 12 day challenge period at home. Clinical and Experimental Allerfy 1989;19L267-272

3) Fuglsand G, Madsen C, Halken S, Jorgensen M, Ostergaard OA, Osterballe O. Adverse reactions to food additives in children with atopic symptoms. Allergy 1994;49:31-37

4) Supramaniam G, Warner JO. Artificial food additive intolerance in patients with angioedema and urticaria. Lancet 1986;2;907-909

5) Van Bever HP, Docx M, Stevens WJ. Food and food additives in severe atopic dermatitis. Allergy 1989;44:588-594

6) Devlin J, David TJ. Tartrazine in atopic eczema. Archives of disease in childhood 1992;67:709-711

7) Feingold BF. Adverse reactions to food additives. Paper presented at American Medical Association annual meeting 1973, Chicago, IL.

8) Feingold BF. Hyperkinesis and learning disabilities linked to artificial food flavours and colours. American Journal of Nursing. 1975;75:797-803

9) Conners CK, Goyette CH, Southwick DA, Lees JM, Andrulonis PA. Food additives and hyperkinesis: a controlled double blind experiment. Pediatrics 1976;58:154-166

10) Gross MD, Tofanelli RA, Butzirus SM, Snodgrass EW. The effect of diets rich in and free from additives on the behaviour of children with hyperkinetic and learning disorders. Journal of American Academic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1987;26:53-55

11) Stevens LJ, Kuczek T, Burgess JR, Hurt E, Arnold LE. Dietary sensitivities and ADHD symptoms: Thirty five years of research. Clinical Pediatrics 2011;50(4):279-293

12) Swanson JM, Kinsbourne M. Food dyes impair performance of hyperactive children on a laboratory learning test. Science 1980;207:1485-1487

13) Pollock I, Warner JO. Effect of artificial food colours on childhood behaviour. Archives of Diseases in Childhood 1990;65:74-77

14) Rowe KS, Rowe KJ. Synthetic food coloring and behavior: a dose response effect in a double blind, placebo controlled, repeated measures study. Journal of Pediatrics. 1994;125:691-698

15) David TJ. Reactions to dietary tartrazine. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1987;62:119-122

16) Bateman B, Warner JO, Hutchinson E, et al. The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children. Archives of Disease of Childhood 2004;89:506-511

17) McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, et al.Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3 year-old and 8/9 year-old children in the community: a randomised, double blinded placebo controlled trial. Lancet 2007;370:1560-1567

Categories
Free Essays

Green product ‘ in Chinese food companies and Prospects for the development of a marketing strategy.

Introduction

The aim of the research is to increase the awareness of ‘green product ‘ in Chinese food companies and Prospects for the development of a marketing strategy to meet the green challenge.

To consider the concept of green marketing emergence and development
To explore the consumption demand of green product via the green customers psychology and their behaviors.
To emphasizes on the impacts of quality, brand, package, price, place, advertisement and public relation on the green food marketing.
To examine the corporation social responsibility relationships between enterprises and society.
To propose a framework for a marketing strategy

RATIONALE:

In recent years, with the level of awareness of food security concerns, the increase in some areas of China green food industry has begun to take shape.

At present, the green food industry has developed the equivalent of 3-5 times the output value of farming. Foods, both at home and abroad, will have huge potential for development, which is the set of economic, ecological and social benefits in one particular industry, there is great economic development.
With the improvement of living standards and changes in consumer attitudes, as well as environmental pollution and resource destruction of increasingly serious problem is conducive to people’s health, non-polluting, safe, high-quality nutritious foods has become a fashion, more and more people of all ages. Development of green food has a sound basis for strong market consumption. Green Food sales data show that people around the world trust in conventional food supply declined, while the rate of increase demand for organic foods has been growing faster than supply. Japan has 91.6% of consumers interested in organic vegetables, 77% of Americans and 40% of Europeans favorite foods.
In China domestic market, organic foods has also been widely welcomed, green food to meet the needs of people living in transition. ? The relevant departments of the two cities, Beijing Shanghai survey showed that 79% -84% of consumers prefer to spend high prices, but also willing to buy green. According to authoritative institutions predict that the national green food will be consumer demand and profits are growing at a rate of 20% per year.
In addition, labor-intensive production of green food, a variety of operating characteristics such as the production of green food in developed countries are subject to certain restrictions, some countries in the aggregate have a serious shortage, at present in Germany, the UK organic foods rely heavily on imports, and import volume of domestic consumption has accounted for 98% and 80%.

Green food industry at home and abroad the strong development momentum and the strong demand for the development of China’s green food industry provides a good external environment.

But experts believe that China’s green food industry is faced with environmental pollution and resource destruction brought about accelerated reduction in the level of quality standards.

The need for the development of green food industry

Green is clean, safe, high-quality nutritious food, green food production and consumption into the protection of the environment, respect for nature to promote the concept of sustainable development of human society. Start green consumer market, the formation of green food production and consumption trends is essential.

First of all, the development of green food is the globalization of China’s integration into the world economy, the inevitable choice. China’s accession to the WTO, as a large agricultural country, should bring agriculture and green food processing industry as the country’s pillar industries. Fo green food industry is not only economic benefits were considerable, but in line with China’s national conditions, construction of green food base, development of special economic – ecological agriculture and green food processing industry, will surely have a difficult to measure social and economic benefits. After accession to the WTO, China should become the world’s foods (mainly organic food), and a major supplier of natural medicines.

Second, the development of green food industry is agriculture, the extensive mode of operation from the traditional to the modern green management style, develop modern agriculture needs. In the current context of China’s resource constraints, but also to change a single large-scale investment of natural resources characterized by low efficiency of resource elements combination, change the grain as the key link, heavy agriculture and light industry agricultural economic growth, changes to a single purely rely on experience in operations, self-sufficient small farmers in semi-subsistence mode of production to achieve the natural economy from extensive agriculture to the commodity economy and the market economy into a modern ecological agriculture and promote the industrialization of green food and internationalization.

Third, the development of green food industry is from the traditional planting and breeding industry to an integrated business segment of society’s changing needs. Should be in legislation, policies and quality standards of green food products with international standards step by step so do a good job to join the WTO and to meet international competition. To face both domestic and overseas markets and make full use of two kinds of resources, the implementation of modern enterprise management and enhance scientific and technological content and enhance the agricultural and food processing industry’s competitiveness.Through different levels and in different forms of vertical and horizontal joint, the formation of trans-regional, cross-sectoral, cross-ownership of modern agriculture and integrated management of enterprises and groups, integrated management of agriculture into the overall pattern of agricultural modernization among.

Fourth, the development of green food industry is scattered from the traditional to the modern management of Agricultural Integration of industrial operation’s changing needs. Through the industrial management of agriculture, you can optimize the combination of production factors into full play the role of science and technology elements to enhance the quality of agricultural products and grades, and achieve multi-level value-added; income of the farmers was greatly improved. ???????????? Through industrialization, the land can be appropriate scales to promote and encourage the farmers embark on a new United Way, and gradually form matched with the needs of the pillar industries, with specialization and regionalization of production of the regional economic structure suited to enhance competition in domestic and foreign markets force and expand market share.

Green food industry faces ecological threat

Although my country has developed green food industry, natural resource advantages, but in recent years, China’s industrialization, the agricultural ecological environment has deteriorated trend, direct threat to the green food industry.

In recent years, due to agro-ecological environmental degradation caused by agricultural pollution is very serious, industrial “three wastes” and the large number of urban domestic sewage to the rivers, lakes emissions. Part of carrying mercury, lead, arsenic, chromium and other harmful toxic substances in industrial waste water through irrigation water to the farmland, coupled with the irrational use of chemical fertilizers (mainly the excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers), pesticides and the loss of human and animal feces, etc., agricultural pollution is increasing, thus lead to surface water and groundwater quality pollution. More than half of China’s lakes are at different levels of eutrophication status, the Yangtze River and other rivers in the nitrogen content is also showing a rising trend and become a frequent occurrence of red tide offshore of the important reasons.

Former vice minister of Ministry of Agriculture, relative to re-Yang believes that to protect the ecological environment, first of all to speed up the development of national agro-ecological environment protection policies and regulations, as soon as possible the establishment of agricultural and agro-ecological environment monitoring system and the development of relevant standards, regular monitoring and reporting of agricultural by-products and its production environment has been polluted, so as to ensure that agricultural products do not harm people’s health. Actively promote the Festival of nitrogen fertilizer application techniques, adjusting fertilizer structure, and the implementation of balanced fertilizer formula, vigorously develop high-performance multi-fertilizer, promotion of special fertilizer, and actively promote organic manure fertilizer matching system.To strengthen agricultural protection advocacy training to improve management and technical personnel at all levels of agriculture and the peasant masses of agricultural environmental protection consciousness.

Green food industry is a systemic project, the parties must in all aspects to ensure product quality. The establishment of green food base for the industrialization of green food is conducive to speed up the pace of development is conducive to really make the green out of an Agricultural Integration, Chan Jiaxiao stop the industrialization path. At present, common organic fertilizer production methods still in the original state, either can not meet the quality and quantity of green food production.

China Green Food Standards urgently with international standards

As China Green Food standards and international standards are not unified, China’s green food export restrictions importance of working with international practice.

Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences researcher Songkui that foods with international standards, first of all to speed up green standards, certification criteria, such as trade rules with international practice. AAAA grade green food is the integration with the international organic food products, its export potential. China’s accession to WTO, has a comparative advantage in agricultural products face a large number of export opportunities. We should speed up the standards of construction, speed up the standards, certification procedures and related rules and regulations with international standards, in order to further explore the international market conditions. In particular, to master its international standards, and management requirements in respect of its changes, the more accurate market forecasts based on the formulation of scientific marketing strategies in order to quickly enter the international markets and expanding market share.

At present, the serious problems faced by the certification body is the certification standards and systems into line with EC standards are not role models, and its certification does not endorse the European Community, recognition is not high. Many customers have specifically requested by the European Community recognized national accreditation body. EC in recent years, some well-known Certification Authority have been carried out in China, the organic product certification work, and significantly increasing customer demand. Chinese certification body in the certification criteria, certification procedures and certification system still needs to be improved, and to the strict accreditation checks.

According to the EC requirements and the status of certification bodies in China, we recommend our organic product standards relevant departments to speed up the changes and development work, and actively with the international standards, as soon as possible a unified organic product regulations, in accordance with international standards to establish a reliable and reputable certification system, and through various channels to expand our certified organic product certification bodies and their well-known abroad for Chinese manufacturers to provide effective access to international markets passes. In addition, in the face of foreign certification bodies for organic products certified in China’s competitive pressure should increase the sense of crisis, turn pressure into motivation, as soon as possible from the organic product certification in China are not European Economic Community, the United States and Japan, accepted the situation, so that China organic products certified bodies to become the world’s major markets for organic products to consumers, importers, wholesalers and exporters in China jointly recognized quality certificate

Speed up the construction of green food base

Foods to form the pattern of big market, the key to have the leading products and mass production as a guarantee. Experts believe that although our country has a lot of green food base, but the most decentralized management, fragmentation is quite prominent, it is difficult to form scale advantages. In many places, though already have developed a number of green food, but delays do not form a superiority reason is mainly a single product structure, production and decentralized operation, economies of scale is poor, production, supply and poor convergence. Most have not formed at home and abroad utter the least sound-quality products. Therefore, while paying attention to industrial restructuring, with emphasis to large-scale, grouping the direction of taking mergers, horizontal joint-stock forms of cooperation, and vigorously to form a group of large-scale green food production bases and Enterprise Group in order to really play a leading enterprise-led scale production push-pull effect of market circulation in order to continuously enhance our foods at home and abroad market competitiveness.

As green food base for the creation, construction, development and growth must be strong leading enterprises to drive. Actively cultivate high-tech, large-scale, market competitive foods processing enterprises, the formation of the Commonwealth Agricultural Integration of green food development to achieve superiority in agriculture industrialization. ?? Our country become the world’s major supplier of organic foods.

In the domestic large and medium cities should be set up through the window, and opened green channel and other measures to continuously improve the market share; in foreign countries to open up shipping routes through the establishment of overseas offices, start-up window, such as direct sales channels, enhance the radiation power of green food market. On this basis, we should adopt recommendation, training, selection and other means to continuously develop and expand the ranks of brokers to establish a domestic and international market to ride the “flow of force”, making organic foods are sold at home and abroad force.

THEORETICAL UNDERPINNING

The subject which relate with my topic will focus on the author ken peattie’s book, the reason is that he was the first person who discovered the green marketing principle and increasing our knowledge on the concept of environment, not only for the society, but also for all types of organizations. The section for this area is only the primly source understanding,

There are four sectors need to be considering in the following order(just a brief description of them):

The green marketing defined

Ken peattie(1992) point out, ‘Green marketing is a style of marketing which has arisen response to the increasing concern about the state of the global environment and the life it contains (including human life).

1. The green product

Ken peattie(1995)said that green product is one of the newest product classifications to arise, but is also one of the most difficult to apply because the green product refers to the production of a specific mode of production, and the relevant specialized agencies by the state found, allowing the use of green food logo pollution, pollution-free, safe, high quality, nutritional food.

3. The green customers and their behaviors

Kotler (1994) defines a product as ‘anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a want or need’.

The green product is the way to meet the green customers.

According to Ken peattie(1992),’The ‘green consumer’ is the driving force behind the green marketing process. It is consumer demand which is encouraging improvements in the environmental performance of many products and the companies that produce them. For marketers, it is important to understand what it means to be a green consumer and perhaps also what it takes to be a green marketer and also said that ‘Marketers are interested in the buying behavior of the customers within the company’s target markets’.

Corporate Social Responsibility

In recent years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a strategic, customer buying behavior, brand, profitability and other key elements of business practice associated with the business. Theory and practice abroad show that corporate social responsibility, not only help to improve the welfare of society as a whole, the improvement of the competitiveness of enterprises also have an irreplaceable role. And because marketing practice, customer satisfaction on long-term corporate profits and shareholder value with far-reaching impact of strategic importance, therefore, to make Chinese companies more proactive social responsibility, in addition to helping companies understand the role of corporate social responsibility and the significance of corporate social responsibility and explore the relationship between the impact of customer satisfaction is definitely a good starting point: the ability to guide enterprises to take the initiative to put its own interests and the interests of the community together, through appropriate corporate social responsibility to act to improve overall competitiveness.

1.on the social responsibility associated with customer satisfaction

Fortune 500 companies have up to 90% already have a clear measure of corporate social responsibility initiatives (Kotler and Lee, 2004). Business Magazine (Business Week) 2005 special report year, a huge amount of large corporate disclosure related to corporate social responsibility investment, Target Corporation has invested nearly 100 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 3.6% of pre-tax profits, General Motors has invested 51.2 million U.S. dollars , representing the pre-tax profit of 2.7%, General Mills’s invested 60.3 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 3.2% of pre-tax profits, Merck has invested 920 million U.S. dollars, accounting for a pre-tax profit of 11.3%, Hospital Corporation of America has invested 9.2 100 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 43.3% of pretax profits.

Clearly, the rise of corporate social responsibility is socio-economic development to a certain stage. In developed countries, this concern of corporate social responsibility and oversight is increasing. Meanwhile, in the marketing literature, customer satisfaction because of the long-term profits and market value has a profound effect (Gruca and Rego 2005), there are also positive on shareholder value impact (Anderson, Fornell and Mazvancheryl 2004) and has important strategic significance, therefore, to explore corporate social responsibility impact on customer satisfaction has important theoretical and practical significance.

Some foreign scholars, the enterprise has undertaken various social responsibility, not only help to improve the welfare of society as a whole, beneficial to the enterprise itself. Bhattacharya, Smith, and Vogel(2004) proposed corporate social responsibility and should be integrated marketing strategy, corporate social responsibility to corporate brand equity, customer equity, market share, positive impact on corporate image.Chahal and Sharma (2006) established a corporate social responsibility analysis of the impact marketing performance framework, and that corporate social responsibility of enterprises is an effective marketing tool. Sen and Bhattacharya (2001) indicated that although the existing empirical studies of methods, approaches, there are still some flaws, but that the corporate social responsibility on corporate financial performance has a weak positive effect. Willmott and Mitchell (2001) research shows that consumers prefer more responsible products and services. These scholars are directly or indirectly, that the performance of corporate social responsibility good or bad indeed has an impact on customers. Therefore, this study suggests that further study of corporate social responsibility, the impact on customer satisfaction, can help us better understand the role of corporate social responsibility and the concept of customer satisfaction orientation.

Some of the existing research support, directly or indirectly, corporate social responsibility and the link between customer satisfactions:

Daub and Ergenzinger (2005) proposed the “general customer” concept. “Most customers” is not only concerned about the consumer experience of the consumer, but also the actual or potential stakeholder groups, one. From this point of view, “the general customer” will show good corporate social responsibility to provide more satisfactory products and services.

Good corporate social performances of companies, more beneficial to create a positive public opinion, enhance the consumer’s evaluation of the enterprise to improve the attitude of the consumer business (Brown1998 and Dacin 1997; Gurhan Canli and Batra 2004; Sen and Bhattacharya 2001). Especially in recent years, some studies (Bhattacharya and Sen 2003, 2004) proposed construction of corporate social responsibility is a key element of corporate identity, to attract customers more comfortable with a company, which is to produce a close relationship. In fact, Lichtenstein, Drumwright and Bridgette (2004) made a good corporate social performance of enterprises improved customer identification, to make it more support for the company, thus creating benefits for the company. Is not difficult to infer, full identification of the customer’s products and services more satisfied. (Bhattacharya, Rao and Glynn 1995; Bhattacharya and Sen 2003)

Luo & Bhattacharya (2006) believe that corporate social responsibility customer satisfaction by influencing the antecedent and thus affect the customer satisfaction. For example, empirical studies have shown that perceived value is an important antecedent to enhance customer satisfaction (Fornell et al. 1996; Mithas, Krishnan, and Fornell 2005b). Luo and Bhattacharya (2006)point out that in the other conditions being equal, a good corporate social performance of companies, customers can get a higher perceived value, thus enhancing their satisfaction with products or services, good social performance as product or service into a “value added.” Brammer and Pavelin (2004) findings suggest that, overall, corporate social responsibility and corporate reputation has a significant relationship. The corporate image as the concept of corporate reputation of the approximation (Dowling, 1993), the European model of customer satisfaction (ECSI), Chinese Customer Satisfaction Model (CCSI), there are certain degree of expression.

METHODOLOGY

Research strategy

Case Study:
Case study research is a method designed to study the particular within context and has a very specific purpose. […] The purpose of a case study is to provide a holistic account of the case and in-depth knowledge of the specific through rich descriptions situated in context. This may lead to an understanding of a particular phenomenon but it is understanding the case that should be paramount by PICARD, A.J (2007)
This paper will using the Tainted Sanlu Baby Milk Powder Incident identify the problems/issues in this case that are relevant to marketing.Analyze the case and apply concepts and theories of marketing to discuss the problems/issues Will be identified.

Marketing Problems:

For example: Celebrity Endorsement

1. Balance theory:

the scandal of the brand a consumer’ negative attitude toward the brand a consumer’s negative attitude toward the celebrity.

2. Social responsibility of the company;

The effectiveness of public relations in a crisis;

Product recall

B2B Problems: Supply Chain Management; Total Quality Management; Outsourcing; Purchasing…

The link including the milk powder production, cow raising, raw milk collection and dairy processing

Outsourcing to dairy farmers and milk dealers – they added melamine to the milk so that the diluted milk could still meet standards

B2B Problems: Supply Chain Management; Total Quality Management; Outsourcing; Purchasing

The link including the milk powder production, cow raising, raw milk collection and dairy processing:Purchasing, Quality control.

Dairy farmers a Milk dealers a Diary Producer (Sanlu) a Supermarket a Consumers:Cow raisingRaw,milk collectionDelivery, storage

B2B Problems: Supply Chain Management; Total Quality Management; Outsourcing ; Purchasing

There are two choose will be use(alternative):

1.investigate the problems from Sanlu (one company) perspective;

2.investigate the whole diary industry (Sanlu, Mengniu, Yili, Nestle; local brands & international brands);

Collect information from various sources; talk with diary distributors, diary producers, milk dealers, even consumers…

Research Method-Quantitative

Questionnaires/Survey

A questionnaire will be completed through http://www.monkeysurvey.com/

This project analyzes the impact of this behavior to identify the determining factor through research on the green purchase intention of consumers to. To this end, I designed a brief questionnaire, from different perspectives influence consumer purchasing decisions on a variety of psychological and social factors that raise questions.

This study will include 16 different area of Chinese food industry category

(See appendix for a complete list of green products to be pre-tested for inclusion in the final survey instrument!).

There will be two scales assessing the benefit emphasis of each item in the pretest.

One scale will assess “benefit to individual” and would range from “very little” to

“Very much” using a 5-point scale. The other scale will assess “benefit to society” in the same manner. The “gray” items will then be excluded, i.e., those which fall in the middle of the spectrum and are considered by some to benefit primarily the individual, by others primarily society.

The purpose for this survey is to identifies the Influence of consumer decision to purchase organic foods on the determinants of access to a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of sustainable consumption and thus contribute to the further development.

Reference and Bibliography:

1.Anderson, Eugene W., Claes Fornell, and Sanal Mazvancheryl (2004),“Customer Satisfaction and Shareholder Value,” Journal of Marketing,68:4 (October), 172-185.

2. Bhattacharya, C., Rao, H. & Glynn, M.A. 1995. Understanding the bond of identification: An investigation of its correlates among art museum members. Journal of Marketing, 59: 46-57

3.Bhattacharya, C.B., and Sen, S. (2003). Consumer-Company Identification: A Framework for Understanding Consumers’ Relationships with Companies. Journal of Marketing 67(2): 76–88.

4.Bhattacharya, C.B., Smith, N. C., and Vogel, D. (2004). Integrating Social Responsibility and Marketing Strategy: An Introduction. California Management Review 47(1): 6–8.

5.Brammer, S & Pavelin, S 2004, ‘Voluntary social disclosures by large UK companies’, Business Ethics: A European Review, vol. 13, no. 2/3, pp. 86-99.

6.Brown, Tom J. (1998), “Corporate Associations in Marketing:Antecedents and Consequences,” Corporate Reputation Review, 1 (3), 215–33.

7.Chahal , H. and Sharma, R.D 2006, ‘Implications of Corporate Social Responsibility on Marketing Performance: A Conceptual Framework’, Journal of Services Research, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 205-216.

8.Daub, C.-H., & Ergenzinger, R. (2005). Enabling Sustainable Management through a New Multi-Disciplinary Concept of Customer Satisfaction. European Journal of Marketing, 39(9/10), 998-1012.

9.Dowling, G.(1993).Developing your company image into a corporate’, Long Range Planning vol:101 no.9

10.Fornell, C., M. D., E. W. Johnson, J. Anderson, J. Cha, and B. E. Bryant (1996), “The American Customer Satisfaction Index: Nature, Purpose, and Findings,” Journal of Marketing, 60, 7-18.

11.Fornell, C., Mithas, S., Morgeson, F. and Krishnan, M. S. (2006). Customer satisfaction and stock prices: High returns, low risk. J. Marketing 70(1) 3–14.

12.Luo, X., and Bhattacharya, C.B. (2006). Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Satisfaction and Market Value. Journal of Marketing 70(4): 1–18 (lead article).

13.Gurhan -Canli Z.Batra R(2004),” When corporate image affects product evaluations:the moderating role of perceived risk

14.Gruca, T.S., and L.L. Rego (2005) Customer Satisfaction, Cash Flow, and Shareholder Value. Journal of Marketing, Volume 69, July: 115-130

15.Kotler,P(1994)Marketing Management:Analysis,Planning,Implementation and Control(7th edn),Prentice Hall.

16.Kotler, P. & Lee, N., 2004.When it comes to gaining a market edge while supporting a social cause, ‘corporate social marketing’ leads the pack’. Stanford Social Innovation Review,

[Online]. Spring, Available t: http://www.ssireview.org/site/printer/best_of_breed/ [accessed4 August 2008]

17.Mitchell, A., Sikka, P., Willmott, H. (2001), “Policing knowledge by invoking the law: critical accounting and the politics of dissemination”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 12 No.5, pp.527-55.

18.Peter A. Dacin (1997), “The Company and the Product:Corporate Associations and Consumer Product Responses,” Journal of Marketing, 61 (January), 68–84.

19.PICARD, A.J (2007) Research methods in information. pp. 85.

20.Peattie, K(1992). Green Marketing. London: Pitman Publishing

21.Peattie,K(1995). Environmental Marketing Management. Pitman Publishing, London.

22.Sen, Sankar and C. B. Bhattacharya (2001), “Does Doing Good Always Lead to Doing BetterConsumer Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility,” Journal of Marketing Research, 38(2), 225-244

Appendix:

Green Products to be pre-tested for possible inclusion in survey:

1. Beverages

2. Dairy

3. Alcohol

4. Baked goods

5. Cigarettes

6. Convenience food

7. Meat, poultry and eggs

8. Canned Food

9. Tea

10. Oil

11. Condiment (seasoning)

12. Snacks

13. Health-care food

14. Sea food

15. Fruit and vegetable

16. Grain processing

Categories
Free Essays

The FAO-organised World Food Conference in 1974

Introduction

The acceptance of the term at the FAO-organised World Food Conference in 1974 has led to a growing literature on the subject, most of which grab ‘food security’ as an unproblematic starting point from which to address the persistence of so-called ‘food insecurity’ (Gilmore & Huddleston, 1983; Maxwell, 1990; 1991; Devereux & Maxwell, 2001). A common activity followed by academics specialising in food security is to debate the suitable definition of the term; a study undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) cites over 200 competing definitions (Smith et al., 1992). Simon Maxwell, who has produced work commonly referenced as foundational to food security studies (Shaw, 2005), distinguishes three paradigm shifts in its meaning: ‘from the global/national to the household/individual; from a food first perspective to a livelihood perspective; and from objective indicators to subjective perceptions’ (Maxell, 1996; Devereux & Maxwell, 2001).

A primary focus on food supplies as the major cause of food insecurity was given credence at the 1974 World Food Conference (McCaston et al., 1998). But the limitations of this supply focus came to light during the food crisis that plagued Africa in the mid-1980’s and the paradigm shifted to explore individual and household food security as opposed to food security from a national perspective (Argenal, no date) and the household food security approach emphasized both availability and stable access to food. Research work carried out in the late 1980s and early 1990s also focused on food and nutritional security (Frankenberger, 1992). It showed that food is only one factor in the malnutrition equation, and that, in addition to dietary intake and diversity, health and disease and maternal and child care are also important determinants (UNICEF, 1990). Thus, the evolution of the concepts and issues related to household food and nutritional security led to the development of the concept of household livelihood security (McCaston et al., 1998). Until the late 1980s, most practitioners and theorists were focusing on a 2,100 calories a day standard, which was assumed to be the amount needed for any individual on a daily basis to avoid hunger. More recently, the ethical and human rights dimension of food security has come to the fore. In 1996, the formal adoption of a new definition by World Food Summit delegates reinforces the multidimensional nature of food security; it includes food access, availability, food use and stability (FAO, 2006). This has enabled policy responses focused on the promotion and recovery of livelihood options and included the concepts of vulnerability, risk coping and risk management (FAO, 2006). In short, as the link between food security, starvation and crop failure becomes a thing of the past, the study of food insecurity as a social and political construct has emerged (Devereux et al., 2001).

The Rome Declaration of 1996, primarily laid the foundations for diverse paths to a common objective of food security at all levels: ‘food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life’. This widely accepted definition points to the following dimensions of food security (FAO, 1996):

Food availability: The availability of sufficient quantities of food of appropriate quality, supplied through domestic production or imports (including food aid).

Food access: Access by individuals to adequate resources for acquiring appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.

Utilization: Utilization of food through adequate diet, clean water, sanitation and health care to reach a state of nutritional well-being where all physiological needs are met. This brings out the importance of non-food inputs in food security.

Stability: To be food secure, a population, household or individual must have access to adequate food at all times. The concept of stability can therefore refer to both the availability and access dimensions of food security.

Although nutrition scientists distinguish between ‘food security’ (availability of food on the global, national, local and household levels), on the one hand, and ‘nutritional security’ (satisfactory nutritional status of individuals), on the other (Oltersdorf and Weingartner, 1996), economic, social and behavioural scientists tend to consider ‘food security’ as a more comprehensive term that incorporates both concepts. In the above definitional context, the FAO (1996) stated that to achieve food security at national level, all four of its components ? availability, accessibility, utilization and stability ? must be adequate and that the opposite of food security is regarded as food insecurity.

However, national food security depends on the household-level food security as a fundamental unit. Chen and Kates (1994) stated that ‘at a household level, food security tends to be equated with the sufficiency of household entitlements – that bundle of food-production resources, income available for food purchases, and gifts or assistance sufficient to meet the aggregate food requirements of all household members‘. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) concisely defines household food security as “the capacity of a household to procure a stable and sustain-able basket of adequate food” (IFAD, 1992). Adequacy may be defined in terms of quality and quantity of food, which contribute to a diet that meets the nutritional needs of all household members. Stability refers to the household’s ability to procure food across seasons and transitory shortages. Sustainability is the most complex of the terms, encompassing issues of resource use and management, human dignity, and self-reliance, among others (IFAD, 1992). Thus, household food security is as integrated system of the four subsystems of production, exchange, delivery and consumption (Cannon, 1991).

Theoretically, poverty, household vulnerability, and undernourishment may be distinct conditions. Yet, in practice, these conditions intersect and overlap: poor households are usually most vulnerable to transitory and chronic food insecurity, hence they are often undernourished (Maxwell and Frankenberger, 1992). But the individuals within food-insecure households cannot be assumed to suffer from hunger equally; there are differences in distribution and negotiating abilities of individuals (Argenal, no date). Oshaug (1985) therefore identified three kinds of households: “enduring households”, which maintain household food security on a continuous basis; “resilient households”, which suffer shocks but recover quickly; and “fragile households”, which become increasingly insecure in response to shocks. Similar approaches are found elsewhere (Benson et al., 1986).

During the 1990s, authors and practitioners concerned with vulnerability to food security have engaged to define vulnerability and theorize how far people had slid towards a state of food insecurity (Dilley and Boudreau, 2001). The foundation of the concept is closely associated with poverty. But it is not the same as poverty; rather underlying poverty contributes to increased vulnerability (Young et al., 2001). In addition to income, there is a multiplicity of other factors that co-determine whether an individual will go hungry. In 1981, Sen challenged the then widely held conviction that a lack of food availability was the primary explanation for famines; instead, he posited lack of access as the key to understanding who went hungry and why. Because access issues are entrenched in social, political and economic relations, Sen’s work represented a clear shift in emphasis from natural to societal causes of famine (Blaikie et al., 1994). After Sen’s (1981) entitlement approach, many authors (Swift, 1989; Borton and Shoham, 1991; Maxwell and Frankenberger, 1992; Ribot, 1995; Middleton and O’Keefe, 1998) sought to operationalize Sen’s ideas by using the word “vulnerability” to refer to the complex web of socio-economic determinants. In food-related contexts, the question, “vulnerable to what?” is nearly universally answered by ‘famine’, ‘hunger’ and ‘the undesirable outcomes that vulnerable populations face’ (Dilley and Boudreau, 2001). Therefore, vulnerability denotes a negative condition that limits the abilities of individuals, households, communities and regions to resist certain debilitating processes and improve their well-being (Yaro, 2004). According to Chambers, ‘vulnerability refers to exposure to contingencies and stress, and the difficulty in coping with them. Vulnerability has thus two sides: an external side of risks, shocks, and stress to which an individual or household is subject: and an internal side which is defencelessness, meaning a lack of means to cope without damaging loss’. Chambers’ definition has three basic coordinates (Watts & Bohle 1993):

The risk of exposure to crises, stress and shocks;
The risk of inadequate capacities to cope with stress, crises and shocks;
The risk of severe consequences of, and the attendant risks of slow or limited poverty (resiliency) from, crises, risk and shocks.

According to this definition, the external shock or stress might be drought, market failure, conflict or forced migration and the internal aspect of vulnerability is to do with people’s capacity to cope with these external shocks (Young et al., 2001). As livelihoods are conjured of a combination of exchange entitlements, a massive change in a particularly important entitlement may be decisive in causing entitlement failures, leading to loss of livelihood and starvation. The impact of the external shock on livelihoods depends on the household’s vulnerability, which is a combination of the intensity of the external shock, and the household’s ability to cope (Young et al., 2001). Patterns of vulnerability have become increasingly dynamic, thereby necessitating a dynamic rather than static approach to vulnerability (Yaro, 2004). From this vantage point, the most vulnerable individuals, groups, classes and regions are those most exposed to perturbations, who possess the most limited coping capability, who suffer the most from crisis impact and who are endowed with the most circumscribed capacity for recovery (Watts & Bohle 1993). Thus, the two dimensions of vulnerability ? ‘sensitivity’ (the magnitude of the system’s response to an external event) and its ‘resilience’ (the ease and rapidity of the system’s recovery from stress) ? are crucial. The lower the resilience and the higher the sensitivity, the higher the vulnerability and vice versa (Gebrehiwot, 2001). Swift, (1989) and Davies (1996) further pointed out that most food-insecure households are characterized by a very low resilience.

However, extending our understanding of the crucial links of entitlements to wider political processes, Watts & Bohle (1993) argue that the mutually constituted triad of entitlements, empowerment and political economy configures vulnerability to food security (Yaro, 2004). Vulnerability will therefore be shaped by several forces that affect the three sources of provision of food and well-being of households. Watts & Bohle (1993) see vulnerability as being caused by lack of entitlements, powerlessness and exploitative practices and they defined the space of vulnerability through an intersection of three causal powers: command over food (entitlement), state/civil society relations seen in political and institutional terms (enfranchisement/empowerment), and the structural-historical form of class relations within a specific political economy (surplus appropriation/crisis proneness) (Watts & Bohle, 1993). In the entitlement lexicon, vulnerability can be defined as the risks associated with the threat of large-scale entitlement deprivation (Sen, 1990). These shifts are frequently posed as a function of market perturbations, with a particular emphasis on rural land, labour and commodity markets (Watts & Bohle, 1993). The heart of empowerment approaches to vulnerability is politics and power. Empowerment encapsulates both freedom to make choices by people and acceptance of culpability by governments who are supposed to ensure the workings of the ‘right to food’ (Dreze et al., 1995) as part of the fundamental rights of the human personality. Vulnerability can be defined, in this view, as a political space and as a lack of rights broadly understood. Property rights ensure access to land and other assets, but political rights are also central to the process by which claims can be made over public resources as a basis for food security, and to maintain and defend entitlements (Watts & Bohle, 1993). As a political space, vulnerability is inscribed in three domains: the domestic (patriarchal and generational politics), work (production politics) and the public sphere (state politics). Accordingly, vulnerability delimits those groups of society which collectively are denied critical rights within and between these political domains. Mead Cain (1983) identifies two fundamental realms of risk in rural Bangladesh; one is patriarchal, expressed through gender based differences in wage rates and access to and control over resources (within a specific notion of political ecology); the other is rooted in property rights, and specifically the difficulty for the rural peasantry to enforce and defend their property rights against rapacious local landlords and corrupt representatives of the state (Chen, 1991). Powerlessness can, therefore, be approached at a multiplicity of levels in entitlement and food security; intra-household rule-governed inequities over access to resources and property rights, village level stratification and processes of political inclusion and exclusion with respect to land or access to local credit, national level power (Harriss, 1989). On the other hand, the strength of a rigorously class-based political economy provides a class map on which historically specific processes of surplus appropriation and accumulation (Patnaik, 1991), and the corresponding configurations of crisis, conflicts and contradictions can be located. In general, these crisis tendencies arise under capitalism as a result of structural contradictions and conflicts between classes, between the relations and forces of production, and between accumulation and production conditions (Harvey 1982; O’Connor 1988).

Conclusion

Vulnerability is here understood not solely in terms of entitlement or empowerment (though both are implicit), but rather as an expression of capacity, specifically class capacity defined by the social relations of production in which individuals and households participate (Watts & Bohle, 1993). In the class perspective, famine and hunger are poverty problems but this requires an understanding not simply of assets but of the relations by which surpluses are mobilized and appropriated. Class analyses of hunger and famine are similar, in many respects, to marginalization theories and to “political ecology” (Blaikie 1985; Blaikie and Brooldield 1987). Vulnerability to food security is thus a structural-historical phenomenon, which is shaped by the effects of commercialization, proletarianization and marginalization (Watts & Bohle, 1993). Therefore, dynamic on-going political economic processes of extraction, accumulation, social differentiation, marginalization, and physical processes all affect vulnerability (Yaro, 2004).

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Key to the food chain: explore how plants are the basis of all life on earth

Introduction

Plants are essential for humans and all living organisms. They are the producers in ecosystem which can turn sunlight into usable energy and provide consumers with energy, food and oxygen. Chemical reactions are running on earth all the time. Photosynthesis is probably the most important chemical reaction on earth involving sunlight, the air we breathe, water and green pigment chlorophyll. All biochemical reactions are occurring in a cells, while water and air is combined sugars are stored, than this energy is released by respiration.

Plants are the basis of all life on earth and a starting point in ecosystem. They provide the main energy source received by sunlight, and convert inorganic compounds into organic ones, whereas heterotrophs are absolutely dependent on plants – autotrophs. Most of the autotrophs are photosynthetic organisms which use sun light for synthesizing sugars and other organic compounds and afterwards use it for cellular respiration, fuel and growth. The primary producers on earth are algae, plants and photosynthetic prokaryotes. In the next food chain level are heterotrophs, organisms that directly or indirectly depend on primary producers. Herbivores which consume plants and other primary producers are called primary consumers. Carnivores consuming herbivores are secondary consumers and carnivores that consume carnivores are tertiary consumers. The last group is decomposers. These consumers get their energy from detritus as these matters are organic material such as dead organisms, fallen leaves and wood. They have a secrete enzyme that digest these breakdown products into inorganic compounds where primary producers can use these compounds for their sustenance. Here is an end of ecosystem’s chemical cycling, which shows that we need all of these life organisms in order to function properly and keeping energy flow in ecosystem.

The food chain requires a lot of photosynthesis. This is a process of plants capturing the sunlight and making carbohydrates and releasing by-product oxygen from carbon dioxide and water. Carbohydrates are perfect source of energy for the body, they are breaking down into sugars as glucose which is more readily to use for our bodies. Overall process is summarized in this word equation: carbon dioxide + water light energy glucose + oxygen. The environment which is essential for photosynthesis to take place is sunlight energy, carbon dioxide which we get from atmosphere and water from the soil. The place where photosynthesis process takes place is in plant leaves organelles, called chloroplasts. It contains important pigment, light sensitive chlorophyll which is responsible for the production of food. It absorbs blue and red light and reflects green light, so that’s why so much of the earth looks green. There are two stages of photosynthesis: light reactions and Calvin cycle. In chloroplast there are stacks of membrane vesicles- thylakoids which contains pigment chlorophyll. Thylakoids are the first place where light energy is converted into chemical energy. When light energy is captured by pigment chlorophyll, then this energy is used to break water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen gasses are diffused to atmosphere threw microscopic pores stomata, where these gasses are used for oxygen- dependent organisms. The hydrogen molecules are further breaking down into electrons and protons and then NADPH is formulated from proteins which are delivered by electrons through thylacoid membrane to NDP molecule. NADP is a vitamin made part of niacin and function as an energy carrying molecule. Forming ion gradient hydrogen ions are building into interior space of thylakoids and this is way of storing energy. This energy is used for synthesis the energy- rich molecule ATP, which is used for all its biological activities.

The second photosynthesis stage is Calvin cycle. The cycle starts by assimilating carbon from atmosphere into organic molecules. This transformation of organic compounds is called carbon fixation. Additional electrons are added to the fixed carbon which is formed then to glucose. This reduction power is provided by NADPH molecule, which was formed in a light reaction. Conversion of carbon dioxide to glucose is required chemical energy, where ATP was formed. Therefore the process making sugars occurs in Calvin cycle, but with a help of ATP and NADPH produced in a light reactions. Glucose is an instant source of energy, and can be converted into other carbohydrates such as sucrose, starch or fructose for long-term energy storage. The majority of food that we eat comes from plants, for example the most storage of starch is found in potatoes and cereal grains. Seeds like corn, nuts use oils as a storage product.

Energy is needed for all living organisms, to maintain reproduction, growth and other cells activities. We get energy from foods we consume and glucose is an instant energy, which is first used by cell. The next essential process is respiration. It is a chemical process which takes place in a cell and must not be confused with breathing. Aerobic respiration which needs oxygen and is combined with food is called oxidation. Food molecules consist of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms. The oxidation process converts carbon to carbon dioxide and hydrogen to water and release the energy whereas cell can use it for other cellular reactions. Aerobic respiration word equation: glucose + oxygenenzymescarbon dioxide + water + energy. Oxidation takes in a series of small steps, because energy is not released all at once, it needs its own enzyme and at every stage a little energy is released. Moreover energy used for this process is always ends as a heat and radiates back into space.

Photosynthesis and respiration is a circulation of chemical reactions in biosphere, without these processes life wouldn’t exist.

References

1. James E. Bidlack, Shelley H. Jansky,(2011), Stern’s Introductory Plant Biology, Edition twelve, New York, McGraw-Hill.

2. D.G.Mackean, (2002), GCSE Biology, Third edition, London, John Murray (Publisher) Ltd.

3. Campbell Reece, Urry Cain Wasserman, Minorsky Jackson, (2008), Biology, Eight edition, San Francisco, Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

4. Eli C. Minkoff, Pamela J. Baker, (1996), Biology today: An issues approach, United States of America,The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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What are the effects on trade regulation for food security under the world trade organization system

Abstract

With the launch of new negotiations on international trade called ‘Doha Development Agenda’ (DDA), agriculture is once again expected to be a central and difficult issue. As a solution to the problems associated with food security in the DDA negotiation on agriculture, this article suggested a creation of a food security box.

The basic idea of the food security box is, (i) to allow, like other existing exemptions (such as Green and Blue Boxes), a series of exemptions to the AoA for members whose agriculture was not meeting basic food security needs (hereinafter the members); (ii) to allow the members to protect and enhance their domestic production capacity under certain conditions; (iii) to provide flexibility to the members so as to increase domestic support for agriculture until they have achieved a certain level of food self-reliance; (iv) to obligate developed countries to give to developing countries technical assistance for improvement in the productivity; (v) to balance the rights and duties between food-exporting countries and food-importing countries.

Free trade alone cannot solve the global food security problems, since free trade may have both positive and negative effects on food security. It should be noted that the policy to achieve food security based only on food aid and trade liberalization is too risky in terms of long term public policy. Given the instability of agricultural production and food aid, it is in the special interests of many food-importing countries such as the Republic of Korea and Japan to increase domestic agricultural production to ensure food security.

I . Introduction

The Doha Ministerial Declaration, issued at the fourth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference on 14 November 2001, launched new negotiations on a range of subjects, and included the negotiations already underway in agriculture and services. With the launch of new negotiations on international trade entitled “Doha Development Agenda (DDA),” agricultural trade is expected to be the most contentious and difficult issue.’) It is agreed that the non-trade concerns (NTCs) such as food security and environmental protection will be taken into account. At the DDA agricultural negotiation, food security

* Professor, College of Law, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea E-mail: <[email protected] >

This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation (KRF-2001-013-000021). is a key element of NTCs. The NTC Group (comprising the European Communities, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea and Mauritius), often called as the ‘Friends of Multifunctionality’, raised NTCs as a central part of their negotiating positions.

The United States and the Cairns Group rejected, however, the concept. Some countries argue that there is no food security issue for developed countries because they can afford to purchase if necessary. Food security is, however, fundamentally a matter of national security, justice and human rights where all countries have a great concern.

The focus of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) is, unfortunately, not on food security but on trade liberalization. The existing provisions of the AoA can not only not solve the global food security problems but also have detrimental impacts on food security and sustainable development, consumer health and safety and the environment. The AoA does not adequately and equitably address the food security needs of both developing countries and developed countries. As a solution to the problems associated with food security in the WTO negotiation on agriculture, this article suggests a creation of a food security box. This article will not attempt to explain or describe the details of the AoA.

Section II describes the concept of food security under the context of the WTO system and international law. Section HI points out some problems and shortcomings in the current AoA. Section IV describes the concrete contents of a proposed food security box. Section V provides a brief summary and conclusion.

II. The Concept of Food Security

1. Definition of Food Security

The term ‘food security’ has been defined in diverse ways. Both developing countries and developed countries have adopted some kind of food security policy. One starting point in understanding the concept of food security is a widely accepted definition adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at the World Food Summit in 1996: “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for

an active and healthy life.” 2) There are four elements implicit in this definition: availability, accessibility, reliability (or stability), and sustainability. Adequate food availability means that sufficient food supplies should be available to meet consumption needs. Access to food means that both physical and economic access to food should be guaranteed. 3) A reliable food supply means that an adequate food supply should be continued even during seasonal or cyclical variations of climate and socio-economic conditions. Access to adequate food is essential for good nutrition, but it is not in itself sufficient. Food should also be safe in order that people may survive and be free from disease. Food security, therefore, inevitably requires food safety. In addition, food security requires agricultural sustainability in terms of long-term food security. If agricultural production is managed through exploiting non-renewable natural resources or degrading the environment, it may threaten long-term agricultural sustainability and global food security. 4) Thus, food security requires available, accessible, reliable and sustainable food supply at all the times.

Food security has three dimensions: individual, national and multinational levels. 5) At the individual or household level, poverty or gender inequality may influence the distribution of food affecting individual food security even when food supply is sufficient. At the national level, natural disasters or socio-economic conditions such as armed conflicts may seriously disrupt food production and supply. States may have sufficient food at the national level, but have some food insecure individuals because of unequal distribution of food. At the multilateral level, especially within the context of WTO, food security is considered as a State affair, and discussion tends to focus on liberalization of agricultural trade, trade regulation and adequate supplies of imported food to members.

2. Food Security as a Food Sovereignty

“Food sovereignty is the right of each nation and its people to maintain and develop its own capacity to produce the people’s basic food, while respecting productive and cultural diversity.”6) Food may be used as a tool by nations to impose political and economic pressures on others. The effective realization of food security is essential to national sovereignty since the use of food as a political weapon among nations may limit and jeopardize the sovereignty of individual nations.

Thus, in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security, government delegates agreed that “[alttaining food security is a complex task for which the primary responsibility rests with individual governments.” Because of the responsibility assigned to governments for achieving food security, they emphasized that “Mood should not be used as an instrument for political and economic pressure.” Food sovereignty is, therefore, a pre-condition for a genuine food security.

The term ‘food sovereignty’ was elaborated by NGO. In an Action Agenda adopted at NGO/CSO Forum on Food Sovereignty, food sovereignty was affirmed as “a right of countries and peoples to define their own agricultural, pastoral, fisheries and food policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate.” 7)

3. Food Security as a National Security

One of the major tasks of a State is to ensure enough food to feed its own people. Adequate food is indispensable for the survival of a sovereign State. When we are, therefore, talking about food security, we are really talking about a national security issue. Thus, some commentators justify the maintenance of a certain minimum level of production of agricultural products in the name of national `safety and security’.

Although the WTO members have not resorted to Article XXI (national security exception clause) of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) to protect their domestic agricultural industry, the relevance of national security was pointed out at the Special Sessions of the WTO Committee on Agriculture. “Under GATT Article XXI, national security issues may be exempted from Wf0 trade disciplines. Food security is also inextricably connected to national security and political sovereignty. Chronic food insecurity puts national security in jeopardy by placing at risk the health of a large number of people, and also it incites internal turmoil and instability. ”

4. Food Security as a Human Right

Access to adequate food is recognized as a human right. Food security is fundamentally a matter of human right. Many commentators agree that “under international law there is currently found, to a minimal extent, a treaty right conjoined with a customary right to be free from hunger.”il)) International Agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 12) support this view.

In the Rome Declaration on World Food Security, government delegates reaffirmed “the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger.•..” 13) Food security is a global issue. National disaster or armed conflict in one agriculture exporting country can seriously affect the food security of other countries. International cooperation is, therefore, indispensable in order to ensure universal food security. Thus they also reaffirmed “the importance of international cooperation and solidarity as well as the necessity of refraining from unilateral measures not in accordance with the international law and the Charter of the United Nations and that endanger food security.” 14) “Each nation must – cooperate regionally and internationally in order to organize collective solutions to global issues of food security. In a world of increasingly interlinked institutions, societies and economies, coordinated efforts and shared responsibilities are essential.” 15)

III. Problems and Shortcomings in the Agreement on Agriculture

1. Lack of Food Security Provision

The focus of the AoA is not food security, but trade liberalization. Its main objective is to establish “a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system” through “substantial progressive reductions in agricultural support and protections”(Preamble). The AoA aims to liberalize agricultural trade in three principal ways: increase of market access, reduction of both domestic support and export subsidy.

The AoA has no provision on food security, and no definition on food security. There are, however, a few provisions mentioning the term ‘food security’ in a very narrow sense. Commitments under the reform programs should be made in an equitable way among all members, having due regard to non-trade concerns, including “food security”(Preamble). Article 12 of the AoA provides that members instituting ‘export prohibition or restriction’ shall give due regard to the effects of such prohibition or restriction on importing members’ “food security”. Annex 2 of the AoA articulates ‘public stockholding’ (para3) for “food security purposes”. 16) Para.4 (“domestic food aid”) of the Annex 2 is also a provision for food security, although the term food security is not used. Thus, the term ‘food security’ in the WTO is used in a very narrow sense and relates primarily to the adequate supply of food to member states through free trade.

2. Inequity between Food–Export and Food–Import Countries

The AoA has a lack of due consideration for non-trade concerns such as food security. The AoA enables food-export countries to continue to subsidize and protect domestic producers while requiring food-import countries to open up their markets to foreign competition. Consequently, it failed to balance the interests of food-exporting and food-importing countries. It should be noted that there are special provisions for developing and least-developed countries, not for food-importing countries. Even the net food-importing countries (NFICs) are merely a subcategory of developing countries. 17)

The AoA, like other WTO Agreements, specifies different types of legal rights and obligations concerning market access, export subsidies, and domestic support, according to different categories of countries. The principal classifications are developed and developing countries, with the latter receiving ‘special and differential (S&D) treatment.’ It should be also noted that commitments under the reform programs for agricultural trade should be made ‘in an equitable way’ among ‘all’ members, having due regard to non-trade concerns, including food security (Preamble).

3. Insufficient Recognition of S & D Treatment for Developing Countries

As pointed out above, the AoA confers more beneficial legal rights and obligations concerning market access, export subsidies, and domestic support on developing countries. Developing countries were given different timetables, different target reduction rates, and different exemptions. The implementation period for making reductions was six years (until 2000) for developed countries and ten years (until 2004) for developing countries. Developing

17) The net food-importing countries (NFICs) are a subcategory of developing countries, which is defined by the WTO Committee on Agriculture based on trade profile data and negotiation among members. As of February 2000, there are 19 NFICs.

countries were allowed to apply lower rates of reduction in the areas of market access, export subsidies, and domestic support (but not less than 2/3 of those to be applied by developing countries). Least-developed countries were exempted from reduction commitments, although they were required to bind their tariffs and domestic support and not exceed those amounts.

Most of the current S&D provisions for developing countries are, however, largely irrelevant and ineffective because they lack the funds and means to use export subsidies, and domestic supports. The AoA enabled developed countries to continue to subsidize and protect domestic producers while requiring developing countries to open up their markets to foreign competitors. The AoA provisions systematically favor agricultural producers in developed countries and multinational agribusiness, and are unfair to developing countries. No WTO Agreement is more iniquitous than the AoA. Thus, the AoA enabled developed countries to maintain trade-distorting subsidies and import restrictions, and failed to achieve its stated objective of establishing a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system. 18) It should be noted that the Doha Declaration articulated that S&D treatment for developing countries shall be “an integral part of all elements of the negotiations.”(para.13)

4. No Recognition of Uniqueness of Agricultural Products

Agricultural products are unique and most essential commodities in every country. In addition to its primary function of producing food, agriculture also provides non-food services to our societies jointly produced from agricultural activities. Non-food services of agriculture that have characteristics of public goods include the viability of rural areas, food security, environmental protection, rural employment, and preservation of cultural heritage and agricultural landscape. In this context, the multifunctional role of agriculture, in both developed and developing countries, should be recognized. 19)

In addition, agricultural production is biological and site-specific. Demand and production in agriculture is inelastic. Supply is heavily dependent upon the weather, and very sensitive to climate change. Over 90% of global rice production depends on the same monsoon area. 201 All these unique and multifunctional characteristics of agriculture need to be recognized and should be reflected in the revised AoA. “[T]o ensure that international trade plays a positive role in ensuring food security…, it is essential that trade rules respect the characteristics that distinguish agriculture from other sectors.” 21 )

5. Insufficient Recognition of Importance of Domestic Production for Development and Food Security

The AoA is premised on the idea that trade liberalization can enhance national and global food security. There is, however, widespread public concern that the current direction of trade liberalization under the AoA has a detrimental impact on food security and development. To date, the AoA’s objectives of removing trade barriers and protection have failed to promote the goals of sustainable agriculture and food security. The AoA overestimates the importance of free trade, but underestimates that of domestic production, in terms of sustainable development and food security.

In order to reduce the risks that are often associated with an excessive reliance on imports, a certain degree of domestic agricultural food production is essential for food security and development.22) Domestic production may play a role of insurance against risks such as import interruptions and poor harvests in exporting countries. 23) Agriculture is a way of life in many developing agrarian countries, and support of agricultural production is essential for ensuring food security, rural employment, and poverty alleviation. Agriculture continues to be an important source of foreign exchange and revenue for developing countries. In this context, domestic production should be recognized as an essential means to secure food security and development in the revised AoA.

6. Non–Implementation of the Marrakesh Decision

For countries that may be adversely affected by trade liberalization, a separate ‘decision’ was adopted, called ‘the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries’ (Marrakech Decision). 25) The Marrakech Decision was supposed to protect LDCs and NFIDCs from food insecurity caused by trade liberalization through ensuring a continued flow of financial resources, food aid, and technical assistance.

To date, the Marrakech Decision has not been sufficiently implemented. The Marrakech Decision is ineffective because it does not adequately define the problem (what are the negative effects?), it does not assign responsibilities, and it has no implementation mechanism. The requirement for providing a proof of damage and causality makes it also very difficult to invoke the Decision.

N. Proposals for Food Security Box

Food security is a key element of non-trade concerns and agricultural problems. As pointed out earlier, however, the existing provisions of the AoA can not only not solve the global food security problems but also have a detrimental impact on food security and sustainable development, consumer health and the environment. The AoA does not adequately and equitably address the food security needs of developing countries and developed countries.

The AoA needs, therefore, fundamental reform from the perspective of food security, and food security should have top priority in the DDA agricultural negotiations and a revised AoA. Food security should be mentioned in the preamble of the AoA as a central objective,and specifically reflected in its Articles. As a solution to the problems associated with food security in the DDA negotiations on agriculture, this section will suggest a creation of a `food security box’; the provisions of which will be elaborated in detail, based on the four elements of food security mentioned above.

It should also be noted that the food security box is different from the concept of a `development box’ in that the latter is concemed with S&D treatment for developing countrie s,26) while the former reflects the food security concerns of both developing countries and (net food-importing) developed countries. 27)

The basic idea of the food security box is, (i) to allow, like other existing exemptions (such as Green and Blue Boxes), a series of ‘exemptions’ to the AoA for ‘members whose agriculture was not meeting basic food security needs’ (hereinafter “the members”); (ii) to allow the members to protect and enhance their domestic production capacity under certain conditions; (iii) to provide ‘flexibility’ to the members so as to increase domestic support for agriculture until they have achieved a certain level of food self-reliance; (iv) to obligate developed countries to give to the members technical assistance for improvement in productivity; (v) to balance the rights and duties between food-exporting countries and food-importing countries.

(1) Tariffs

Basic food security crops should be exempt from tariff reduction commitments. Each member may nominate, based on a negative list approach, a list of staple food security crops for exemption from reduction commitments. The ‘basic food security crops’ or ‘staple food security crops’ are crops which are either staple foods in the country concerned, or the main sources of livelihood for low-income farmers 2 8) To be qualified as ‘basic food security crops’, they should be sensitive in terms of food security and sustainable development.

26)Some members proposed a Development Box at the Committee on Agriculture. See The Development Box, Non-papa by Dominican Republic, Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Special Session of the Conunittee on Agriculture Informal Meeting, 4-6 February 2002.

(2)TRQs

Tariff rate quotas (TRQs) were introduced in the Uruguay Round to ensure that existing access conditions were not undermined and as a means to create new market access opportunities. The expansion of TRQs may help to ensure greater market opportunities, for exporters especially in developing countries, and to further liberalize and increase trade in agricultural products. Since TRQs have contributed positively to increased market access and the food security of net-food importing countries, much flexibility in connection with the TRQs administration should be given to the basic food security crops of net-food importing countries. Some members proposed at the Committee on Agriculture ‘auctioning’ as an efficient and transparent method of TRQ allocation. 29

(3)SSG

The Special Safeguard (SSG) provisions were introduced to facilitate the reform process and as a means of protecting domestic farmers injured by increase in imports. Given the special nature of agricultural products, the SSG mechanism should be continued, in order to minimize serious injuries caused to the domestic industry by sudden import surges and price fluctuations in ‘food security crops’. Consideration should also be given for extending the SSG to cover crops which have the potential to substitute for local food security crops.

(4)Domestic Support

At the WTO Committee on Agriculture, many delegates emphasized the importance of domestic production in achieving food security. 30) Most delegates contended that the most efficient solution should lie in a combination of domestic production, imports (trade liberalization), food aid and stockpiling, but they varied a lot in the emphasis they gave to various means.

Food aid and free trade can play important roles in achieving food security. The heavy dependency on imported foods and foreign food aid is, however, too risky especially to net food-importing countries in terms of food security policy, since they can provide major food-exporting countries with a powerful political weapon. They can foreclose the potential of domestic production as an engine of rural development and economic growth. It should be noted that the policy to achieve food security based only on food aid and trade liberalization is, therefore, too naive and risky in terms of a long term public policy.

The maintenance of a certain degree of domestic food production is, therefore, an essential element in national food security policies, in each country whether it is a developing or a developed country, and no matter how high its optimum self-sufficiency ratio may be. All domestic support taken to increase domestic production of basic food security crops for `domestic consumption’ should, therefore, be exempted from any form of domestic support reduction commitments. 32)

It should be emphasized that greater diversity in food production systems may contribute to achieve food security by enabling the access to food within a region 33) Developing countries should have the flexibility to take any domestic support measures including price support for food security, rural development and poverty alleviation, regardless of its impacts on trade.34)

(5) Export Subsidies

Export subsidies provided by developed countries may impact negatively on the food production system of importing countries and have detrimental effects on their domestic markets.35) Thus, they may impact negatively on the food security situation of net food-importing countries and developing countries. It may be contended that net food-importing countries and developing countries may also benefit from lower world agricultural prices caused by export subsidies provided by other countries. These benefits are, however, highly unreliable, and export subsidies are the most trade distorting of policy tools used in the agricultural sector. Therefore, at the Doha Ministerial Declaration, it was agreed to reduce, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies. 36) Developing countries should have the flexibility to use export subsidies in order to promote exports, especially when these exports are critical for achieving their food security needs.

(6) Dumping

Export subsidies may contribute to the problem of dumping which has also detrimental effects on the food production system of importing countries. The US and EC farmgate prices for many crops are less than many countries’ cost of production, because of huge amount of export subsidies. Producers from other countries cannot compete with dumped products from the US or EC based grain multinationals such as Cargill. The existing AoA does not address the problem of dumping of agricultural products. Thus, “[Ole lack of rules in agricultural trade that preceded the AoA contributed directly to food insecurity in the world.”37) Therefore, dumping of agricultural products should be prohibited, and food-importing countries should be allowed to take appropriate border measures against the dumped products, if they impact negatively on the food security policy of importing countries.

(7) Export Credits

Subsidized export credits, along with export guarantees and insurance, could be used to circumvent export subsidy commitments. 381 For this reason, strict rules and disciplines on export credits should be established in the revised AoA. Export credits may be, however, useful for food security in food importing countries suffering from financial crises or food supply problems,39) and should be allowed to be invoked through specific criteria, so long as they are not used as a means of circumventing export subsidy commitments. As of August 2002, export credits covering exports of agricultural and food products are not governed by any specific discipline within the AoA. 401 Rules and disciplines on export credits should ensure that export credits conform to commercial practices and do not confer an export subsidy.41) Developing countries should be, however, allowed to have the flexibility to use export credits.

(8) Export Restrictions and Taxes

Export restrictions and export taxes may be necessary for the food security of food-exporting countries in cases of emergencies like food shortages. For this reason, article XI of GATT 1994 prohibits quantitative export restrictions but makes an explicit exception for “export prohibitions or restrictions temporarily applied to prevent or relieve critical shortages of foodstuffs or other products essential to the exporting contracting countries.” Export restrictions and export taxes may, however, have detrimental effects on the food security of food-importing countries by promoting price variability and uncertainty.

At the WTO Committee on Agriculture, a number of food-importing countries, like South Korea and Japan, contended that their food supplies could be disrupted and their food security jeopardized if exporting countries restrict exports of agricultural products. 42) Article 12.1 of AoA further obligates the member instituting the export restrictions to give due consideration to the effects of such restrictions on importing countries’ food security.

However, given their significant distortion effects on world agricultural markets, strict rules and disciplines on export restrictions and export taxes should be established in the revised AoA. Above all, the period of export restrictions should not exceed more than three months, and a certain amount should be exempt from exporting restrictions during its implementation, for the food security of importing countries. Differential export taxes which encourage exports of processed products and discourage primary product exports should be prohibited.43) Developing countries should be, however, allowed to have the flexibility to use export restrictions and export taxes.

(9) State Trading Enterprises

Many countries have used state trading enterprises to control domestic markets and to regulate trade. State trading enterprises with exclusive or special rights and privileges may have negative effects on the establishment of a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system. From the viewpoint of food security of importing countries, import state trading enterprises may, however, play an important role to ensure stable food supply. On the contrary, export state trading enterprises with monopolistic power may have a significant and direct impact on the international market.

More stricter rules and disciplines on export state trading enterprises should be, therefore, established in the revised AoA. New disciplines on state trading enterprises should ensure export and import transactions are non-discriminatory and transparent. Developing countries should be, however, allowed to have the flexibility to use state trading enterprises. 44)

(10) Food Aid and Stockholding

Article 10.4 of the AoA does not prohibit the use of food aid as a means of surplus disposal or market expansion. 45) Food aid may, however, have negative effects on food security, and be used to circumvent export subsidy commitments. 46) At the WTO Committee on Agriculture, MERCOSUR group contended that there was an urgent need to establish more detailed rules on food aid in order to ensure that WTO commitments on reducing export subsidies are not circumvented while at the same time preserving the humanitarian dimension of food aid. Strict rules and disciplines on export restrictions and export taxes should be, therefore, established in the revised AoA. 47)

Above all, food aid should only be in the form of grants rather than credits, should respond genuinely to demand, and should be targeted at the needs of the recipient countries. It should not harm the domestic production systems of the recipient countries, should not distort international trade, should not amount to the disposal of price-depressing surpluses, should not allow countries to circumvent their export subsidy commitments, and should not be used as a means of expanding market share by subsidizing countries. Developing countries should be provided with the technical and financial assistance to improve their domestic food production capacity.48)

Public stockholding of basic food security crops for food security purposes should be given a wider definition under the Green Box provision. According to para.3 of Annex 2 to the AoA, the volume and accumulation of stocks shall correspond to predetermined targets related solely to food security, and there are strict criteria for how such stocks are purchased and sold. The AoA should also provide for regional food security plans, including joint maintenance of emergency food stocks. 49) Some countries at the WTO Committee on Agriculture proposed creating an international food stockholding system in order to effectively address food security concerns of developing countries. 50) Developing countries should be allowed to have the flexibility to use food security stocks.

(11) Food Safety

Recently, food safety has been an emerging NTC issue. Public concerns on food safety increases as the trade of agricultural products increases. Food safety requirements may be used as a means of disguised protectionism. Food safety can’t be, however, given up in the name of trade liberalization, because food supplied to people should be safe, at least from the perspective of food security. Without consumers’ confidence in food safety, trade liberalization of agricultural products can’t be accomplished successfully. Strict rules and disciplines on food safety should be, therefore, established in the revised AoA. Since food safety issue may also be discussed in the SPS and TBT Committees, this article proposes a written ‘Understanding’ to be adopted, which may be annexed to the AoA or SPS Agreement.51 )

The Understanding should, among other things, deal with the precautionary principle, burden of proof on food safety, mandatory labeling for GM (Genetically Modified) crops or foods, cooperation with other organizations such as OECD and Codex. Since most food-importing countries lack technical capacity to show scientific evidence against imported foods, technical and financial assistance should be provided to members, especially to developing countries. 52)

(12)Peace Clause

Article 13 (“due restraint”) of the AoA is due to expire at the end of 2003. This Peace Clause protects members using domestic support measures from being challenged under the GAIT 1994 and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, so long as they comply with their commitments on export subsidies and domestic support under the AoA. The Peace Clause should be preserved and extended for all measures that are taken to achieve the food security policy of developing countries.

(13)Environment and Sustainable Agriculture

Agricultural activities have both positive and negative effects on the environment. Agriculture contributes to environmental goods such as biological diversity and landscape conservation, which may enhance agricultural sustainability. It should be noted that agriculture in many developing countries is based on small-sized farms, and this type of farming is ecologically sustainable. “[There is an emerging realization that agricultural systems in both developed and developing countries face challenges to achieve long-term sustainability and food security,” 53)especially in light of growing populations and resource degradation. Without local agriculture there would be no positive effects, and without some level of support and protection there would be no agriculture.

A certain degree of domestic production should be, therefore, maintained for sustainable agriculture and long-term food security. Green Box measures alone are not sufficient, 54) and the criteria for Green Box need to be broadened and flexible enough to enhance sustainable agriculture and long term food security. 55) Domestic supports for sustainable agriculture should be also allowed under the Blue Box.

V. Conclusion

At the DDA agricultural negotiation, food security is a key element of the NTCs and the most contentious issue. Trade liberalization may enhance national and global food security by expanding sources of food supply, encouraging more efficient allocation of resources, lowering food prices in importing countries, and increasing economic growth rate.

However, the proposition that free trade can solve the food security problems is wrong for the following reasons. Agricultural products are different from industrial products in some respects and agriculture has the characteristics of a public good. Thus, when we are talking about agriculture, we are really talking about food security, rural development, environment, employment, culture, as well as production of food for sale in a market. Agricultural production heavily depends on climate and land conditions, unlike industrial products. Given the uncertainty of food supply in the world food market, there will always remain a residual threat to food security. The policy to achieve food security based only on free trade is too risky in terms of long term public policy. The maintenance of a certain level of domestic agricultural food production is, therefore, essential for food security of both developed and developing countries.

The current AoA does not, however, adequately and equitably address the food security needs of developing and developed countries. With a view to redressing the imbalance and inequity of rights and obligations under the AoA between food exporting and importing countries, this article proposed a food security box. Among other things, basic food security crops should be exempt from tariff reduction commitments. Much flexibility in connection with TRQs administration should be given to basic food security crops. All domestic support measures taken to increase domestic production of basic food security crops should be also exempted from any form of domestic support reduction commitments.

The agricultural negotiations are scheduled to end by 1 January 2005, along with almost all the other negotiations under the DDA. It should be noted that the DDA negotiations are a single undertaking. No element of them will be agreed until all areas are agreed on. As of 23 November 2003, the 31 March deadline for establishing ‘modalities’ in the agricultural negotiations was not met. WPO members failed to set guidelines on tariff and subsidy cuts to use in subsequent negotiations. The first and revised draft of modalities for the future commitments prepared by the chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture failed to reflect the food security concerns of net-food importing and developing countries.

This agricultural impasse may, therefore, spill over into other areas of negotiations, including services, and threaten the entire DDA round of multilateral trade negotiations. Without a system or compromise to solve the food security problems of both net-food importing countries and developing countries, the DDA round can’t reach a successful and satisfactory settlement.

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Free Essays

Evaluation of the Food Control Systems in Saudi Arabia

Introduction

According to the World Trade Organisation, Saudi Arabia is a developing country and is part of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Due to increased tourism, religious trips, foreign workers, recent food scares, and a high reliance on imported food, the need has arisen for the establishment of a common market and common approach to food control throughout the region.

Food Control Management

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (2006) defines food control management as “the continuous process of planning, organising, monitoring, coordinating, and communicating, in an integrated way, a broad range of risk-based decisions and actions to ensure the safety and quality of domestically produced, imported and exported food for national consumers and export markets as appropriate. Food control management covers the various policy and operational responsibilities of competent government authorities responsible for food control.”

The main food control management board within Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA). According to the SFDA, their purpose is to regulate, administer, and control all imported and local foods. The SFDA is managed by a Board of Directors that includes ministers from Health, Interior, Rural Affairs, and Agriculture, just to name a few. The Authority is also responsible for all food safety licensing procedures and grants. The SFDA has proposed a two-phased approach to food control management within Saudi Arabia, of which the first phase is set to take place over a five-year period (SFDA, 2011).

Whilst the SFDA seems to have a clear plan on how to address food control management within Saudi Arabia, is seems the actual establishment and fulfilment of food control management policies and procedures lies with the Saudi Arabia Standards Organisation (SASO) and can span across many committees, agencies, and administrators, at both federal and local levels (FAO, 2005). This often results in duplication and overlapping of duties, lack of coordination, and information stagnation across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Food Legislation

As Saudi Arabia is a member of both the World Trade Organisation and Codex Alimentarius, it has the responsibility of abiding by Codex standards. Whilst some implementation of these standards has taken place within Saudi Arabia, there still exists a disparity of food control procedures within the region. This can largely be attributed to the reasons mentioned above: lack of coordination and information, etc.

In recent years Saudi Arabia has worked hard to ratify new food safety laws that cover all foods. There has also been much effort to integrate and coordinate between different agencies both nationally and internationally. For instance, because Saudi Arabia imports a large amount of food products from the United States, in recent years the two countries have worked closely together to establish strict import guidelines and procedures. These guidelines and procedures cover anything from dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables, processed foods, to forest products and plants (GAIN, 2009).

Recently, SASO has also helped to establish food-labelling requirements for all food and food products sold in Saudi Arabia. Typically food and food products require the following before they can be sold in the Kingdom: certificate of origin, bill of lading, or steamship certificate, insurance certificate and packing list, food manufacturer’s ingredients certificate, consumer protection certificate, and a price list, just to name a few. There are also certain additional requirements for items such as meat, seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables, and livestock (Saudi Network, 2011).

Food Inspection and Audit

Food inspection and audit is defined as “the examination of domestically produced or imported food to ensure that it is handled, stored, manufactured, processed, transported, prepared, served and sold in accordance with the requirements of national laws and regulations, thus protecting the health and well-being of consumers” (FAO, 2006).

Within Saudi Arabia, food inspection consists mainly of laboratory examination and actual physical investigation of the end product, which is carried out by various authorities. Although the Department of Environmental Foods and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) standards of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) have been introduced within Saudi Arabia, the implementation of such standards is slow. Hygiene requisites are conducted on a random basis through visual inspection of domestic products. More often than not, food inspection officials can be pacified with the presentation of health certificates and facility licenses (Al-Kandari and Jukes, 2009).

As mentioned above, Saudi Arabia and the entire GCC region is highly reliant on imported foods. This reliance has brought about the need for increased control and inspection of such foods; however, there has been little increase in the workforce available for such inspections. This results in a large amount of imports going uninspected. Within Saudi Arabia there is also a lack of concise standards around food sampling procedures. This means that food inspection officials are unclear on when to take samples, how many samples to take, and exactly what types of foods need to be sampled. Each of these issues has led to inadequate food inspection and audit systems within Saudi Arabia.

Official Food Control Laboratories

Official food control laboratories have the responsibility of identifying food contaminants and their sources, whether human or food. These laboratories also provide support for law enforcement, food safety and quality policies and standards (FAO, 2006).

Whilst food control laboratories in Saudi Arabia are well equipped and supplied, there exist three main issues concerning such laboratories: inadequately trained analysts, inadequate quality assurance systems, and an overall lack of international laboratory accreditation bodies (Schillhorn van Veen, 2005). The country has done much to address the issue of laboratory analyst training. It has embarked upon a rigorous training program for analysts focusing on imported foods. This will help to improve the knowledge and skills of analysts working in laboratories within Saudi Arabia.

Whilst inadequate quality assurance systems and lack of accreditation continues to be a problem in Saudi Arabia, the county is trying to learn from its UAE neighbours. The UAE has already received ISO accreditation for three of its food control laboratories and continues to implement quality assurance systems across the whole of the country. Saudi Arabia is looking to follow the UAE’s lead in this area and is seeking ISO accreditation of its own.

In an effort to improve its laboratory food control systems and standards, Saudi Arabia, along with five other countries located in the Middle East and Northern Africa, formed an alliance with the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) with the intention of improving food and drug laboratory standards and testing systems (Ammari, 2010). Through this alliance the SFDA has agreed to work closely with the USP in improving its food control laboratories. This agreement means that laboratories located in Saudi Arabia will send test results and details to the USP in order to receive feedback and recommendations for improvement.

Food Safety and Quality Information

As the general economic landscape of Saudi Arabia is changing, so is its food culture. An increase in gross income per capita means that more Saudis are eating out. This has led to an increase in the consumption of processed foods, which in turn leads to an increase in illness due to contaminated foods. As mentioned above, over 30% of food workers in the GCC region are of foreign decent (Al-Kandari and Jukes, 2009). Many of these workers neither read nor speak Arabic or English. This has caused a major problem regarding food handling and preparation. Therefore, there exists a great need for information, education, and communication regarding food safety and quality. To this end, the SFDA has created a website to help educate and provide information to Saudis concerning food safety and quality. The website provides up-to-date, reliable information that is easily accessible to all of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Food Control Diagram

Conclusion

Saudi Arabia is a quickly developing nation, however, with this development has also come problems. The food control systems within the Kingdom can be described as substandard and inadequate. Whilst many improvements have been made, Saudi Arabia still has a long way to go in this particular area. The Kingdom’s recent efforts to implement and improve food safety and quality standards, unify all involved parties, and form alliances with other more successful countries is commendable. These efforts need to continue and increase within the Kingdom in order for it to receive accreditation for its food control systems and to ensure the safety of its citizens.

References:

(2005) National Food Safety Systems in the Near East – A Situational Analysis [online] Available at: ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/food/meetings/NE_wp3_en.pdf [Accessed 04 February 2011]

(2009) Department of Environmental Foods and Rural Affairs [online] Available at: www.defra.gov.uk [Accessed 03 February 2011]

(2009) GAIN Report [online] Available at: www.chilealimentos.com/medios/Servicios/Normas_internacionales/Norma_otros_paises/Normativa_Arabia_SAudita/Food_and_Agricultural_Import_Regulations_and_Standards_Certification_Arabia_saudita_USDA.pdf [Accessed 04 February 2011]

(2011) Food and Agricultural Organisation [online] Available at: www.fao.org [Accessed 03 February 2011]

(2011) Saudi Arabia Standards Organization [online] Available at: www.saso.org.sa [Accessed 04 February 2011]

(2011) Saudi Food and Drug Authority [online] Available at: www.sfda.gov.sa/En/Home/ [Accessed 03 February 2011]

(2011) The Saudi Network [online] Available at: www.The-Saudi.Net [Accessed 04 February 2011]

Al-Kandari, D., and Jukes, D.J. (2009) “A situation analysis of the food control systems in Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.” Food Control 20,12 1112-1118.

Ammari, S. (2010) “Government drug control laboratories in Middle East and North Africa join USP to launch quality improvement network.’ AME Info, October 2010.

Schillhorn van Veen, T. (2005) “International trade and food safety in developing countries.” Food Control 16,6 491-496.

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Free Essays

“Rapid detection and identification of bacteria in food and clinical laboratories”

Abstract

Modern technological progress has affected how microbiology is practiced. There is emphasis on the minimalisation of laboratory costs, cost-efficiency and reliability of tests for efficient bacterial identification from food cultures. Before using any technology, it is recommended that the products’ performance characteristics be first tested, particularly as theses characteristics, are often not determined by the manufacturers. Consequently, the sensitivity and specificity, amongst other factors, associated with the use of these tests will also not have been determined. Additional factors would benefit from the use of controls, such as in the form of large scale and controlled clinical trials, in order to study the products’ performance. It is to be borne in mind that the involvement of ‘rapid’ tests, including an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in bacterial detection may serve bests as methods for expeditious detection and screening than for the purposes of confirmation.

Keywords: ELISA, flow cytometry, FCM, enterotube ll system, Chromogenic media, PCR.

___________________________________________________________________

1. Introduction

In order to help diagnose infectious diseases, such as the bacteria Salmonella, a leading cause of food poisoning, the need for specialised microbial tests has arisen. Testing food products using rapid methods is a complicated process requiring the balance of sensitivity and specificity for the achievement of a reliable result. The following sections will discuss the use of five different detection methods, flow cytometry, the enterotube II system, chromogenic media, the Enzyme linked immunoassay and polymerase chain reaction and the necessity to balance the specificity and sensitivity of each technique, for the most accurate means of bacterial detection.

2.0 Flow Cytometry

Flow cytometry (FCM) is based on the principles of excitation of light, light scattering and fluorochrome molecular emission for the purposes of generating data covering a number of different parametric readings. FCM focuses on cells that measure 0.5um to 40 ?m in diameter. The technique of FCM relies on the provision of a light source, which, are usually lasers, and the cells must first be covered in a layer of phosphate buffered saline before being able to intercept the focused source of light. In this technique, a sample, containing the cells being tested, are injected into the centre of a sheath flow. Flow cytometry provides an analysis of cellular interactions at the macromolecular level. FCM is a technique that is considered to be a critical component of research in the biomedical field (Nolan & Sklar,1998).

2.1 Milk testing

FCM is one technique which may be useful when testing the safety and quality of milk. Testing milk requires analysis of somatic cell count and microbial analysis. Tests have shown (Gunasekera, et al., 2003) that the analysis of milk, where a known number of cells have been inoculated, upon clearing can be performed by FCM. FCM is able to give a good indication of the somatic cell count in raw milk and when coupled with other methods such as techniques involving fluorescence staining, can be used in testing biological milk quality. This therefore has an important application in the dairy industry, particularly in quality testing.

2.2 Analysis of Water Quality

The use of flow cytometry has to date also occurred in tandem with heterotrophic plate count (HPC) for the rapid detection of the bacterial count of potable as well as raw water (Hoefel, et al., 2005). The results showed that FCM was much quicker than HCP, in detecting viable bacteria in samples that were classed as viable but not amenable to culture. The FCM method detected bacteria within an hour as opposed to several days, for the HCP technique.

Studies have tested the sensitivity of FC-based assays in comparison to the plaque assay method, to measure levels of an infection virus in a sample (Cantera, et al., 2010). Poliovirus infection (PV1) was tested and the FCM method applied to a water sample infected with PV1-infected cells. The study revealed that a combination of flow cytometry, used with fluorescence resonance energy transfer technology, is able to sensitively and quickly detect the presence of infectious virus in a sample of environmental water.

2.3 Specificity of FCM

FCM has also been used to investigate whether T4 phage infected cells with E. coli ATCC 111303 can be differentiated from uninfected cells, based on phage DNA fluorescent detection. The technique, involving the lysis of bacterial cells by phage, allowed for the detection for infected cells 35 minutes post infection. Thus, FCM is able to be specific, when used combined with phages of predetermined host specificity. Overall, FCM is able to quantitatively measure and sensitively detect molecular level interactions and as such it may be considered to be a robust and adaptable technology (Nolan & Sklar, 1998).

3.0 The enterotube ll system

The Enterotube II was described for the first time in 1969 (Painter & Isenberg, 1973). This technology is an example of a rapid system of multi-test nature, functioning as a biochemical and enzymatic test method. The test system, functions by identifying unclassified gram-negative, rod shaped and oxidase-negative bacteria, belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. The test is often conducted within clinical laboratories. The machine comprises a flat-sided tube within which are 12 compartments, developed to allow different biochemical tests to be conducted. The system does consistently produce accurate results, and hence is liable to produce occasional false results.

3.1 Sensitivity and specificity

Reports such as the one by Dalton et al., (1993) in the detection of bacteriuria, have found that upon screening, only 55% specificity and 93% sensitivity have been obtained. O’Hara (2005) reports that it may be valuable for the diagnostic laboratory running tests, using equipment such as the Enterotube II system, to first stipulate what levels of ‘accuracy’ and ‘discrimination’ they consider are acceptable from their systems of identification. Accuracy of identification may be maximised by using the skills of a qualified microbiologist to confirm the bacterial classification (O’Hara, 2005). An additional way to potentially maximise sensitivity and specificity is to send an isolate to a reference laboratory in order to confirm identity. Use of enterotube II system will be for the testing of oxidase-negative bacteria and hence it should first be established that the oxidase test is not positive. To achieve this, and improve the specificity, an oxidase test may be performed on the relevant cultures.

In order to improve interpretation of results from use of the Enterotube II system, a suitable incubation time should be used, such as 16 hours (in the analysis of carbohydrate reactions (Woolfrey, et al., 1981). Furthermore, tests resulting in ambiguous classifications should be reevaluated (Woolfrey, et al., 1981) in order to improve specificity, without hampering the tests’ sensitivity.

4.0 Chromogenic Media

Chromogenic media (or fluorogenic media) are a microbial growth media of microbial nature. The media contains enzymes that are linked to either fluorogen (involved in light reaction) or chromogen (involved in colour reaction) or a combination of both. The method works by detecting activities that are enzymatic in nature, that are produced by the target microorganisms. Enzymatic activities are detected by the use of either organic compounds or dyes, as microorganisms, which grow in the proximity of these compounds are liable to make a distinctive pattern of colouring or alternatively fluoresce, which can be detected under UV light. Chromogenic media were first designed for application in clinical settings, but have proven to be useful in food testing.

4.1 Sensitivity and specificity of chromogenic media

Chromogenic media are considered to be a sensitive method of media analysis, when compared to more conventional types of media analysis (Downes, 2001). This is because the chromogenic media method allows for a faster analysis, with a turnover time of 24 hours, and it is also considered to have a higher sensitivity. In the identification of E.coli or Listeria monocytogenes, for example, specially designed chromogenic media are available for the purposes of improving test sensitivity.

When considering Salmonella detection, a number of specialised chromogenic media that are able to improve the specificity of detection are available. A study by Perez et al., (2003) showed that both broth enrichment and increasing the incubation time by a factor of two (from 24 hours to 48 hours) effectively increases the sensitivity of all of the media being used. Furthermore, due to the specificity of the chromogenic media, (determined to be greater than 84% following a two-day incubation period), a reduction in the need to undergo confirmatory tests improved the overall sensitivity of the specialized chromogenic media. A second study by Monneri et al., (1994), for the comparison of two new types of agar, media of chromogenic nature, Salmonella Detection and Identification Medium (SMID) and Rambach agar, against two conventional types of media for the detection of Salmonella. The results revealed that the newer chromogenic agar media were notably more specific than the more conventional media. Rambach agar was furthermore slightly more specific than SMID, being able to detect all Salmonella serotypes following a complementary C8 esterase test. Hence, sensitivity and specificity can be maximised by increasing culture time to 2 days fully, and using Rambach agar where appropriate, such as in the detection of Salmonella serotypes.

5.0 Enzyme Linked Immunoassay

The Enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA) is a common antibody based technique designed for microorganism, or pathogenic, detection. The method is noted to have a high standard of specificity and sensitivity (Evans et al., 1989). A quantitative, or qualitative method may be used for the purposes of interpreting the results, which are, respectively, via the use of an instrumental read-out or through visual means. Specialised test kits to aid in the detection of Listeria, Salmonella and other microorganisms are commercially available.

5.1 Sensitivity and specificity

A study by Evans et al., (1989) utilised ELISA in the detection of Campylobacter pylori. The specificity and sensitivity of the test allowed for the detection of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies targeted against the cell-associated proteins of C. pylori. Values of specificity and positive predictive value were revealed to be 100% for the high molecular weight cell-associated proteins. Furthermore, the assay sensitivity was measured at 98.7%, with the negative predictive value recorded as 98.6%. This indicates that specialised ELISA tests are likely to be valuable in such instances as in the detection of H. pylori. Furthermore, the costs of using the ELISA, as noted by Evans et al., (1989) are that it is cost effective and readily usable, with a lower likelihood of obtaining false negatives than with other tests, such as the use of a ‘urea breath test’ which is also amenable to be useful for the same purpose.

Svennerholm & Holmgren, (1978) report that E. Coli can be sensitively detected using a ganglioside ELISA. The method was deemed to be reliable and allow a high level of reproducibility. In general, it has been reported that the specificity and, or, sensitivity of assays that are commercially available, such as the ELISA may be maximised by having set cut-off values decreed by the manufacturers, according to the target disease (Cuzzubbo, et al., 1999). Furthermore, the IgG test, due to having 100% specificity, is highly likely to be reliable, as a method for bacterial testing.

6.0 Polymerase Chain Reaction

Similar to the ELISA test, the ‘PCR’ or the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the most readily recognised and used diagnostic tool currently in use. PCR works by identifying a highly specific sequence of DNA from a microorganism that is under target. Subsequent to this, the sequence much be amplified in order to allow for detection of the microorganism. PCR is considered to be reliable and specific, as a detection method, being able to detect bacteria of pathogenic nature within a time frame of a day. As a form of DNA-based assay, PCR has been developed to detect foodbourne pathogens. For the purposes of DNA hybridization, PCR is able to amplify one single DNA copy in fewer than 2 hours by one million times. However, in situations where amplification is not completely efficient, such as when inhibitors are present in food, the normally extremely high levels of sensitivity of PCR become reduced. In order to improve sensitivity therefore, a form of cultural enrichment is likely to achieve this (Rose & Stringer, 1989).

As a rapid method to screen food samples for bacteria, PCR tests that are run and found to yield positive results are regarded as being ‘presumptive’ and require methods that are more conventional to confirm this (Feng, 1996). For direct testing, due to a lack of adequate specificity and sensitivity, pre-analsysis culture enrichment is frequently called for, which serves to increase specificity (Feng, 1997).

6.1 Sensitivity and specificity of PCR

To maximise the sensitivity of certain types of PCR, such as NK-1R PCR, a form of ‘nested’ PCR, and for this an increased number of cycles of the primary PCR may be helpful. For example, 35 secondary PCR cycles and 45 primary PCR cycles, were performed by O’Connell (2002) as opposed to a more standard number of between 25 and 30 cycles for both to increase sensitivity. In order to identify and detect bacteria furthermore, qcRT-PCR is likely to be less sensitive overall than more conventional PCR and hence, single-target PCR is advisable for a higher level of sensitivity.

It has also been noted that PCR conditions and parameters of cycling should ideally be optimised for every, and each primer in order to allow the achievement of a maximum yield of specific product and miminise monotarget sequence amplification. Knowles (1992) suggests that nested PCR may be helpful in improving both sensitivity and specificity. It is noted that increasing the speed of amplification of PCR has not effect upon test sensitivity, and hence this alteration it is unlikely to be worth the additional costs or time-saving advantage associated with increasing the cycling protocol.

Conclusion

Rapid tests such as PCR, the Enterotube II system, ELISA, flow cytometry and chromogenic methods have both benefits and limitations. The relative availability of these techniques and the speed of detection of bacterial pathogens, amongst other factors, suggest advantages but the sensitivity and specificity of the tests must be such that a reliable test result is ensured. In conclusion, a balance of sensitivity and specificity is required, but, by using the techniques mentioned, the reliability of the results obtained by the microbiologist is most likely to be improved.

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Nolan, J.P & Sklar, L.A. 1998. The emergence of flow cytometry for sensitive, real-time measurements of molecular interactions. Nature Biotechnology, 16(7), pp. 633 – 638.

O’ Connell, J. 2002. RT-PCR Protocols. Totowa: Humana Press Inc.

O’Hara, C.M., 2005. Manual and Automated Instrumentation for Identification of Enterobacteriaceae and Other Aerobic Gram-Negative Bacilli. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 18(1), pp. 147-162.

Painter, B.G. & Isenberg, H.D. 1973. Clinical laboratory experience with the improved Enterotube. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 25(6), pp. 896–899.

Perez, J.M., Cavalli, P., Roure, C., Renac, R., Gille, Y. & Freydiere, A.M. 2003. Comparison of four chromogenic media and Hektoen agar for detection and presumptive identification of Salmonella strains in human stools. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 41(3), pp. 1130-1134.

Rose, S.A., & Stringer, M.F. 1989. Immunological methods, pp. 121-167. In: Rapid Methods in Food Microbiology: Progress in Industrial Microbiology. M.R. Adams and C.F.A. Hope (eds). New York: Elsevier.

Svennerholm, A., Lange, S. & Holmgren, J. 1878. Correlation between intestinal synthesis of specific immunoglobulin A and protection against experimental cholera in mice. Infection and Immunity. 21(1), pp. 1–6.

Woolfrey, B.F., Fox, J.M. & Quall, C.O. 1981. Evaluation of the Repliscan II System for identification of Enterobacteriaceae. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 14(4), pp. 408-410.

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Brain food to Boost your Exam Scores

Well all know that completing a long exam can feel like running a mental marathon, but did you know that what you eat and drink can affect your exam performanceWell it’s true – certain foods have been scientifically proven to improve your energy levels, concentration rate and overall brain power; sounds exactly like the kind of thing you could use for an exam rightToday we have a look at what is the best diet to follow on exam day?

Eat brain-boosting foods

Protein-rich foods can lead to greater mental alertness, these include eggs, nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese. So the ideal pre-exam breakfast would be whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, eggs and toast with jam, porridge, oatmeal, or sugar-free muesli.

Go Bananas

Fruit can provide excellent brain fuel, which can help you think faster and remember more easily. You could eat oranges, strawberries, blueberries, or bananas, which are especially popular. Vegetables, raw carrots, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus are good choices.

Brain blockers

On exam day, stay away from foods made of white flour, such as cookies, cakes, and muffins, which require added time and energy to digest. Also avoid foods that are high in refined sugar, such as chocolates, desserts, and sweets.

When eaten alone, carbohydrates make you feel more relaxed than alert. So carbs are a good option for the day before the exam, but not on the actual exam day. In addition, carbs such as rice or potatoes, eaten in large quantities, can make you feel heavy and sleepy.

Avoid foods that a high in sugar, such as chocolate and Coca-Cola. They will send you off on sugar highs and lows — the opposite of stabilising you during your long exam.

Drink brain boosting beverages.

Make sure you drink enough water before and during your exam. Tea also works, though without a lot of sugar. Dehydration can make you lose your concentration, feel faint, and sap your energy. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink a glass of water. If you wait till you’re thirsty, it means your body is already a little dehydrated.

Avoid alcohol completely on exam day. Obviously, you cannot do well on an exam if you are drunk, have a headache, or are feeling nauseous. In general, reduce your drinking around exam time to avoid hangovers, dullness, or excessive fatigue. Avoid caffeine, as it can increase your nervousness..

Consider taking multivitamins.

Most students do not eat a healthy balanced diet. When you survive on pizza, junk food, Red Bull, and coffee, your body ends up with a lack of essential vitamins and minerals. A multivitamin can help. The B vitamins especially strengthen brain functioning. Iron, calcium, and zinc can boost your body’s ability to handle stress.

Don’t Forget to Sleep.

Many students get into the habit of studying late into the night, hoping to cram in a little more information into their already exhausted brains. Instead, on the night before the exam, stop studying in the early evening. After that, take it easy, eat your dinner, lay out your clothes for the next day, pack your bag, take a shower, set a couple of alarms and head to bed early. You’ve done all you can. To function at your best on exam day, you need not only the energy that comes from healthy nutrition, but also the energy that comes from adequate, restful sleep.

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How foods that fail The Food Safety Requirements are controlled in the UK and the EU?

Introduction

This case study aims to analyse how the public institutions in the UK and the EU investigate and control cases of food sale that fail the food safety standards and requirements. The starting point of this case study is the recent inspection of a local health-bar manufacturing company. The producer uses nuts, tree-nuts and dried fruits as ingredients, which have been imported from other countries, both EU and non-EU members. Recently the company launched a peanut butter product. However, while inspecting the samples it was found that the aflatoxin level exceeded accepted limits.

This essay will cover the microbiological background of aflatoxins and their occurrence. Testing for aflatoxins and levels of acceptance will be discussed as well as their impact on health. EU law and corresponding UK laws relating to aflatoxins are also defined and described. Furthermore, the major problems related to the case study are stated and a proposed course of action is discussed in relation to procedures provided by UK law and EU regulations, for national and international incidence. Finally, conclusions are drawn.

Aflatoxins

The fungi Aspergillus flavus, A.parasiticus and the rarer strains A.nomius and A.niger produce secondary metabolites known as Aflatoxins [1]. Aflatoxins are a major concern as they are carcinogenic, mutagenic and immunosuppressive agents found in a large variety of agricultural commodities such as nuts/seeds, fruit and spices [2], Commodities at maximum risk of contamination are corn, peanuts, and cottonseed. While 20 different types of Aflatoxins have been identified, only 4 are essential contaminants of food stocks [2]. All aflatoxins are difuranocoumarins [3] classified into two broad groups: B1, and B2, G1 and G2 depending whether the compound is blue (B) or green-yellow (G) under the UV light. B2 and G2 are dihydroxylated derivatives of B1 and G1 respectively. Two further aflatoxins, known as M1 and M2, are hydroxylated derivatives of aflatoxins found in milk products (both wet and dry) from animals fed on contaminated feedstock, which places dairy produce in the risk category [1].

Aflatoxin poses risks in both developed and developing countries, however, developing nations where subsistence farming is common, especially warm countries are at highest risk. Microbial growth conditions for Aspergillus involve high temperature (52-105F) and high humidity and moisture content. Aspergillus is not an aggressive pathogen however, plants weakened by for example long-lasting drought, can become susceptible to mould inoculation. Developing countries higher levels of contamination, which dramatically increase during storage.

Testing for aflatoxin

Aflatoxins are heat–stable, highly toxic compounds that can survive several food-processing steps, thus their toxicity poses a serious health risk, which means that exposure needs to be limited. Ultraviolet or “black” light testing can indicate contamination as the mycotoxin glows green or blue under UV light at 365nm, but this a non-conclusive, qualitative test. Quantitative testing for aflatoxin include techniques such as thin-layer chromatography (TLC), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and fluorometeric methods. However, aflatoxin testing in food is usually by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, which is sensitive enough to detect contaminate levels in the part per billion [4]. In the case of human exposure to aflatoxins, rapid tests are now available to determine the presence of mycotoxins in urine or blood serum [5].

Impact of aflatoxin on health

Aflatoxin B1, (AFB1) is the most common bioactive agent causing acute or chronic diseases. B1, is genotoxic, which means it can intercalate with the DNA. The main site of intoxication in both humans and other animals is the liver. Aflatoxicosis exposure is associated with necrosis and cirrhosis [6]. Long exposure to aflatoxins increases risk of liver cancer, as the compounds undergo metabolism to form epoxides, which then bond covalently to proteins and DNA. Furthermore, exposure to aflatoxins plays a key role in mutations in the TP53 gene in hepatocellular carcinomas. Research on chemo-preventive drugs is the subject of research however; no direct cure has yet been found [7]. Therefore, it is of high importance to provide appropriate food analysis and relevant legislation to avoid food contamination with aflatoxins.

Legislation in the EU and in the UK

Legislation of the case study requires an appropriate choice of legal acts. In the EU, the European Commission (EC) regulations are a primary legislation acts introduced in the member countries of the EU. The main regulation determining food hygiene standards is regulation (EC) No.852/2004, which states manufacturers must comply with microbiological criteria for foodstuffs (EC) No.852/2004, chapter 4, article 3a [8].

Regulation (EC) No.1881/2006 with amended 165/2010 determines the acceptable aflatoxin levels depending on the type of food or feed [9, 10]. General requirements for the processed food levels are 2µg/kg for aflatoxin B1 and 4µg/kg for the total concentration of aflatoxins. (EC) No.1152/2009 [11] determines the control norms for aflatoxin contamination that have to be carried out with regard to the country of origin. Import of aflatoxin-prone commodities has to be especially thorough in exports from the following countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa and Ghana, due to their climates being ideal for microbial growth, as it is stated in the (EC) No.669/2009. (EC) No. 669/2009 was amended with (EC) No.178/2010, which regulates analysis methods required to be used during investigations into the control of foodstuffs [12, 13].

In the United Kingdom, Food Safety Act from 1990 serves as a main source of domestic legislation [14]. The following case study violates the food safety requirements noted in part II, article 8. To implement the course of action, Food Law: Code of Practice is a main source of detailed information on how to deal with the hazardous food [15, chapter 1.7].

Analysis of the problems

The course of action and a food incident flow diagram are provided in the Food Law: Code of Practice [15]. The level of aflatoxins found within the peanut butter are classified as a biological and chemical food hazard, which is defined as an incident with the potential to cause an effect on human health and safety [15]. The company should provide the Food Authority with information about the extent and scale of hazard. Increased levels of aflatoxins in peanut butter are regarded as a serious localised food hazard. A major problem associated with the case scenario is that the contaminated products might have already entered the market. Responsibility for public health lie with both the Food Authority and the manufacturer and efforts to prevent the poisoned food from being consumed should be foremost. Additionally, other products processed by the company have to be sampled and analysed as well as all machines used for food production. There exists a possibility that other products have been contaminated in the factory, and the contamination does not come from the imported sub-products. The manufacturer should be able to provide documentation on safety and hygienic standards, and also the list of suppliers used for the raw ingredients. Samples from all foodstuffs within the factory will be sent for analysis in order to determine the source of aflatoxins.

Course of action

As a member of the EU, it is essential to perform a risk assessment as soon as the aflatoxin levels were found to be exceeded. The following statements will define the course of action necessary to reduce the public contact with the hazardous substance. Firstly, the affected product must be recalled from the market, and edia sources used to prevent public consumption of purchased food from the affected manufacturer. The source of the contamination must be determined, and examination of other products manufactured by the company – in this case: health-bars will be performed to ensure there is no further contamination. Microbiological control has to be carried out by taking several samples from different series, as the aflatoxin distribution within the products may vary. The variation of toxicity is caused because some peanuts may have higher levels of contamination than others, and homogeneity of aflatoxin is rare in contamination cases. It is important to clearly identify which commodity was the source of aflatoxins in order to limit possible further outbreaks by preventing sale from the particular grower/distributer. The stage of the process at which the foods were contaminated will be investigated to check whether the imported produce was the contaminant. In cases where the raw produce was not the contaminant source, the company’s facilities would undergo inspection to determine at which stage contamination appeared. Another important aspect is to determine the scale and extent of contamination. If the products from this series were already available to consumers, the Food Authority must use an Outbreak Control Plan. The Public Analyst and Food Examiner would be contacted and informed directly after the microbiological contamination was found. Part of the risk assessment is to investigate the consumer demographics at risk of consuming the product, for both the peanut butter and, as a preventative measure, the health-bars too. Cases where the product has been exported to other EU countries will be discussed fully in the next section. It is however of primary importance to contact the place in which the product has entered the EU, whether it is a shipping port or the airport. As a Food Authority inspector, it is also part of the duty to evaluate whether the manufacturer has the ability to cope with the removal of the products from the market. In order to assure the proper flow of information, it is essential to inform the media to spread the news to the customers about the danger [16].

Case: Export of products to other EU member states

For the purpose of emergency situations, such as contaminated produce being exported to other EU member states, the EC introduced a warning system called Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) [17]. The system functions in two main areas: market notification and boarder rejection. The first requires removal of all contaminated products from the market and/or prevention of entry to the market. The border rejection emergencies have to be carried out if the product has not yet entered the EU, so that it can be rejected and sent back to the country of origin or destroyed. This is made easier by Regulation (EU) No 274/2012 [18], which ‘imposes special conditions governing the import of certain foodstuffs from certain non-EU countries due to contamination risk by aflatoxins’ which includes that certain produce may enter the UK only through ‘specific ports or airports approved as designated points of import’ and that consignments of these foodstuffs must be accompanied by a health certificate and results of sampling and analysis. The information gathered in that process are immediately placed in the internet database, allowing other companies to investigate which suppliers have been recorded to fail in the food hygiene standards, these suppliers are subsequently investigate and export of suspect food is stopped. All expenses connected with the emergency are to be paid by the company that brought the contaminated food to the EU market [19].

Conclusion

Aflatoxins are one of the most dangerous compounds found in food and feedstock. The economic impact of this mycotoxin is huge and the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 25% of food crops worldwide are affected. Eating food contaminated with aflatoxin can lead to serious health problems, including liver cancer and increased susceptibility to hepatitis B. Feedstock contamination can lead to dairy products contaminated with the M1 and M2 strains of aflatoxin. Therefore, vigilant monitoring for aflatoxin contamination in food and feedstock is essential for public health and safety. Uk and EU regulations seek to minimise health impact and spread of the contaminants by judicious use of boarder control and consumer access. Aflatoxin affects both human and livestock, ranging from server illness and cancer to death. As well as the terrible consequences to public health, it also affects business livelihood and thus has potentially economically dire consequences, therefore vigilant monitoring of this widespread toxin is imperative not just nationally but worldwide.

References:
Lawley, R, Curtis, L and Davis, J (2008) The Food Safety Hazard Guidebook, RSC Publishing.
S., Selamat, J., and Lioe, H., (2010) Aflatoxin in Raw Peanut Kernels Marketed in Malaysia, Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, Vol. 18, No. 1, Pages 44-50
Wild, C.P. and Turner, P.C. 2002. The toxicology of aflatoxins as a basis for public health decisions. Mutagenesis. 17 (6): 471-481.
Finley, J.W.,Robinson, S.F. and Armstrong, D.J. (1992). Food Safety Assessment. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. pp261-275
Lu, F. C. (2003). Assessment of Safety/Risk vs. Public Health Concerns: Aflatoxins and Hepatocarcinoma. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. 7: 235-238.
Shuaib, F.M.B., Ehiri, J., Abdullahi, A., Williams, J.H. and Jolly, P.E. (2010). Reproductive health effects of aflatoxins: A review of the literature. Reproductive Toxicology. 29: 262-270.
Wild, C.P. and Turner, P.C. (2002). The toxicology of aflatoxins as a basis for public health decisions. Mutagenesis. 17 (6): 471-481.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 852/2004.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1881/2006
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 165/2010
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1152/2009
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 669/2009
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 178/2010
THE FOOD SAFETY ACT 1990 – A GUIDE FOR FOOD BUSINESSES (2009)
Food Law Code of Practice (England) (Issued April 2012)
Food Standards Agency. 2012. Food Law Code of Practice (England).
http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/codeofpracticeeng.pdf , retrieved: 30.01.2013.
Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, RASFF: EC Health and Consumers http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/rapidalert/index_en.htm. Retrieved 6/1/2013
EUROPEAN COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 274/2012
CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands. 2012. EU legislation: Non-compilance with food safety legislation (cases). http://www.cbi.eu/marketintel/EU-legislation-Product-safety-for-food-products-cases-/159355 , retrieved: 30.01.2013.

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Food Law, Food Safety & Risk Management

Introduction

Details needed from Mrs Its Disgusting

In order to make a thorough investigation into the food complaint that has been made by Mrs Its Disgusting, it is necessary to take some details from her so that the actual cause of the complaint can be determined. This is also necessary in establishing whether the bakery in Elsewhere has breached food safety legislation by manufacturing and distributing the scones. Once the relevant information has been gathered, it will then become clear what the best course of action to take is, having regard to the Food Law Enforcement Policies of Somewhere Local Authority. The exact details of the bakery where Mrs Its Disgusting purchased her scone will be needed so that an investigation of the premises can take place. The time and day in which the scone was purchased is also required as well as the details of who served Mrs Its Disgusting. This will enable the correct premises to be identified and will ensure that no time is wasted trying to locate the bakery. It will also be necessary to find out who actually purchased the scone from the bakery and whether it was eaten on the premises or off the premises. The reason this information is needed is because it may affect the duty of care that was owed as shown in Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] UKHL 100.

Furthermore, it will also be necessary to find out whether Mrs Its Disgusting altered the scone in any way by spreading butter and jam onto it or whether she actually purchased the scone like that. This will help to determine liability since there is a possibility that there was no glass in the scone when it left the bakery. Furthermore, it will be necessary to find out whether any other food was purchased from the bakery and the condition of it. It is also important to find out if there is a likelihood that someone could have tampered with the scone subsequent to it being purchased and before Mrs I-D took a bite out of it. In finding this out, Mrs Its Disgusting will need to be asked whether the scone is in its original state and whether it has been kept in a refrigerator or not. Finally, Mrs I-D’s address and telephone number will be needed so that she can be contacted during the investigation and both Mrs Its Disgusting and Mrs I-D will have to sign a food complaint form to state that they are happy for an investigation of the problem to take place and that they will act as witnesses if the Council decide that legal action is appropriate.

The following questions will need to be asked;

Has the food been stored in a safe place
Has the food been tampered with any time after it was purchased
Are there any other packages apart from the one that you have provided me with
Was the scone part of a pack and if so do you have the remaining scones
Could you tell me exactly when and where you purchased the scones and at what time
Can you provide me with specific details as to how you handled the scones from the time of purchase up until you discovered the problem
What did you do with the scone after you discovered the glass
Can you tell me exactly how the food has been stored before and after the problem was discovered
Has you or Mrs I-D been affected by this
What injuries did Mrs I-D sustain as a result of the broken glass and do you have a medical report in relation to this
Are you and Mrs I-D willing to give evidence in court if necessary
Investigation Steps

Once all of the necessary information has been gathered from Mrs Its Disgusting and Mrs I-D it will then be determined whether an investigation is necessary and what steps will need to be taken. Since it is the responsibility of all enforcement authorities within the UK to ensure that food businesses comply with the law (Food Standards Agency, 2011, p. 4) it is evident that an investigation will be needed. This is because, under the Food Safety Act (FSA) 1990 and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations (FHR) 2006 it is an offence for any person to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to one’s health (Rochdale Metropolitan Council, 2012, p. 1). Furthermore, although the food was baked in a bakery in the neighbouring food authority, Elsewhere it will still be appropriate for the enforcement officer in Somewhere Local Authority to investigate this case because this is where the food was actually eaten.

Since Mrs Its Disgusting found glass in a scone she purchased from the bakery it is evident that this would be harmful to her health as this is a serious matter which needs to be dealt with accordingly. Under Reg. 6 (1) of the FHR and section 10 of the FSA it is made clear that an enforcement officer authorised under the FSA may serve a notice on the food business operator ordering them to improve their business if they have reason to believe that the business is failing to comply with the Hygiene Regulations.

In doing so, the officer will thus be required to;

“State the officers grounds for believing that the food business operator is failing to comply with the regulations;
Specify the matters which constitute the food business operators failure to comply;
Specify the measures which the food business operator must take in order to secure compliance; and
Require the food business operator to take those measures within a certain time period” (Reg. 6 (1) (a)-(d)).

In deciding if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the food business operator is failing to comply with the regulations the officer would need to enter the premises and take necessary samples of the food being produced. Under Reg. 14 (1) of the FHR officers are permitted to enter the premises of a food business operator whether they are in or outside the authority’s area. Furthermore, under Reg. 12 the officer will also be permitted to take samples of food or articles so that they can be used as evidence in the event of proceedings. If any samples are taken, the officer will then need to decide whether they should be examined under Reg. 13 and in accordance with their powers under section 9 of the FSA. Regulation EC 178/2002 provides the general traceability provisions which will provided the officer with the ability to trace and follow the food being produced by the baker through all stages of production, processing and distribution (European Commission, 2007, p. 1).

As part of the investigation process, it is also necessary for the enforcement officer to send details of the food complaint to; the manufacturer or importer of the food; the bakery where the food was purchased; and the Elsewhere local authority. This is because, the comments provided by the manufacture of the scones and the bakery may be able to establish what caused the problem and an overview of the precautions normally taken will be provided. In addition, they will also be able to demonstrate what steps will be taken in the future to prevent this from happening again. The Elsewhere local authority will also be able to “provide information on hygiene conditions at the production plant, the precautions taken and how well they usually comply with legal standards” (Embridge Borough Council, 2012, p. 1). Once the investigation has been undertaken, it is then up to the officer to decide whether an offence under the FSA has been committed. Since the bakery has rendered food that is injurious to health, it is likely that an offence under section 7 (b) of the FSA will be found. This is because an article appears to have been used as an ingredient in the preparation of the food which had caused Mrs I-D to sustain injuries.

In deciding whether the appropriate action shall be a warning letter, formal caution or prosecution, the seriousness of the offence and the steps taken to avoid any future mishaps will need to be considered. Regardless of this, however, if the bakery is able to demonstrate that they had taken all reasonable precautions to avoid problems such as this from occurring then they may be able to put forward the ‘due diligence’ defense as provided for under section 21 of the FSA. If it can be shown that the person involved in the sale of the scones had acted with due diligence to prevent the commission of an offence from occurring then that person will not be found negligent (Wild and Weinstein, 2010, p. 627). Because of the broad nature of investigations, it is likely that the process will take a number of months since a lot of in-depth information needs to be gathered. This is because unless all of the relevant information is attained, a proper review of the case cannot be made and the due diligence defense will not be made out. On completion of the investigation, the officer will be required to write to Mrs Its Discgusting informing of the action that shall be taken.

If the matter has been resolved informally during the investigation no further action will be taken and the food business complained of may want Mrs Its Disgusting’s and Mrs ID’s details so that they can send an apology or provide them with compensation. The permission from both ladies will first be needed, however, before any details can be passed on. In deciding what action shall be taken, the officer will need to decide whether the bakery had acted reasonably in order to prevent any risks of contamination and if not a plan of action will need to be devised so that care is taken to “identify and consider the risks of potential sources of contamination in the surrounding environment” (Brennan, 2006, p. 357). Accordingly, suitable controls will need to be developed and implemented so that future contamination is avoided (Sprenger, 2003, p. 229). This will ensure compliance with Regulation 852/2004 which makes it clear that all food business operators must certify the “hygiene of foodstuffs at all stages of the production process, from primary production up to and including sale to the final consumer” (Europa, 2009, p. 1) in order to avoid damage to health. Compliance with Regulation 853/2004 must also be certified which lays down the specific hygiene rules relating to the microbiological criteria for foodstuffs.

Available Options

There a number of different options available for the investigating officer, yet it would be appropriate to serve a notice on the food business ordering them to make necessary changes to the production process in order to avoid a re-occurrence of this problem. This will require the officer to serve a notice on the food business, yet in order to decide what changes need to be made, the officer will be required to interview all those involved with production. Once this has been done, the officer may also want to undertake legal action so that Mrs I-D can make a claim against the food business for breaching their duty of care towards Mrs I-D. In doing so, it will need to be established that the food business did actually owe Mrs I-D a duty of care, that they breached their duty and that the duty caused the harm as in Caparo Industries plc v Dickman [1990] 1 All ER 568. Because Mrs I-D would have been so closely affected by the actions of the food business that they ought to have had her in their contemplation it is clear that they owed her a duty of care. This duty was thus breached by allowing the glass to enter the scone and the glass subsequently caused injury to Mrs I-D’s gums. As a result, it is evident that the food business shall be liable for negligence and that Mrs I-D should be compensated for the damage. This can be settled out of court but if the food business is un-cooperative; legal action will be the next step. And it will therefore be up to the food business to demonstrate that they acted with due diligence (Atwood and Thompson, 2009, p. 346).

References

Atwood, B. Thompson, K. and Willett, C. (2009) Food Law, Tottel Publishing, 3rd Edition.

Brennan, J. G. (2006) Food Processing Handbook, John Wiley & Sons.

Elmbridge Borough Council. (2012) Food Complaints; What we can do about unsatisfactory food, [Online] Available: http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/envhealth/food/foodcomplaints.htm [28 December 2012].

European Commission. (2007) General Food Law – Traceability, Health and Consumers, [Online] Available: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/foodlaw/traceability/index_en.htm [29 December, 2012].

Europa. (2009) Food Hygiene, Summaries of EU legislation, [Online] Available: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/food_safety/veterinary_checks_and_food_hygiene/f84001_en.htm [29 December 2012].

Food Standards Agency. (2011) Making Every Inspection Count, Internal Monitoring Advice for Local Authority Food and Feed Law Enforcement Team Managers, [Online] Available: http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/enforcework/ [27 December 2012].

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. (2012) Food, Pests, Pollution and Food, [Online] Available: http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/health_and_social_care/food.aspx [27 December 2012].

Sprenger, R. A. (2003) Hygiene for Management, London, Highfield Publications.

Wild, C. and Weinstein, S. (2010) Smith & Keenan’s English Law: Text and Cases, Longman, 16th Edition.

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What is the most effective way to develop a sustainable food supply and avoid malnutrition worldwide?

Introduction
Area of research and its relation to food safety and control

Developing ways to avoid malnutrition is the area of research being undertaken for this project because of its relation to food safety and control. Accordingly, food safety and control has been described as, “one part of targeted interventions to reduce malnutrition” (Unnevehr and Hirschhorn, 2000: 32), which thereby signifies the importance of developing more sustainable supply chains. How this can be achieved will be difficult to determine, yet as pointed out by Smith (2007): “Co-operation among food manufacturers, retailers, NGOs, governmental and farmers’ organisations is vital.” Consequently, unless international co-operation is achieved, a sustainable food supply will not be established because insufficient food security is one of the main problems causing malnutrition (World Bank, 2008: 9). Providing underdeveloped countries with access to clean water and sanitation would significantly help to prevent malnutrition because at present; “unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation and hygiene account for around 90 per cent of diarrhoea cases worldwide” (World Bank, 2008: 9). Whilst this could easily be addressed, a substantial amount of money will be needed which could be acquired through public investment (Rosegrant and Meijer, 2002: 11).

Current state of knowledge

Malnutrition, which is generally caused by a lack of nutrients in a person’s diet, most commonly occurs in underdeveloped countries where food is deficient. Nevertheless, malnutrition also occurs in developed countries and is therefore a worldwide problem that needs to be tackled through the creation of a sustainable food supply. Malnutrition has been described by the World Health Organisation as the “greatest single threat to the world’s public health” (Kashyap, 2012: 230). It is therefore vital that nutrition is improved in order to eradicate hunger since this is deemed to be one of the most effective ways to prevent malnutrition. Improving nutrition would require a substantial amount of money, nonetheless, which is why it is important that greater emphasis is placed upon this area so that sustainability within the food supply chain can be attained.

It has been said that at present around “$300m of aid goes to basic nutrition each year. In contrast HIV/AIDS, which causes fewer deaths than child malnutrition, received $2.2 billion” (The Economist, 2008). This is clearly illogical and unless more aid is given to nutrition, malnutrition will continue to be widespread. In order to alleviate global hunger and malnutrition, however, public investment will be required which may be difficult to obtain, yet “without concerted action, 140 million under-five children will be underweight in the year 2020” (Hunt, 2005: 11). Furthermore, in order for most countries to be converted into a developed state malnutrition must first be addressed since this will otherwise stifle economic growth. As such, even though malnutrition occurs mostly in underdeveloped countries, its effects are widespread.

The need for research and understanding of malnutrition

Because of how important improving nutrition within the food supply chain is, it is imperative that sufficient research is conducted within this area. This is because, unless malnutrition can be properly understood, it will be difficult to determine the most effective ways of tackling it. Moreover, a lack of understanding will prevent sustainability challenges from being overcome within the supply chain (Hamilton, 2012) and more effective sustainability practices will not be adopted. This was clearly identified by the World Bank (2008: 9) when it was put forward that; “technical interventions to combat malnutrition already exist. They need to be expanded to scale and placed in a wider multisectoral context.” In addition, because economic growth will be established if nutrition is improved in all countries, both developed and underdeveloped, “it is rational to build approaches that help infrastructure work for the help of the poor, and to scale up successful experience through regional public goods that ensure efficient and equitable sharing of low price, health-enhancing tradable goods” (Hunt, 2005: 35-36).

Outline of the Work

Overall Plan, Aims and Objectives

The objective of the research is to decide on the most effective way to develop a sustainable food supply worldwide so that malnutrition can be avoided. Current practices will thus be examined in order to decide whether they are sufficient or not and the views of experts around the world will be analysed. Accordingly, the study intends to highlight the problems within this area and thus provide a greater understanding of the causes and effects of malnutrition worldwide. Once this has been achieved it will be easy to determine what programs need to be established in order to tackle malnutrition overall.

The research questions that will be asked include;

How can malnutrition be avoided worldwide
How does food safety and control relate to malnutrition
How can nutrition be improved

Experimental Design and Methodology

A secondary approach will be undertaken for this study so that relevant data can be accessed easily. This will save on time and costs which is highly necessary given the time limits for this project. The difficulties associated with primary research will also be eliminated since it would prove extremely problematic if data was to be collected directly from experts around the world. As such, a primary approach would not seem viable in light of the project’s requirements. In conducting the applicable research for this assignment, both quantitative and qualitative research methods will be used which will provide a wider analysis of the topic. This is because, quantitative research enables data to be gathered in numerical form and put into various categories which subsequently provides for the collection of raw data. On the other hand, qualitative research gathers information that is not in numerical form but which consists of descriptive data which is a lot more difficult to analyse than quantitative data. The resources that will be used include text books, journal articles, governmental reports, online databases and relevant websites.

Practical Considerations and Realistic Workload

The time limit is the main consideration that needs to be taken into account since the project will have to be undertaken over a three month period. This is why a secondary approach seems to be more appropriate as fewer problems will arise when carrying out the project. Accordingly, any issues relating to the ethical approval of human subjects will be removed and a straightforward approach will be utilised. Once the applicable research begins, any problems that are encountered should be dealt with in a timely manner by analysing the situation and considering how it can be resolved.

Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes in relation to the project’s aims and objectives

It is expected that the findings of the project will relate to the project’s aims and objectives in that a determination as to the most effective way of avoiding malnutrition will be found. Hence, it will be shown that improving nutrition through additional funding will help to develop a sustainable food supply, yet unless international co-operation is achieved this will be unlikely.

Anticipation of Related and Future Work

It is anticipated that further studies will be conducted in future years relating to the prevention of malnutrition so that its true causes can be identified. Proposals will subsequently be put forward and an overview as to what programs ought to be implemented will be highlighted. This will enable underdeveloped countries to transform into a developed state which will be beneficial to the economy overall.

References

Hamilton, K. (2012) Sustainability in the Food Supply Chain, [Online], Available: http://sustainability.agraevents.com/ [02 December 2012].

Hunt, J. M. (2005) The Potential Impact of Reducing Global Malnutrition on Poverty Reduction and Economic Development, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 14.

Kashyap, S. (2012) Saving Humanity: Swami Vivekanand Perspective, Vivekanand Swadhyay Mandal.

Rosegrant, M. W. and Meijer, S. (2002) Appropriate Food Policies and Investments could Reduce Child Malnutrition by 43% in 2020, Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, [Online], Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12421865 [03 December 2012].

Smith, G. B. (2007) Developing Sustainable Food Supply Chains, The Royal Society Publishing, [Online], Available: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1492/849.full [01 December 2012].

The Economist. (2008) The Starvelings, Malnutrition, [Online], Available: http://www.economist.com/node/10566634?story_id=10566634 [02 December 2012].

Unnevehr, L. and Hirschhorn, N. (2000) Food Safety Issues in the Developing World, Volumes 23-469, World Bank Publications.

World Bank. (2008) Global Monitoring Report, 2008: MDGs and the Environment – Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, World Bank Publications.

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Free Essays

Ethical Consumerism: The Local Food Company

Executive Summary

The report aims to understand the concept of ethical consumerism, with the help of an organisation that operates ethically. The selected organisation is The Local Food Company in the UK. The Local food company is engaged in sourcing and delivery of fresh, local and organic food including fruits and vegetables (organic and non-organic), dairy, grocery baked products and household items. Firstly, the report will provide an introduction to ethical consumerism and ethical products. Secondly, the report will conduct a detailed analysis of The Local Food company ethical activities and its socially responsible business. Thirdly, findings from a short opinion survey based on consumer behaviour are presented, Lastly, the report will conclude with the key findings.

1. Introduction: Ethical consumerism

Consumers are getting more informed with the help of Internet and this is influencing their buying decisions. According to many scholars, the idea of ethical consumerism rose from the end of the 20th century due to increased media and ability to access information, and better availability of products (Newholm and Shaw, 2007). Ethical consumers have political, spiritual, religious, environmental and social motives for purchasing one product over other options (Harrison et al., 2005).

There are two types of purchase behaviour as stated by economists: traditional purchase behaviour and ethical purchase behaviour. People will normally buy the cheapest product but only if they are confident that the product is as good as slightly more costly options available (Beardshaw, 1992 cited in Harrison et al., 2005). This is known as traditional purchase behaviour. Sometimes, customers boycott a certain product or brand and opt for a fair labelled or environmental friendly product as they consider ethical means more important (Harrison et al., 2005). This type of behaviour is termed ethical purchase behaviour. An ethical consumer is not someone who is ignoring price and quality but is applying additional criteria when buying a certain product. Ethical consumerism can be defined as the degree to which the customers prioritise their own ethical concerns when making product choices (Shaw and Clarke, 1998). Ethical consumerism is linked with morality. According to Crane and Matten (2005), morality is related to the norms, beliefs and values embedded in the social processes that aims to define right or wrong for an individual or society. Ethical consumers can boycott a product if they read something unethical about a brand or they can simply purchase products, which are ethically sourced or have ‘fair trade’ tag. Ethical consumers consider the impact of their act of personal consumption on the society and environment. They don’t purchase product that are harmful to environment and respect animal and human rights. For example: purchasing free-range eggs; boycotting products manufactured by child, forced labour or labours who are offered low wages.

There are various products that fall into the ethical category are banking, cleaning, cosmetics & toiletries, dairy, energy finance, fashion, food, insurance, soft drinks, tea industry and travel. According to ethicalconsumer.org (2014), there are over 200 ethical products in different categories. for example, a washing machine to save water and energy, a cooker with the least environmental impact, baby bottle sterilizer and impact of plastic on environment; living wage of worker who manufacture clothes; materials use in shoes-pvc, leather, wool; purchasing a greener desktop computer; milk and animal welfare; low wages in banana industry; lead in lipstick; fair trade flowers; bio detergent for cleaner environment; green or eco insurance companies; mobile phone helping activists; human rights issues in constructing hotels, etc.

2. Review of an ethical organisation: The Local Food Company

The Local food company is engaged in sourcing and delivery of fresh, local and organic food including fruits and vegetables (organic and non-organic), dairy, grocery baked products and household items (The Local Food Company, 2014a). The company aims to source majority of products from Devonshire and West Country. It is a family business operating for over 200 years in Devon. The company is based at farm shop, Countrymen’s Choice at Ivybridge. The company has provided an alternative to supermarket online services. Being a small producer, it is successful as an online retailer. The company has been awarded for its green practices and ethical means of working. It includes Internet retailer of the year in 2006 for the South West, Green business of the year in 2007 and greening Devon finalist in 2007 EDBI awards. The company has proved how to run a sustainable food business. The company states, “At The Local Food Company we believe in a fair deal for our customers, our suppliers, the environment, animals and indeed for ourselves”.

The Local Food Company claims to operate ethically. “The Local Food Company are a very green and ethical business; we believe right now we are the greenest place you will be able to purchase food from in the UK” (The Local Food Company, 2014a). In addition to ethical sourcing of product, a business is also regarded as socially responsible when it fulfil the needs and wants of different stakeholders such as customers, employees, suppliers and investors. Any businesses that incur ethical artefacts attract as well as retain investors, customers and employees. To formulate this aspect, we take into account the Local food company ethical trading policies (The Local Food Company, 2014b). In exercising business ethics aspect, the Local Food Company have registered all employees to trade unions and provided them with fair wages and equal treatment. The company is against child labour, deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure, forcing employees to work excessive hours and discrimination. In addition to this, the company has no tolerance to bribery, blackmailing and bullying aspects among the staff and the consumers (The Local Food Company, 2014b). The Local Food Company has improved working conditions for employees making it safe and hygienic, hence boosting the morale of employees as well as strengthening the bond between the company and consumers preferences based on the products they produce. In some areas, it also operates above the minimum standards required by law in terms of safety of employees, rewards and values. This shows that the company’s main motive is not just to earn profit but also consider their employees’ needs and wants. At Local Food Company, any member of the staff is free to view his or her sentiment and the company usually accepts the sentiment equally without racial prejudice as well as discrimination based on gender. It can be seen that the company works as a socially responsible business in terms of employment practices; different ethical policies of The Local Food company are clearly stated on the website.

The Local food company also promotes and encourages suppliers to follow ethical guidelines. All suppliers signed up have an e logo next to their goods. Also, there is no restriction placed on suppliers. Suppliers are free to sell from anywhere, via any number of outlets to buyers. However, the company monitors supply chain standards for unethical practices. Direct suppliers are asked to sign the acknowledgement of key trading ethical practices (The Local food Company, 2014b). Then after 1 year of work together with supplier, The Local Food Company introduces self-assessment questionnaire to promote ethical practices. Then, the company visits supplier farms on a regular basis to gain understanding of suppliers’ operation. Payment is made on time and done on the basis of market price (The Local food Company, 2014b).

In order to attract customers, the company presents their ethical achievements so that customers can make informed purchasing decisions. The company engages in publishing policies, detailed supplier and product information on their website. In the first two years of trading, the company publishes comprehensive ethical and social charter giving consumers the freedom to access information about ethically sourced products (The Local Food Company, 2014b).

It is good to know that any company within business platform needs to set out ethical guidelines that in turns lead to less risk hence increasing sales output. Based on this point, The Local Food Company in array of business produces various products including Bakery, Dairy, Meat and fish, Fruit and Vegetables, Prepared Ready Meals, Groceries and Drinks and Household items. These products however, are produced based on the standards bureau and local organic food regulations. The company has to ensure that buyers as well as suppliers are free with no restrictions to buy and sell the products anywhere and across the country on any outlets. In this way, the company ethically gives the buyer and suppliers all rights to their preferences without an essence of restrictions. The company has been able to drive business risks through these corporate forms of business to maintain maximal sales profit as far as financial outcomes of the business is concerned (Beauchamp, 2004).

The Local Food Company has played a bigger role in encouraging small producers to implement ethical practices. To ascertain the aspect of ethics, the company exercises the aspect of ‘go green’. The company ensures that all products unveiled to the consumers are in better conditions; with highest order of hygiene and that all materials used are environmental friendly. The company sells food with a low footprint in collection and delivery. They claim to have lowest carbon footprints of all the businesses in the UK (The Local Food Company, 2014c). The company encourages customers to but locally and regionally, and cut food miles. Foods are based on high animal standards and sustainable farming practices. The company provides written guidelines on the waste disposal and insists on recycling programme for the benefit of the consumers. They reduce, reuse, and recycle everything possible.

3. Short opinion survey: what influences consumer buying behaviour

A short opinion survey was carried out from a sample of students at GSM London. Students were asked about the main factors that influences buying behaviour. Most of the students considered the location of the store as an important aspect when purchasing a product. One of the student stated, “I don’t like to travel much for a product and always looking for options available near my location such as Starbucks coffee shop that can be found anywhere”. Some students also considered that they avoid stores that are crowded. Students also considered reading online reviews before making a buying decision. A student said, “If I am planning to buy something, I always search online reviews, if majority of reviews are positive, I make a purchase without thinking of the brand”. Few students mentioned about ethical behaviour in purchasing. They stated that after reading about a brand in news about forced labour or child labour, they boycotted the brand. A group of students mentioned about Rana plaza disaster, which changed the way they purchased products. The disasters resulted in number of deaths and injuries. Consumers regarded this as a serious issue and didn’t purchase from clothing brands that were involved. Students are also influenced by news videos circulating in social media. One of them stated, “I was very much depressed when I saw Peta video of how Chinese worker were handling rabbits for getting angora wool; this video encouraged me to say no to angora wool”.

4. Conclusion

An ethical consumer is the one who applies additional criteria when buying a product. They want to buy a fair-trade labelled or ethically sourced product. They consider the impact of their private consumption on society and environment. An ethical consumer simply boycotts product that are associated with child labour or other unethical activities. There are various products that come into ethical category such as food, clothing, insurance, energy, soft drink tea and finance. One of the companies that claim to be ethical is The Local Food Company, based in Devon in the UK. The company is engaged in selling of bakery products, dairy, meat & fish, fruits & vegetables and household items. The company has been awarded with many green awards. The company acts as a socially responsible organisation and aims to fulfil needs and wants of different stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and employees. Suppliers are encouraged by The Local Food Company to follow ethical procedures in production. They are given the liberty to sell their food via any number of outlets. They are paid on time and treated respectfully. Ethical policies clearly show that company is against child labour and excessive working. The employees are offered safe and hygienic working environment. For customers to choose wisely, the company has listed information on supplier standards and ethical practices on their website. With the development of Internet technology, customers are getting more informed about the products they use or consume. According to the opinion survey conducted, customers make their purchasing decision on the basis of online reviews, location of store and store environment. They also consider ethical factors when buying a certain product. They boycott a brand when they read something bad about a product or say no to product that are against human rights.

5. References

Beauchamp, T. (2004) Case studies in business, society and ethics, 5th edition, Upper saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Crane, A. and Matten, D. (2005) Corporate citizenship: toward an extended theoretical conceptualization, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 30, Issue 1, p166- 179.

Ethicalconsumer.org (2014) Product guides, Last accessed 23rd November 2014 at:

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides.aspx

Harrison, R., Newholm, T. and Shaw, D. (2005) The ethical consumer, 1st edition, Wiltshire: Sage.

Newholm, T. and Shaw, D. (2007) Studying the ethical consumer: a review of research, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Vol.6, Issue 5, p253-270.

Shaw, Deirdre S. and Ian Clarke, (1998) Culture, Consumption and Choice: Towards a Conceptual Relationship, Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, Vol. 22, Issue 3, p163-168.

The Local Food Company (2014a) Welcome to the Local Food company, Last accessed 23rd November 2014 at:

http://www.thelocalfoodcompany.co.uk/

The Local Food Company (2014b) Ethical Policy, Last accessed 24th November 2014 at:

http://www.thelocalfoodcompany.co.uk/p/ethical-policy

The Local Food Company (2014) Environmental issues, Last accessed 24th November 2014 at:

http://www.thelocalfoodcompany.co.uk/p/about-us/about-environmental-issues

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Free Essays

Determining the Right Quantity of Food (Home Remedy) To Give a Diabetic Patient In Case Of a Hypoglycaemic Episode

Introduction

This project is concerned with an innovation that would enhance care delivery in the community. The area of focus is the hypoglycaemic effects on diabetes patients and the use of home remedies to manage hypoglycaemia. Diabetic patients know what kinds of food they have to consume to keep healthy, and how to restore their blood sugar levels in case of a hypoglycaemic episode. According Frier and Schernthaner (2011), people may know the right food to give or take, but most do not know the right quantity. The biggest challenge, however, lies with those family members who may not even be aware of the right food and quantity of carbohydrates that push the blood sugar to the accepted levels (Ali, 2011; Boughton, 2011; Onwudiwe et al., 2011). Usually, it is recommended that patients take fast-acting carbohydrates with 15-20 gms of carbohydrates. The blood sugar level is rechecked after 15 minutes, which prompts another dose of 15-20 gms if the blood sugar level is still low (Fonseca, 2010). Determining the right quantity of food that contains 15-20 gms of fast-acting carbohydrate is a challenge (Onwudiwe et al., 2011; Ali, 2011). Consequently, an innovation that can easily guide people on how to handle instances of hypoglycaemic attacks at home using the right quantity of household ingredients will ensure that such attacks are handled appropriately.

The Innovation

Health care delivery can be enhanced through a variety of means depending on available resources, ideas and the patient’s health conditions. In this research, focus is on diabetic patients who suffer from hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is a condition of low sugar levels than the recommended (Boughton, 2011). These patients can suffer from hypoglycaemic episodes anytime and anywhere. Because of that, their families, friends and other people around them should be aware of a quicker way to handle the situation. There are proposed means of getting out of the hypoglycaemic episode which includes taking foods and drinks that have fast acting carbohydrates (15-20gms). This is the best home remedy to the condition. Foods always recommended include; coke, table sugar, fruit juice, raisins, Lucozade, and many more (Boughton, 2011). The problem is, people may be aware of these fast-acting carbohydrates, but do not know the right quantity to take or give the patient suffering from hypoglycaemia (Boughton, 2011). The new idea is to provide a leaflet containing the quantity of fast-acting carbohydrates that these patients should receive. Examples are; eight ounces of skimmed milk, four ounces of soda or fruit juice, and five-six life savers candies.

Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia is the state of low blood sugar in the body. For diabetic patients, it is the episodes of abnormal low plasma glucose concentration that can cause harm to the patient. It occurs when there is too much insulin or too little glucose in the body all which may be due to; eating less than usual, taking too much insulin, more exercise than normal, eating later than usual, and medication interaction or due to an illness (Frier, Heller & McCrimmon, 2013).

According to Yakubovich & Gerstein (2011), hypoglycaemia can either occur with or without symptoms. If the blood glucose level of a diabetic patient is ?70 mg/dL, then the patient should be concerned about hypoglycaemia and take necessary measures to increase the blood glucose level (Yakubovich & Gerstein, 2011), since they are likely to suffer from life threatening conditions such as insulin shock. Hypoglycaemia is a common problem among diabetic patients. Boughton (2011) posits that both diabetes type I and II patients can experience hypoglycaemic episodes several times a week. Briscoe and Davis (2006) also postulate that about 90% of patients who use insulin experience hypoglycaemic episodes. Hypoglycaemia is commonly a complication of diabetes treatment. Current treatment guidelines recommend intensive glycaemic control. Hypoglycaemia, however, is a threat to the achievement of this state, both because of its occurrence and incidence. The need for intensive glycaemic control proved that some microvascular complications and some macrovascular complications could be reduced by comprehensive metabolic control. This kind of control cannot be achieved when the available treatment regimens cause hypoglycaemia (Briscoe and Davis, 2006). Because of the regularity of occurrence and the high likelihood of such episodes occurring at home, school or far away from the hospitals, diabetic patients should have a quick way of managing them. A common way of managing hypoglycaemic episodes is by administering fast acting carbohydrates. This will ensure increased body sugar levels (Briscoe and Davis, 2006). Leaflets provide access to such information easy and quick. They also act as health promotional devices.

Why Is It An Innovation?

People may have the needed ingredients to stop a hypoglycaemic attack around them, but making use of these ingredients can be limited if they lack knowledge. There are health sources with information about fast-acting carbohydrates and the right quantity that should be taken in case a diabetic patient suffers a hypoglycaemic episode at home. The main problem is that these foods may be available randomly, and not all their quantities can be remembered easily. Additionally, one may think that he/she has the right quantity to give the patient, yet such a quantity can be confused by the other. It is from such a problem that the proposition to develop a leaflet containing the recommended quantity was developed. With such leaflets at home, anybody can help the patient.

The Need for the Innovation

This innovation is one of the ways of preventing the damaging effects of hypoglycaemia. If a diabetic patient can detect low blood glucose levels early enough, the detrimental effects of hypoglycaemia that have been documented can be reduced. Hypoglycaemia has been associated with increased risk of mortality (Kalra et al., 2013; Werner, 2013; Mccoy et al., 2012; Cryer, 2012; Frier, Schernthaner & Heller, 2011; Yakubovich & Gerstein, 2011, Heller, 2008). There are studies that have directly found links between hypoglycaemia and high mortality rates in diabetic patients and those that link it directly through other complications. According to Mccoy et al., (2012), severe hypoglycaemia has been associated with 3.4 times increased threat of death. This was a conclusion obtained from self-reports on hypoglycaemia. Additional information from patient-reported hypoglycaemia from hospitals could only mean that the risk is higher (Mccoy et al., 2012). Any health management officer would think of preventing hypoglycaemia so that this increased risk is reduced. One way of preventing it is through access to relevant information about its management. This proposed idea will contribute to the reduction of severe hypoglycaemic cases that may then lead to death.

The same information about 3.4 fold risks is communicated in Cryer (2012). The

study also indicates that hypoglycaemia is an impeding factor in the glycaemic management of diabetes. It damages the defences that can protect an individual from subsequent hypoglycaemia, therefore, causes recurrent hypoglycaemia. It causes morbidity in many with advanced type II diabetes and in most people with type I diabetes. It prohibits the maintenance of euglycemia and reduces the quality of life; the benefits of glycaemic control are never realized by the patient. Cryer (2012) also reviewed information from various reports about hypoglycaemia and found out that one in every ten or one in every twenty-five people with type I diabetes die from hypoglycaemia. It concluded that hypoglycaemia episodes need not to be life threatening for them to cause devastating effects (Cryer, 2012). This only emphasises the impact that this proposed innovation may have on diabetes patients. It has the potential of preventing any devastating effects, including death.

Hypoglycaemia also has other health effects, for example, the effect on the cardio -vascular system, which in turn contributes to increased mortality. According to Frier, Schernthaner and Heller (2011), hypoglycaemia cause hemodynamic changes such as peripheral systolic blood pressure, and increased heart rate, reduced peripheral arterial resistance, a fall in central blood pressure and increased stroke volume, myocardial contractility and cardiac output. If such high work load finds an already weakened heart, like the ones found in type II diabetic patients with coronary heart disease, dangerous consequences should be expected. Hypoglycaemia has also been associated with abnormal electrical activity in the heart, therefore, has high chances of causing sudden death (Frier, Schernthaner & Heller, 2011; Yakubovich & Gerstein, 2011). All these evidences support the importance of preventing hypoglycaemia, at all levels. Prevention or good maintenance of blood glucose levels can enhance the quality of life.

Risks and Benefits of the Innovation

Provision of the leaflets is a way of providing high-quality information recommended for self-care and helps in decision-making. In this case, there will be a variety of fast-acting carbohydrates with the right quantities. A patient may get tired of taking non-diet soda all the time, and decide on other options such as fruit juice, glucose tablets, and honey. The leaflets will improve: health literacy, clinical decision making, patient safety, care experience, self-care, service development, and access to health advice for both the patient and the family members (Greenwood, 2002).

Research evidence has shown that chronic conditions cause anxiety, but understanding of the condition and how to manage and treat it improves the ability of the patient to cope with the condition or to recover from it. It is for this reason that the leaflets with information on what to take when attacked by an episode of hypoglycaemia are very important for diabetic patients. Patient information leaflets merge information (Lowry, 2005). The leaflets also act as health promotion devices and will assist nurses in their health education and promotional activities (Greenwood, 2002).

This innovation has other advantages, such as they contain information relevant for the individual, ensure consistency of information, are cheap and easy to produce and can be easily updated. This proposed innovation would also allow readers to work through their own pace. According to Lowry (2005), they provide the carer and the patient with a focus for shared knowledge and discussion, and can also be used as a resource to healthcare organizations for informing their new staff members.

In order to ensure that the leaflets have specific information specific to an individual patient, it will make use of a structure that allows for a variety of options to be included.

Disadvantages of Leaflets

Some are usually produced for general issues, therefore not individualised. This may be a problem to diabetic patients who need special attention or have specific restrictions when it comes to taking some fast acting carbohydrates. Some may be allergic to some foods. This may not be a problem in this case since the leaflet will provide a variety of food and their quantities.

The leaflets can remain unused unless those they are meant for are motivated to use them. In the case of managing hypoglycaemia among diabetic patients, for those who do not suffer hypoglycaemia, these leaflets may remain unused. To avoid this problem, here will be monitoring of the use of the leaflets (Lowry, 2005). The leaflets may do more harm than good if they are badly produced. There are specific recommendations on how to produce a health information leaflet. If the leaflets are, for example, produced in a manner that can lead to the misconception of information, they may not achieve their aims as expected (Lowry, 2005). This will be avoided by a series of tests with the draft leaflet to ensure they are not misunderstood.

Leaflets can be lost or misplaced easily. A proposed idea to eliminate this is to encourage the users to stick some of them on walls where they can easily be seen and have others in their bags, or wallets. Those that require professional attention may take longer to update and may also be costly. It needs some groundwork done before the resource is developed. As in the case of the proposed leaflet, there will be the groundwork needed to determine those with diabetes in the community, the number of the patients, and complications that they suffer. Groundwork will also find out about the family members around, their current self-care practices, and other important information that can inform the development of this health promotional resource (Lowry, 2005).

Potential Resources Needed to Implement the Innovation

A research study will be conducted on the community to find out the number of people with diabetes, what they know about hypoglycaemia and how they currently manage the episodes. There is also need to prepare for an education program for these people and their family members on how to manage such episodes and get the neighbours, and friends involved. One can experience a hypoglycaemic episode unexpectedly and can need help. It is important to know how to relay relevant information, and quick to the person that the patient may seek help. Resources needed, therefore, are;

Field researchers or interviewers

Health educators or just nurses

Financial resources to undertake the research and educational program activities

The innovation development and implementation have about five main stages. There is the planning stage, the writing stage, conducting final checks, the consultation, and finally the distribution stage.

Planning

This is the initial preparation stage where the leaflet developer will consider the kind of information he or she will need, and for what purpose, the kind of resources, needed and the people who will be involved. It will entail identification of those who will be involved and how each of them will be involved, for example, the research will need interviewers who will seek specific information from the patients. The person has to state why specific information is needed from a clinician, patient or carers. It is while planning that the individual should review all relevant and available information from relevant sources, for example, the NHS, peer-reviewed journal articles and Diabetes associations. He or she should also think of distribution methods, for example, if the leaflets will be given to the patients directly, placed on the rack where they can easily be accessed, emailed, or even just posted (NHS, 2008).

Writing

This stage involves writing down patient information and assessing its effects. One can look for recommended frameworks to guide the development of patient information. With the evidence from previously conducted research, the leaflet should contain the right information and should be easy to read. It involves a series of writing and testing until the right product is finally produced. When assessing readability, the developer can check the draft against leaflet development guidelines, and then check with team members, and maybe members of the public. When assessing whether it is good for patients, the developer can test it on people who are not familiar with the condition. The draft can also be checked by clinicians, patient support groups, experts, to confirm that it is right for the targeted patients (NHS, 2008).

Conducting Final Checks

Whatever is to be done in this stage depends on the contents in the leaflet and the purpose of producing such leaflets. In this proposed innovation, the leaflets are meant to improve patient self-care. Final checks may include confirming the patients’ and family members’ numbers and checking if the information conflicts with other information from influential and reliable health sources (NHS, 2008).

Consultation

In this stage, the draft is given to the patients and interested groups for feedback. Changes can be made depending on the responses received from the parties (NHS, 2008).

Distribution

This stage is all about identifying the right distribution strategies in relation to the aim of developing the leaflets. For example, if the leaflets are meant for improving self-care, the healthcare professional will have to think of how these leaflets will reach the targeted patients. The perfect method is to deliver each leaflet to each patient and family members after consultation with them, and educating them on its benefits. They should also be informed about the whole project of improving health care delivery. The stage also involves monitoring to identify how the information is used, and if there is a need for any improvements (NHS, 2008). Additional resources that will be needed are; writing materials, human resource for distribution, and financial resources for distribution and other project activities such as testing the leaflet draft.

Implementation Difficulties

There are no current implementation difficulties except for finding adequate resources to conduct the research in the community and identify the patients. It may also be difficult to convince all diabetes patients to come to educational programs on how to manage hypoglycaemia alongside the management of diabetes. According to the NHS guideline, the best approach is educating the patients and their families on a one-on-one basis, but this is expensive and time consuming. It may depend on the patients’ visit to the hospitals, which is an unsure way of reaching the patients.

Leadership and Management Skills Needed

The leadership and management skills belong to one category of management which is; project management. Under this category, these skills can again be classified under technical project management skills, general management skills, and leadership skills (Hallows, 2002). Technical project management skills are such as project planning and execution skills. Planning skills gives one the ability gather and assess information for estimates, identify dependencies, develop a work breakdown structure, assign and level resources, and analyse the risks among other abilities. Project execution skills give one the ability to develop estimates at completion, gather and evaluate data, prepare meaningful reports, and monitor the progress of the project (Hallows, 2002). These technical skills are very important for planning and execution of the proposed project. Project leadership skills involve managing the expectations and relationships of the participants. Hallows (2002) indicates that project management leadership requires the ability to engage the main stakeholders involved in the project in each phase. An example, is, in the planning stage, the project manager has to get all the relevant departments involved, and any other parties that will be involved. Like in the leaflet development case, the project manager has to find a way of engaging the patients, the carers, family members and the health care organization supporting or sponsoring the project. The project manager can decide when it is necessary to share ideas, and the communication strategy that is necessary for attainment of the objectives of the project (Hallows, 2002). The project manager of this proposed project should have the ability to convince others about the benefits of the project, and explain the value of their roles. General management skills are such as; the ability to listen, delegate, goal setting, time management, communications, negotiation, and meeting management. There is also the need for human resource management skills. Project planning and implementation will require people to perform different duties. The performance of the project depends on the employees’ activities, without good management skills, the outcome of the project may be affected negatively (Hallows, 2002).

References

Ali, Z. H. (2011). Health and Knowledge Progress among Diabetic Patients after Implementation of a Nursing Care Program Based on their Profile. Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism, 2:121.

Boughton, B. (2011). Patients with Diabetes Lack Knowledge about Hypoglycemia.

Medscape Medical News. Retrieved from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/740881

Briscoe, V. J. and Davis, S. N. (2006). Hypoglycemia in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes:

Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Management. Clinical Diabetes, 24 (3): 115-121.

Cryer, P. E. (2012). Severe Hypoglycemia Predicts Mortality in Diabetes, Diabetes Care. 35(9):

1814-1816.

Fonseca, V. (2010). Diabetes: Improving Patient Care. New York: Oxford University Press.

Frier, B. M., Heller, S. and McCrimmon, R. (2013). Hypoglycaemia in Clinical Diabetes. (3rd

Ed.). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Frier, B. M., Schernthaner, G. and Heller, S. R. (2011). Hypoglycemia and Cardiovascular Risks.

Diabetes Care, 34(2): S132-S137.

Greenwood, J. (2002). Employing a Range of Methods to meet Patient Information

Needs. Nursing Times. Retrieved from:

http://www.nursingtimes.net/employing-a-range-of-methods-to-meet-patient-information-needs/200054.article.

Hallows, J. E. (2002). The Project Management Office Toolkit. New York: AMACOM Div

American Mgmt Assn.

Heller, S. (2008). Sudden Death and Hypoglycaemia. Diabetic Hypoglycemia, 1(2): 2-7.

Kalra, S., Mukherjee,J. J., Venkataraman, S., Bantwal, G., Shaikh, S., Saboo, B., Das, A. K. and

Ramachandran, A. (2013). Hypoglycemia: The Neglected Complication. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 17(5): 819–834.

Lowry, M. (2005). Knowledge that Reduces Anxiety: Creating patient information leaflets.

Professional Nurse, 10 (5): 318-320.

Mccoy, R. G., Van Houten, H. K., Ziegenfuss, J. Y., Shah, N. D., Wermers, R. A. and Smith, S.

(2012). Increased Mortality of Patients With Diabetes Reporting Severe Hypoglycemia. Diabetes Care. 35(9):1897-1901.

NHS. (2008). Quality and Service Improvement Tools. Retrieved from:

http://www.institute.nhs.uk/quality_and_service_improvement_tools/quality_and_service_improvement_tools/patient_information.html

Onwudiwe, N. C., Mullins, C. D., Winston, R. A., Shaya, F. T., Pradel, F. G., Laird, A. and

Saunders, E. (2011). Barriers to Self-management of Diabetes: A qualitative Study among Low-income Minority Diabetics. Ethnicity & Disease, 21: 27-32.

Werner, J. (2013). Diabetic Status, Glycaemic Control & Mortality in Critically Ill Patients.

ESICM News. Retrieved from:

http://www.esicm.org/news-article/Article-review-ESICM-NEXT-Diabetic-status-Glycaemic-Control-Mortality-WERNER.

Yakubovich, N. and Gerstein, H. C. (2011). Serious Cardiovascular Outcomes in Diabetes: The

Role of Hypoglycemia. Circulation, 123: 342-348.

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Nutritional Value of Menu Items At a Local Fast-Food Restaurant

In my pursuit to investigating the balancing the qualities of healthy choices of fast food restaurants were a challenging venture. During a recent visit to McDonalds, I ordered a healthy menu and then selected a very unhealthy menu. My choices included for the healthy choice a rice shrimp burger, side salad, vanilla reduced fat ice cream cone, and Dasani water.  In my selection of an unhealthy selection I chose a Big Mac, large fries, Mcfurry with Oreo cookies, and a large coca-cola drink. The assessment of my analysis provided an interesting result to the pursuit of a nutritional value meal.

In my selection of my healthy selection, I discovered that McDonalds provided an easier approach to being able to select a more nutritional food selection compared to other fast food restaurants (McDonalds, 2008). The healthy selection calorie intake was less than 500 which on a world platform is a great attribute for McDonalds to develop and incorporate an excellent healthy meal. The healthy selection was tasty and fulfilling that was surprising for a fast food restaurant. However, the ingredients were not sacrificed in order to make the healthy food selection with low calories which was a good marketing decision at McDonalds.

The unhealthy selection posed a greater challenge due to the higher calorie but the taste was slightly more fulfilling with a huge guilt after taste due to the 1,000 calorie meal. The difference was the feeling of self indulgence to an extreme that was both satisfying and somewhat uncomfortable. However, those feelings did not prevent the challenging temptation to stop eating the unhealthy menu selection.

In the future, the fast food restaurants could create a marketing angle that ignites a strong sense of identification and acceptance depending on the social environment. For instance, on the healthy choice a marketing plan that provides an emphasis on a surprising taste of trying something new, rather than the ordinary. The imagery of the marketing ad or commercial should present a creative and alluring concept in order to entice the viewer to indulge in a new experience by making a more nutritional choice.

In regards, to the marketing angle for the unhealthy selection the marketing angle can focus showcasing a back drop of self-indulgency that goes along with the sensation eating the item. In doing so, the viewer can relate the two and make a concise choice to select the unhealthy item over the healthy one. The key is the effective translation of marketing the extreme in either selection that relates to the selection – that encourages participating in enjoying the menu item.

References

McDonalds Inc. (2008) Official International Website. Retrieved from http://www.mcdonalds.com

 

 

 

 

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Nutrition and food science: energy balance

Nutrition in general is a concern for adolescents, who are entering a stressful, confusing, and sometimes frightening time of social, emotional, and physical development. Healthy diet and regular physical activity help children and adults feel better, learn and work more effectively, and avoid developing a variety of risk factors for disease. The key to weight control or weight management is keeping energy intake (food) and energy output (physical activity) in balance; that is energy balance.

Read also: Domestic Activities and Chemicals

When you consume only as many calories as your body needs, your weight will usually remain constant. If you take in more calories than your body needs, you will put on excess fat. If you expend more energy than you take in you will burn excess fat. The relationship of energy balance to body weight can be summarized by the following equations:
Energy Intake = Energy Output = Weight Maintenance

Energy Intake > Energy Output = Weight Gain

Energy Intake < Energy Output = Weight Loss

Weight management means keeping your body weight at a healthy level. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are a must when it comes to controlling your weight. A weight management plan depends on whether you are overweight or underweight. Many people mistakenly believe that they only “burn calories” when they exercise. In fact, your body is burning calories all of the time (yes, even when sleeping!). Calories are used to keep

basic body functions going, to metabolize the foods you eat, and to do any form of physical activity. Exactly how many calories people need varies, depending on such factors as gender, current body size, activity level and body weight goals a wise choice to achieve a healthy weight. A safe, tried-and-true method for long-term weight loss is to reduce calories by decreasing portion sizes when people tend to eat. When trying to lose weight or hold steady at a desired one, there’s no need to turn to the latest “diet” or outcast your favorite foods. Small changes to your diet and exercise routine can make a big difference.

A healthful eating plan can include all your favorite foods if they are in reasonable amounts and balanced out with daily physical activity. Aerobic physical activity, if no health prohibitions, will assist in increasing muscle tissue and also in burning calories. However, care should be taken not to exercise more frequently and more intensely that is required for good health or to compete well.

Physical activity should be balanced with diet to maintain a desired weight. Experts have come to believe that this approach of weight management is reasonable and promising. No proven side effects, however, success of weight efforts should be evaluated according to improvements in chronic disease risk factors or symptoms and by the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, not just by the number of pounds lost/gain.

But if you are over 40, have been inactive for some time, suffer from shortness of breath or weakness that interferes with daily activities, or suffer from a chronic condition, you should consult a physician before you begin any effort to reduce your weight or increase your activity level. Education may be necessary for an understanding of energy balance and basic nutrition principles.

REFERENCE

Atkins, R. (1981). Dr.Atkins: Nutrition breakthrough. New York, U.S.A: Bantom Books.

 

 

 

 

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Kudler Fine Foods E-Commerce Website

Kudler Fine Foods E-Commerce Website Kudler Fine Foods E-Commerce Website * Introduction “E Commerce is one of the most important facets of the Internet to have emerged in the recent times. Ecommerce or electronic commerce involves carrying out business over the Internet with the assistance of computers, which are linked to each other forming a network. To be specific, ecommerce would be buying and selling of goods and services and transfer of funds through digital communications” (Benefits of Ecommerce”, 2007).

With the launch of Kudler Fine Foods new eCommerce solution quickly approaching, this is an exciting time for Kudler and its staff. The benefits of this expansion will not only increase revenue for the company, but afford the opportunity to create new jobs and provide a new range of services to all customers. From the customer’s perspective, everything will start from the Kudler Fine Foods homepage. The home page will maintain the original look and design, but the customer will notice two new additions when visiting. The first addition will be a “shop” link included in the navigation bar.

This will bring the customer into the store’s inventory of items available for online purchase. These new features and services will now be explained, as well as a step by step walk through the customer will experience when making online purchases. Shop When Shop is selected in the navigation toolbar at the top of the website the user opens a new webpage. This webpage is the “shop” page where the user sees a dropdown box giving them the following categories to choose from: Bakery, Meat and Seafood, Produce, Cheese and Dairy and final Wine.

After selecting the category the user will then click on the “shop” button to the right. They will then be sent that category webpage to make their purchases. Purchase of Items To purchase items the user will see the category webpage where there is a list of all the products offered for this category. Each item will have a description of the product and the price of each item. There is an “add” button at the end of each item description where the user can choose to purchase this item by “clicking” on the add button.

At the top of each category page the user has the option to go to the other category pages by clicking on the “go to” button for each category listed on that button. At the bottom of each page there are two buttons to choose; View Cart and Checkout. View Cart View cart allows the user to see all the items that they have chosen to purchase. A list of each item with their price will be shown. At the end of each item row there is a “remove” button where the user can remove the item from the list. This is the only location the user can remove their items they have chosen to purchase.

At the bottom of this page there are buttons to choose to go to the other category pages or to checkout page. If the user chooses to go to another category and selects and item from that page, it will be added to the view cart page. Even if the user goes all the way back to the “home” page they can start looking at other categories and each item will be added to the shopping cart where it can be seen on the view cart page. After the user has made all their choices to purchase, they can click on the “checkout” button at the bottom of the page to finalize their purchase.

Checkout The checkout page is the final page the customer will need to go to in order to finish their purchase. Here the customer can see all of the items they have selected along with the total of the purchase they are about to make. It they want to remove an item they will need to go back to “view cart” where they can remove the item. Under the list and total of the items to be purchased, there is a form to fill out. This form is the Payment Information form needed to finish the purchase. Here the customer will input their Name, Address, Town/City, State and Zip code.

Then they will select from the dropdown box which credit card they plan to use to make the purchase. After selecting the credit card, there is a box for the credit card number to be entered. After the customer enters in their credit card number, they can either choose the “submit” to finish the purchase or choose the “reset” button to clear out the form. If they choose to reset the form, the information will be deleted and they may begin a new ordering process. Marketing our website/promote website Marketing in e-commerce is just as important as the site itself.

That brings us to how we can add code into our site to help make us more visible to search engines; meta data is what is used to make us visible to our customers. “Meta data is, quite simply, data about data. Your document is nothing but a piece of data for a search engine, and meta data helps describes and categorizes it. Webmasters place meta data inside their HTML documents, to help improve their ranking on search engines, and to help end-users locate their site” (“Marketing Your Website : Meta Data”, 1999).

We will put a description meta tag and keyword metadata tag on each of the webpages we have made for the shopping feature. This way each category will be part of the web search when a customer is looking for one of our products. The metadata tags we are going to use will be the “description”, “keyword” (these will be on all webpages); “author”, “content-type”, “refresh” and “revised” tags (only one the shop page). The description tag lets you put the title of the page when the keyword tag is where you can put important keywords to be found when search engine can find it easier.

The author tag shows all that look at our website who created it. The content-type tag shows what we used such as text, html and the UTF8. The refresh one allows the page to refresh at the time limit we set for each page. Then revised will show who ever has to update or modify the shopping pages will know when they were last done making it easier to keep up with the alterations. SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing a website so it will position well in search engines results. “This means designing your web pages so the search engines will find the right keywords in your web page content.

Optimization is all about making sure the search engines will find information that will increase the chance of your page being included in search results”(“How to promote a website as part of the website design”, n. d. ). some ways to help in this area to make the site more visible include but not limited to include the main keywords in the website title, more keywords in the website description, keywords in the sidebar links, keywords in the content text, be sure all pages are reachable, and pages should be easy to navigate. A website can be submitted to search engines so they will know about it.

This used to be a necessary step to notify search engines about new websites. Now search engines constantly monitor the Internet for new web pages (and changed web pages) so they will discover your website. “To ensure that your fresh content or site improvements don’t languish un-indexed, submit to Google an XML sitemap, which shows your site’s coding, each time you do an update. Google will help you correct any errors in the sitemap to make its indexing more accurate, and will crawl your site more often if you routinely send it XML sitemap updates. ” (McElgunn, J. )

It is still a good idea to submit your website to all four major search engines (AOL, Google, MSN, and Yahoo) because these four primarily are the ones used for most Internet searches. Another way to increase the SEO for Kudler Fine Foods is with a Facebook page since they are used to get consumers from a social media. Creating a Facebook page for Kudler Fine Foods and getting the consumer to click on “like” on the page will boost the way the SEO ranks there website. Facebook is another way to notify customers of deals being offered so they will want to check them out on their website.

More consumers viewing their website will move them to the top faster. We will add the Facebook logo to the top of each page so the customer can access it from the website. Publish/upload website Once the website has been created, the testing is complete, and the site is ready to go live we need to upload the files to our web server so our customers can start accessing and using the site. One easy option we can use is a program called FileZilla which uses an FTP (file transfer protocol) or we can use a web design product from the host that can upload all the files easily.

With the FTP option we have to manually upload each file we want to use. If using a web design product it will upload everything you have at one time. “Be sure to thoroughly test the website after the upload to be sure all necessary files were successfully uploaded and work correctly. When you need to update a web page you can just upload that page (and related files) and the upload will overwrite the old files. NOTE – Some web design software products save web pages in their own unique file format and automatically convert the files to web format files (e. . HTML) when the upload/publish function is used. If you are going to use FTP software for your uploads, you will first need to do a save-as/export for the web page files to create HTML files. It is a good idea to save these files in a separate folder to make the FTP file selection easier as the web design unique format files do not need to be uploaded. Also, if you use FTP software for your uploads you must also upload files and graphics used by the webpage” (“How To Publish/upload Web Pages”, n. d. )”. Resource: Benefits of ecommerce. 2007). Retrieved from http://www. ecommerceprogram. com/ecommerce/benefits-of-ecommerce. asp How to publish/upload web pages. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. doawebsite. com/publish. html How to promote a website as part of the website design. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. doawebsite. com/promote. html Marketing your website : Meta Data. (1999). Retrieved from http://www. davidreilly. com/topics/electronic_commerce/web_marketing/meta-data. html McElgunn, J. Google Grabbers. Profit, Mar2008, Vol. 27 Issue1, p56-57, 2p.

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The Way Food Plays Roles in Our Lives

The role food plays in our social lives There are many roles in which food could play in our social lives. Food can unite people for special events and occasions, such as holidays and get together. Public restaurants can also play a role in our daily lives and I would compare them. To start, food can unite people in special occasions. Thanksgiving is a great holiday in which food is a big part of. In Thanksgiving everyone from each house hold brings a dish to the house where it is being held.

Then, once every dish has arrived, it is time to eat together in each other’s company to give thanks and blessings, most of the time for being able to have the food that they have in their table. Another great holiday where food can unite people is Christmas. Food plays a big role in Christmas, besides receiving gifts; it unites the family for one big dinner. For example, in my family we cook a pig all day long and at night when it’s cooked the family gather together for the big meal of the night.

Usually, during our meal we converse about things going on in our lives while eating all the different dishes the women in our family specialize in. Food can help comfort and unite people together in holidays and special events. Then come public restaurants that all pass by on our rides to work or school. One of the public restaurants is McDonalds. McDonalds is a fast food chain that is not good for you one bit but the thing that makes people coming back is the prices and speed the food comes out.

The reason McDonalds is not good for you is the way they get there meat and chicken from unhealthy ways. For example, they give the chicken chemicals so they could get bigger than normal, which give then more chicken. Another public restaurant is outback steak house. Outback is a great restaurant and a favorite of many people due to their great quality of food and service. There steaks are a great quality of meat and it is always cooked to perfection. Their service is always great whenever I go.

People also enjoy the Australian feel to the restaurant which makes it unique to other restaurants. Another public restaurant is Dunkin Donuts where they can start your day off with whatever you desire. Their coffee is pretty good when it comes to other restaurants. Another great thing about Dunkin Donuts is the bagels and donuts. They have a variety of different flavored bagels and donuts so you will never be disappointed when you go to choose one. Then when it comes to both private and public places there are many similarities and differences.

One of the similarities is that you get to spend time eating with your family. Sitting down and eating makes you enjoy time with your family and talk about each other’s lives. For example, when I eat at a public or private place I eat with my family and talk about things in our lives. Another similarity is that you are feeding your body because without food you would not live in this world. It also has many differences like you cook your own food at family dinners and not at restaurants.

Some people love to put their own seasoning on their meat instead of the restaurants seasoning. Another difference that the food at home is healthier then the fast food place like McDonalds because in reality anything is healthier then fast food chains. There also just a more of a family feel to the dinner when it’s in a private place like at a family holiday party. In conclusion, you have your private occasions where you eat in a family setting ad there is a public setting when it’s more open. They are both different and similar in many ways.

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Regulating Food Advertising and Freedom of Speech

Essay 2, Summary and Response Regulating Food Advertising and Freedom of Speech Perspectives on Advertising and Children Summary— As the author of article “Regulating Food Advertising to Children,” Margo G. Wootan proposes, “Responsible food marketing to children must address not only how food is marketed but also which foods are marketed to kids (334). ” She believes that even in the absence of government control there should be some guideline for food marketing to act responsibly and not encourage children to eat foods that are harmful to their health and well-being.

Because of the increasing rate of childhood obesity in the United States, the author suggests a compromise approach between marketing techniques and nutritional criteria to be met for children up to the age of eighteen (333). Food marketing is extremely influential in children’s food choices since it attracts their attention with the appeal of contests, prizes, cartoon characters, and their celebrity icons.

Although parents are a huge accountability for the food their children eat, Wootan believes it’s rather difficult for parents to compete with what marketing advertises as healthy as opposed to what parents consider is healthy for their children (333). The author suggests marketing being consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with the reduction of calories, sodium, refined sugars, and saturated and trans fats in order to support not overeating with reasonable portion sizes directly and indirectly.

Also, to stop and prevent unhealthy eating habits, food marketing should redesign products to improve their nutritional quality, including adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains presented in homes as well as school environments (335). As Wootan states, “The marketing of products that may not be nutritionally ideal but provide some positive nutritional benefit and that could help children meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans” is the ultimate compromise that benefits both food marketing and the health of today’s children (334).

In “Advertising and Freedom of Speech: Beware of the Food Nanny,” author Robert Liodice justifies the importance of free speech by saying, “Trampling on the First Amendment, whether through government controls or unsupported self-regulatory edicts, should not even be on anyone’s radar screen as a way to solve problems. ” Liodice believes CSPI overlooks a wide variety of factors beyond marketing that influence childhood food consumption (336). He thinks the guidelines on nutrition and marketing are so restrictive that it’s supported by flawed data and omit the significant, positive improvements food and marketing industries are taking.

For example, the marketing industry established the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), which screens material that may be misleading and receives comments and concerns from the public for the past thirty years (336). The author states CSPI mentioned a claim that marketing targeted at kids has doubled in the last ten years, but neglects to explain food ads seen by children under the age of twelve declined by 13% in the last four years.

Liodice insinuates CSPI’s narrow focus solely on food marketing misguides the public when other factors come into play because “there is no simple or quick answer to this multifaceted challenge,” as the Surgeon General concluded (337). Response— Based on both arguments on food marketing aimed towards children and freedom of speech, I understand where each author is coming from and I agree with both to some extent. Wootan’s article makes a valid point that there are many factors that affect food choices, but food choices are mainly influential by persuasive and attractive food marketing.

Companies have extensive expertise and efficient skills to lure children into wanting a line of products that may not be as nutritional but is portrayed as desirable. I also agree that some of Wootan’s claims are invalid due to the lack of details and evidence compared to Liodice’s more specified examples and statistics on food marketing and their effectiveness. Because food marketing is Wootan’s only topic of debate, she disregards the other many factors that affect food choices by not elaborating upon them.

For example, American consumers have full knowledge of the importance of personal and parental responsibility, public education, dietary balance and moderation, and of course, physical activity; yet Wootan only focuses on the negatives of food marketing when all these factors are just as imperative in addressing the issues of childhood nutrition and obesity. In my opinion, Robert Liodice is correct in advocating free speech to be the basis of choice and personal responsibility.

Everyone has a right their own opinion, however, I don’t see the problem with the help of government control for some guidance with the public in order to educate them of a healthier lifestyle. With a set of guidelines, it will help set a standard for people to follow. Marketing and advertising cannot persuade everyone to eat healthier because they can only do so much to expose people of the advantages and benefits of a nutritional diet—that is if people even pay attention to food advertisement.

Healthy eating habits will all boil down to the individual deciding whether or not to put nutritional food in their mouth. Works Cited Wootan, Margo G. “Regulating Food Advertising to Children. ” Think: Critical Thinking andLogic Skills for Everyday Life. 2nd ed. Ed. Judith A. Boss. New York: McGraw-Hill,2012. 333-335. Print. Liodice, Robert. “Advertising and Freedom of Speech: Beware of the Food Nanny. ” Think:Critical Thinking and Logic Skills for Everyday Life. 2nd ed. Ed. Judith A. Boss. NewYork: McGraw-Hill, 2012. 335-337. Print.

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Pros and Cons of Fast Food

The Good and Bad of Fast Food The Good and Bad That Fast Food Brings To Our Society Shawn Guzman E. C. P. I. English 110 The Good and Bad That Fast Food Brings To Our Society In this day and age everyone has had some form of fast food. There are many options to choose from all around the world. If one was to travel down any main city block, he or she may be overwhelmed with the many options to choose from. The most popular options may be McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Subway just to name a few. The choices are almost endless. The availability to eat fast food is everywhere.

It is very hard not to notice when there are advertisements on television, magazines, and all over the internet. The advertisements offer great deals, large quantities, great gifts and more. It can become very hard to avoid the temptation. That is what these franchise’s marketing groups are targeting. There are many questions asked about how unhealthy fast food is. There are constant debates that fast food is bad for you. I believe if you eat too much of anything it may be unhealthy. Fast food has been around for a long time and seems like it will be around in the future as well.

There are good and bad things about fast food that many people are aware of. That’s why there are always debates about the pros and cons of fast food. The way that fast food is portrayed to be unhealthy is understandable and there are many reasons to support that, but there are also many reasons why people think fast food is great and is not getting any less popular. A very good thing about fast food is the availability. There are many locations to eat fast food. At any spare moment driving down the street people can pull over to one of many chains of fast food restaurants to eat.

There are different varieties to choose from such as Chinese food, pizza, Mexican, and maybe the most popular hamburgers and fries. Every year there are more and more locations popping up that offer different varieties to choose from. Franchises like Wendy’s and McDonalds seems like there are locations everywhere. McDonalds operated their first location back in 1955 and now McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 local restaurants serving more than 60 million people in 117 countries each day (Our history, n. d. ). Fast food is very convenient for a lot of people that are on the go.

Many households may not have the time to cook a well home cooked meal. A single parent that that gets up in the morning and has to get ready for work, while taking care of a child, may not have the time to cook breakfast. This is a time when the parent may elect to get a breakfast on the way to work. After a long day of working a fulltime job, that person may not have the time or energy to cook a meal at home. That is when fast food may be very convenient. Many households may not have the time to sit down as a family, and eat breakfast, lunch or dinner.

This is a perfect time when fast food may come in handy. Many fast food locations have very affordable prices. If you can go to a specific location and eat a full course meal for under five dollars, that may be very affordable. With the state of economy being the way it is today in the U. S many people might not be able to afford the cost of grocery shopping. People may prefer to purchase an inexpensive meal to feed each other. Imagine a single parent has a child that is hungry and the parent only has five dollars. There are locations now such as McDonalds that have what they call, “The Dollar Menu. Based on McDonald’s website, people can order variety of breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers for lunch, and even soft drinks, for just $1 dollar a piece (Dollar menu, n. d. ). The average person can purchase 5 different items with 5 dollars. That can feed a couple of people in a household. Some may say this can turn out to be very costly if done on a regular basis, although there can be many reasons why this can be perceived as an affordable and viable option. There may be many that believe fast food is completely unhealthy, when that is not necessarily true.

If fast food is eaten at moderate rates it is not necessarily an unhealthy issue. Currently based on the U. S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) they state: FDA regulations require nutrition information to appear on most foods, and any claims on food products must be truthful and not misleading. In addition, low sodium, reduced fat, and high fiber must meet strict government definitions. FDA has defined other terms used to describe the content of a nutrient, such as low, reduced, high, free, lean, extra lean, good source, less, light, and more.

So a consumer who wants to reduce sodium intake can be assured that the manufacturer of a product claiming to be “low sodium” or “reduced in sodium” has met these definitions. (Food label, 2008) The label for the food has nutritional facts on it. The labels are suppose to state how much calories an item has in it, or how much salt and sugar the item contains. These facts are helpful to determine if the item is healthy or not. Even though most of these fast foods can contain a high volume of cholesterol or fats, if taken in moderation it may not be unhealthy.

It may seem that fast food is the most unhealthy food in the world, and rightfully so. There are so many negatives about fast food, that some people may think why even eat it at all. The effects of eating too much fast food can be very costly. Even though it may seem like fast food is so delicious and there are so many different options, is it really worth it in the end? One of the unhealthy ingredients in most fast food is Trans fat. Trans fat is “fat produced from the industrial process of hydrogenation, in which molecular hydrogen (H2) is added to vegetable oil, thereby converting liquid fat to semisolid fat. (Trans, 2011) Some of the specific fast foods that contain Trans fat are items such as pizza dough, French fries, and fried chicken just to name a few (Trans, 2011). There are so many different types of fast food that uses some form of Trans fat. There are many health risks that can start from eating too much fast food that contains Trans fat. There have been many studies to determine if Trans fats or saturated fats cause heart disease. At one point in the late 1980’s some test confirmed that saturated fats lead to heart disease, this caused many to believe there was no harm in eating fast food that contain Trans fat.

The consumption of Trans fat rose drastically during that time. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that test confirmed that Trans fat was actually a higher risk to cause heart disease than saturated fats (Trans, 2011). Either way it seems that both types of fat can cause some form of heart disease if too much is consumed. The best thing is to have a healthy diet. Fast food can be the start of an unhealthy diet. There are plenty of unhealthy ingredients in most fast food meals. Many people may say that there is a gain of weight when eating fast food. People who eat a lot of fast food probably have a better chance of being overweight.

If someone eats more than a couple of fast food meals a week most likely they are not in proper shape. Eating too much of any fast food is not healthy for any one. When eating foods that are unhealthy they mostly contain fats, salts, or some type of sweetening. These types of ingredients may be addictive. People who’ve been eating fast food for a while may believe that it is too hard to just stop eating. Some people may say just stop eating fast food, but is it really that easy? Certain ingredients may be addictive or have some type of mental power.

A former director of the FDA Dr Kessler states: When it comes to stimulating our brains, Dr. Kessler noted, individual ingredients aren’t particularly potent. But by combining fats, sugar and salt in innumerable ways, food makers have essentially tapped into the brain’s reward system, creating a feedback loop that stimulates our desire to eat and leaves us wanting more and more even when we’re full. (Parker-Pope, 2009) In this article Dr Kessler continues to make valid points on how it seems that fast food restaurants use this to they’re advantage.

Some of these restaurants have scientist that try to figure out the perfect combinations of sweets and fats that seem overwhelming to the human taste buds (Parker-Pope, 2009). With the food scientist making food irresistible, it makes it that much harder to put down the hamburger or French fries that taste so good. So just think that if these scientists, that work for these fast food restaurants, make it that much harder to stop eating fast food, people are going to continue eating fast food. That is when people start to gain weight.

When people keep eating even though they are no longer hungry, that can lead to being overweight and obesity. Those are big problems in our society and why fast food is a contributor to that problem. The negative perception about fast food being unhealthy is true because of the tactics that are sometimes taken. Some of the tactics used by fast food restaurants are their marketing campaigns. For example the McDonalds Happy Meal that is marketed toward children. These Happy Meals can be purchased at a reasonable price and also come with a toy. It is very hard to tell hildren no when they see that a toy comes with the fast food they are about to eat. Most of the time a child doesn’t even care about the meal itself. Imagine trying to feed your child a healthy meal, but they frequently see their most popular cartoon character or super hero toy being given away free with an unhealthy McDonalds Happy Meal. This is what many parents have to deal with. Finally someone is trying to change this from being a problem. Currently San Francisco city officials are trying to ban Happy Meals from being sold with toys if they don’t meet certain nutritional standards.

The San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, who started the proposal, said: I do believe that toys and other incentives attached to foods that are high in sugar, fat, and calories are a major reason for the alarming rise for childhood obesity in this country, Mar said. This is a very modest ordinance that is an incentive for the industry to take responsibility for healthier choices for children and parents. (Martinez, 2010) Hopefully if one city or state stands up for our children others may follow.

This can be the start of what our nation needs to start getting back to eating healthier. Fast food companies need to be controlled somewhat on how they are marketing their unhealthy food to little children. There are a lot of arguments about if fast food is healthy or unhealthy. Some people believe fast food is very affordable and convenient, with plenty of options to choose from around every corner. The way our nation is always on the go, it is hard to argue with a person wanting to just grab a bite while on their way to work, or when taking their children to school.

Sometimes it feels like there is not enough time in the day to cook, and fast food is a perfect option at the end of the day. As for fast food being unhealthy, is not a real debate. There are current test that clearly show that as being the case, but quantity and regularity seems to be more of a problem. If a person eats too much fast food on a regular basis than that can prove to be deadly. We are in the land of the free, where we believe in freedom of choice. If someone wants to eat fast food that is a choice they can make for themselves, whether it is healthy or not.

References Dollar Menu. (n. d). McDonalds. com. Retrieved Jan. 1, 2011, from: http://www. mcdonalds. com/us/en/food/meal_bundles/dollar_menu. html Food Label Helps Consumers Make Healthier Choices. (2008). Retrieved Dec. 27, 2010, from the world wide web: http://www. fda. gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm094536. htm#moreinfo Martinez, Michael. (2010, Nov. 8). Ban on low-nutrition Kid-toy meals draws nearer in San Francisco. CNN. com. Retrieved Jan. 3, 2010, from http://www. cnn. com/2010/US/11/04/california. fast. ood/index. html? iref=allsearch Our History. (n. d). McDonalds. com. Retrieved Jan. 2, 2011, from http://www. mcdonalds. com/us/en/our_story. html Parker-Pope, T. (2009, June 22). How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved Jan. 4, 2011, from the world wide web: http://www. nytimes. com/2009/06/23/health/23well. html? _r=1=health Trans fat. (2011). In Encyclop? dia Britannica. Retrieved Jan. 1, 2011 from http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/1085248/trans-fat

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Student: Finance and Foods Market

FI-516 – WEEK 2 – MINI – CASE ASSIGNMENT Select a major industrial or commercial company based in the United States, and listed on one of the major stock exchanges in the United States. Each student should select a different company. Avoid selecting an insurance company or a bank, as the financial ratios for these financial businesses are different. Write a 7 – 8 page double spaced paper answering and demonstrating with calculations and financial data the following questions: 1. What is the name of the company? What is the industry sector? * The company name is Whole Foods Market Inc. Whole foods market, Inc. is the Food Retailers & Wholesalers industry. * The products include: grocery, seafood, bakery, prepared foods, meat and poultry, dietary and nutritional supplements, vitamins, specialty (beer, wine and cheese) body care products, floral and household products and pet products. 2. What are the operating risks of the company? * Organic foods market has several laws and regulations relating to health, sanitation and food labeling. * FDA, FTC, CPSC, USDA and EPA have set standards for the manufacture, packaging, and advertising of organic products. If failure to qualify these standards could result in the confiscation of marketing and sales licenses. 3. What is the financial risk of the company (the debt to total capitalization ratio)? Debt to total capitalization ratio = Debt / (Shareholder’s equity + Debt) ————————————————- 1,300,770 / 4,292,075 = 30. 31% 4. Does the company have any preferred stock? No, the Whole foods market, Inc. does not have any preferred stock. 5. What is the capital structure of the company? : Short term portion of Long Term Debt, Long Term Debt, Preferred Stock (if any), and market value f Common Stock issued and outstanding? * Capital structure: ————————————————- Total Debt to Total Equity: 0. 60 ————————————————- Total Debt to Total Capital: 0. 60 ————————————————- Total Debt to Total Assets: 0. 42 ————————————————- Long-Term Debt to Equity: 0. 58 ————————————————- Long-Term Debt to Total Capital: 0. 58 * The Whole foods market, Inc. does not have any short-term portion of long-term debt, and there is no preferred stock. Long-term debt: $17. 44 million * The Whole foods market, Inc. has 300,000 share authorized and $178. 89 million shares issued and outstanding at 2011. 6. What is the company’s current actual Beta? ————————————————- * The current actual Beta is 0. 66 7. What would the Beta of this company be if it had no Long Term Debt in its capital structure? (Apply the Hamada Formula. ) ————————————————- BL= B1 [1+(1-T) (D/E)] ————————————————- = 0. 66 / [1+(1-0. 35) (0. 43)] ————————————————- 0. 52 8. What is the company’s current Marginal Tax Rate? ————————————————- 35% 9. What is the Cost of Debt, before and after taxes? The cost of debt before taxes is 6. 7%, and after taxes is 4. 5%. 10. What is the Cost of Preferred Stock (if any)? The Whole foods market, Inc. does not have any preferred stock. 11. What is the Cost of Equity? ————————————————- Cost of Equity = (Dividends per share/current market value of stock)+Growth Rate of Dividends ————————————————- = (0. 40 / $86. 47) + 0. 56% ———————————————— = 0. 01 12. What is the cash dividend yield on the Common Stock? The cash dividend yield on the common stock is 0. 56 (0. 60%) 13. What is the Weighted Average Cost of Capital of the company? The Weighted Average Cost of Capital is 7% 14. What is the Price Earnings Multiple of the company? ————————————————- Current market value of stock / EPS ————————————————- = $86. 47 / 2. 21 ————————————————- = 39. 13 15. How has the company’s stock been performing in the last 5 years?

In May 2007, the price of common stock was $39. 74 per share, but it dropped to $8. 19 per share in 2009. Although after the recession of price drop, the price begins the raise up to $86. 47 per share now. 16. How would you assess the overall risk structure of the company in terms of its Operating Risks and Financial Risk (Debt to Capitalization Ratio)? Total debt/total equity| 0. 0063| Total debt/total capital| 0. 0063| 17. Would you invest in this company? Why? Or Why not? * Officially I would invest portion of my assets into the portfolio. Since the price has raise from the last two years in an even steady price.

Even though they have two small period of time that drop for about 15%. Overall the stock market seems to be passive about the movement of the behavior optimistically. Therefore be hold within the smaller beta that show less variable of the changes. I believe this could be a chance to be rich! 18. The last page of your paper should be a Bibliography of the sources you used to prepare this paper. Bibliography: * http://www. wikinvest. com/stock/Whole_Foods_Market_(WFM) * http://www. thestreet. com/quote/WFM/details/company-profile. html * http://yahoo. brand. edgar online. com/displayfilinginfo. spx? FilingID=8260392-165255- 169255&type=sect&TabIndex=2&companyid=10959&ppu=%252fdefault. aspx%253fcik%253d865436 * http://www. investopedia. com/terms/d/debt-to-capitalratio. asp#axzz1v5caUyeq * http://www. marketwatch. com/investing/stock/wfm/profile * http://finance. yahoo. com/q? s=WFM&ql=1 * http://www. investopedia. com/terms/c/costofequity. asp#axzz1v5caUyeq * http://www. thestreet. com/quote/WFM/details/growth-rates. html * http://www. wikiwealth. com/wacc-analysis:wfm * http://markets. ft. com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Financials? s=WFM:NSQ

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Effects of Fast Food

Effects of Fast Food Fast food is an alternate solution to appease hunger. These days many parents are busy in their time consuming jobs and teenagers are lazy to bring food. It is rather simple to buy food in few minutes. Even though it is quick and easy, it is addictive which causes major health problems and money issues. Many people are attracted to the sensational, salty French fries from McDonalds, carbonated water with loads of colored dye and sugar supplements, soda, feisty, tasty hamburgers from Carls Jr. nd A & W, and small packets of spicy, artificial sauces available at Taco Bell to accompany “Mexican” food. Fast food has progressed where these multibillionaire restaurants can be seen across the world such as: Mexico, Japan, India, and Britain. People are unaware of the content of nutritional value in fast foods. The main substance that enters the body is unhealthy oil that has been reused with many other delight foods available in the limited menu.

Scientists have indicated that the continuation of digesting excess amounts of unhealthy ingredients will lead to addiction. It is similar to smoking, but the addiction is not as strong as the smoking. This addiction can lead to serious consequences for health. As seen in many adults who are obese, fast food causes teenagers and adults to gain extra fat and develop a high cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can result in diabetes.

Diabetic patients are prone to heart disease in the future. Many Americans have visited the doctor more than once and have received more bills than paychecks. High cholesterol and blood pressure are major concerns that should be brought up with a primary care physician. Eating these unhealthy delights causes many doctor visits. The doctor checks for seriousness of problems and chooses if the patient should visit a specialist or start a treatment. Doctor prescribes medicines that might not be covered by insurances.

As a result, fast food can lead to a future of debt and sorrow. Fast food may be a right decision at the moment and probably will sound good to your stomach; however, you will increase your chance of getting sick and developing a disease in the near future. Many people now are regretting that the treatments to treat the diseases cost much more money than buying that five-dollar, oily, unhealthy piece of addiction. Fast food is not the solution to daily routine food. It should be avoided as much as possible.

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Organic Food

Jessica Perez Professor A. Madsen English VO1 A 6 November, 2012 Is Organic Food Worth the Extra Cost? With technology reigning, it’s no wonder that in today’s world, food is being processed more quickly and efficiently to feed millions of mouths a day; however, there are also a handful of people who decide not to eat processed foods which is why in recent years, organic foods have begun to rise in popularity. Most people purchase organic foods because they believe it is healthier for them and that it pledges to be 100% pesticide and chemical free.

Unlike non-organic foods, organic foods are also better for the environment. Despite these advantages, only a few people are able to afford the purchase of organic foods since the cost is twice that of non-organic foods. While organic foods have a reputation for being better than non-organic foods, consumers have many misconceptions about the term organic. As a result, many consumers have no clue that the underlying facts behind organic foods which may not be worth the extra cost.

What consumers need to understand first is the meaning of the term organic and how foods qualify as organic. Jennifer Rose, staff writer and new media manager of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), explains that organic foods are simply processed and distributed using natural agricultural methods. These natural methods include without the use of pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and any type of form to genetically modify the foods (Chen 13). In order for organic foods to qualify as organic, they have to pass through US standards.

The USDA, which stands for the United States Department of Agriculture, is an accredited agency that assures the products are organic so they fulfill the qualifications of the National Organic Program (Chen16). The qualifications include that the ingredients that are added to organic foods music be at least 95% organically produced. If they are 70% organically produced then they have to say “made with organic ingredients. ” Anything below 70% cannot be sealed by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture 21); however there are many problems whether or not these products are really organic. One of the common isconceptions is that most consumers believe that by purchasing organic foods, they are supporting small farm owners but that is not the case. Michael J. Potter, founder of Eden Foods, is one of the last remaining men left in the organic industry, meaning that his company is one of the last remaining independent industries along with a few others that are not affiliated with the big businesses (Strom). Some of the biggest organic industries for example, Bear Naked, Wholesome & Hearty, and Kashi are owned by the big corporations which include Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kraft, and many others (Strom).

What is worse is that these corporations have complete control of these organic industries and many consumers are unaware of the ultimate power these corporations obtain. For example, Potter attended a meeting in Albuquerque to decide along with the big corporations of both organic and non-organic to decide upon which ingredients from the farm, should be allowed to be included in organic foods since some ingredients did not look fresh. Carrageen, a seaweed-derived thickener with a somewhat controversial health (Strom), was one of the main ingredients to be decided whether it should be on organic foods or not.

Potter voted it down, but since most of the people in the meeting were from big corporations, they decided that Carrageen should be added to organic foods thus winning (Strom). Not only does this prove that the organic industry is corrupted but as well as demonstrating that they have no interest in keeping the integrity and value of organic foods since these companies decide to associate with the big corporations. In addition, the increase in the number of corporate board members has caused for more non organic ingredients to be added to organic foods which will then be processed and sealed by the certified USDA (Strom).

Corruption indeed lies within the organic industry; therefore, the best thing to do if consumers want to continue to purchase organic foods is to buy either from farmers markets or from Eden, Cliff Bar & Company, Amy’s Kitchen, Lundberg, Family Farms and other independent organic companies whom still remain true to organic (Strom). Another common misconception of organic foods is that most consumers believe that organic foods are better and healthier to consume. Even if they have to pay double the price for it, they will continue to purchase it as long as the foods are labeled as certified organic.

But is it really worth the price? According to a recent study of this year by a research team in Stanford University, they have concluded that there is no strong evidence that proves organic foods are healthier or carry fewer health risks than non-organic foods (Brandt). This study immediately brought the attention of many consumers who purchase organic foods and many refused to believe that this study is true although other studies even before Stanford have also concluded that there is no difference; however, Smith-Spangler, another member of Stanford’s research team, noted some differences between organic and non-organics.

He noted that, “ We did not find strong evidence that organic foods are consistently more nutritious than conventional foods, [but]the exception was for levels of phosphorus, which were higher in organically grown produce organically grown food” but “those differences are not likely to be of any health significance”(Mestel).

Other minor differences were that organic eggs and chicken contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids but Smith explains as well that, “the data are scant and quite variable” (Mestel) There is only a little amount present of nutrients in organic foods than conventional foods so why do consumers continue to purchase organic foods despite all the studies that have been shown? Most conventional foods like eggs have a higher of being contaminated with bacteria like the most common one salmonella.

Salmonella can be contaminated when animals are being confined into very tight places and therefore the bacteria can be spread faster (Kluger). This is the reason why consumers want to avoid conventional foods; however, that does not mean that organic foods can’t be contaminated. According to studies in Holland, Denmark, and Austria a bacterium called Campylobacter was found in all organic chickens and a third of conventional flocks despite being vaccinated against it while 72 percent of organic chickens were infected with parasites.

With all these infections occurring, both organic and non-organic chickens can come in contact and spread the infection if processed in the same production line (Johnston 26). Consumers should not be assuming that the risk of organic foods getting contaminated is low. Both conventional and organic foods have the same risks of getting infected with some type of infection. Organic foods causing less damage to the environment is another misconception that consumers buy into. For example, Starbucks decided that the milk they usually use to make their famous drinks with will no longer be sing milk that contains RbGH, which is a hormone given to cows so they produce more milk. Instead they will be purchasing milk that contains no RbGH which comes from milked cows. Subsequently, milking cows’ causes 80% of more land to be cultivated with fossil fuel burning factors, 20% capacity of global warming risks, and a 70% contribution to acid rain; in addition, cows that are milked tend to burp a great amount of methane which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (Avner, Johnston 24).

So farmers will be milking thousands of cows for the thousands of consumers who purchase Starbucks. Not to mention thousands of more that buy organic milk in stores. For the most part, milking cows is not only inefficient to feed thousands of organic consumers, but can lead to drastic repercussions that add up to more damage for Mother Earth; however, Earthbound, which is a similar to the Whole Foods business, comments that, “its farming techniques annually obviate the use of more than quarter of a million pounds of toxic chemical pesticides and almost 8. million pounds of synthetic fertilizers” (Shapin). Still, the farming techniques used by most organic farmers and industries is less efficient since they do not utilize the latest technology and they have to rely on man-made resources such as fuel and land to get the job done(Avner). Plus, Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Natural History of Four Meals, quotes a scientist at Cornell University that, “growing, processing, and shipping one calorie’s worth of arugula[plant] to the East Coast costs fifty-seven calories of fossil fuel”(Shapin).

Recalling that more land means more burning fossil fuel tractors so in the end, organic farming will redo the damage rather than taking the steps to reduce environmental damage by using organic methods. In regards to whether organic foods contain pesticides, many consumers easily believe that they are pesticide free. Organic trading groups such as The Soil Association claim and spread this misconception so unfortunately, consumers do not know that some infections can actually occur.

According to Stanley Feldman, a medical professor and the author of several textbooks including Scientific Foundations of Anesthesia, mentions that most infections are caused by natural bacteria which can come from organic fertilizers (37). In order to kill the bacteria, organic farmer apply a pesticide of copper to kill the fungal diseases; however the pesticide copper remains in the soil for a long time filled with toxins (Johnston 25). Feldman then adds to this that “If a fungicide is not used and the ergot fungus infects cereal crops, then the unsuspecting organic consumer may end up with gangrene of fingers and toes (37).

This clearly shows that organic foods can harm consumers because of the use of organic fertilizers. Furthermore, advocates of organic believe as well that natural occurring substances such as sulphur and copper based compounds are less harmful than the use of chemical based pesticides (Feldman 39). On the contrary, these natural compounds can be just as poisonous as chemical based pesticides. Paracelsus, a German-Swiss doctor and chemist that lived from 1483-1551, reasons that, “nothing is without poison; it is the dose alone that makes it so” (Feldman 39).

Even though pesticides in conventional foods has caused more birth defects and illnesses, this only applies when consumed in high a dose which is exactly what Paracelsus pointed out. Studies have shown that the small traces of pesticides leftover in conventional food have not shown to multiply with the body thus failing to demonstrate as a cause of a medical condition. Besides, pesticide levels are kept in level that will assure no harm for consumers and the small accumulations of pesticides that build in the body have not shown to cause any severe poison for consumers (Feldman 39).

On the contrary, the use of pesticides has played a role in the past 50 years, increasing the life span of a human for up to 7 years (Ellison 71). Pesticides may not be added to organic foods as much as conventional foods, but it and can still cause some harm to consumers. Despite all studies done for organic foods, consumers will continue to believe that organic foods are healthy, grown locally, environmentally friendly, and free of pesticides.

Although these studies are not meant for consumers to stop purchasing organic foods, it is necessary for them to become more aware of the underlying facts instead of having mere misconceptions of the truth. The battle to determine whether organic foods are better than convention foods will continue until more evidence is presented. Until then, consumers that support organic will continue to purchase that. So next time consumers, who have obtained knowledge of organic foods, come in contact with an organic produce vs. a non-organic, the choice will be all up to them to decide if it really is worth the extra expense.

Work Cited Avner, Jackie. “Organic Food for Thought Reasons You Should Buy Regular Goods: [Final Edition]. ” Http://search. proquest. com. vlibdb. vcccd. edu/. ProQuest LLC, 29 July 2007. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. Brandt, Michelle. “Little Evidence of Health Benefits from Organic Foods, Stanford Study Finds. ” Http://med. stanford. edu. N. p. , 3 Sept. 2012. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. Chen, Katherine J. “Organic Food: An Overview. ” Is Organic Food Better? By Ronald D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2011. 13-18. Print. Ellison, Andrew. “Organic Food Is Not Worth The Extra Expense. ” Is Organic Food Better? By Ronald D.

Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2011. 69-72. Print. Feldman, Stanley. “Organic Fertilizers Pose More Health Risks than Pesticides. ” Is Organic Food Better? By Ronald D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2011. 35-43. Print. Johnston, Rob. “Consumers Should Not Support Organic Foods. ” Is Organic Food Better? By Ronald D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2011. 23-28. Print. Kluger, Jeffrey. “Health Checkup: Who Needs Organic Food? ” Time. Time, 18 Aug. 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. Mestel, Rosie. “Organic Food — Better for You or Not? A Study Takes a Look. ” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 03 Sept. 2012.

Web. 01 Nov. 2012. Shapin, Steven. “Organic Food and Farming Has Drawbacks. ” The Local Food Movement. Amy Francis. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Rpt. from “Paradise Sold: What Are You Buying When You Buy Organic? ” The New Yorker 82 (15 May 2006). Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. Strom, Stephanie. “Has ‘Organic’ Been Oversized? ” The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 July 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. United States Department of Agriculture. “National Standards for Organic Food. ” Is Organic Food Better? By Ronald D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2011. 19-22. Print.

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Organic Foods

Are Organic Foods All They Are Hyped Up To Be: An Overview Of The Organic Food Industry Today, with cancer and obesity cases increasing quickly, people are turning their attention to the foods they are consuming. Such diets as the vegan, vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, paleo, raw, and locavore are becoming more and more popular. The one thing these diets all have in common is the belief that organic foods are better than conventional foods. Similar to conventional foods, organic foods contain chemicals and toxic bacteria, emit more greenhouse gases, and are not sustainable.

The chemicals in organic foods cause harm to people and the environment. Furthermore, organic foods travel long distances, producing larger amounts of greenhouse gases and changing the nutritional content of the food. Organic foods also use more land and produces less food. Though there is much hype about eating organic produce, consumers may want to weigh out their options. Most people believe organic foods are better for you and the environment because they do not use chemicals.

For instance, The USDA website states that organic foods are foods that are produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients; bioengineering; sewage sludge; or ionizing radiation (USDA). The truth is organic foods claim to be chemical-free except the organic pesticides they are allowed to use are so dangerous they have been “grandfathered” with current regulations and are not required to undergo strict modern safety tests. For example, organic farmers are allowed to use copper to treat fungal diseases on their farmland crops.

Copper is not biodegradable and stays in the soil forever and is toxic in excessive amounts to the human body (Johnston). Another example is in India, who is a large manufacturer and exporter of organic foods to the United States. It has recently been estimated that 75% of India’s surface water is contaminated by human and agricultural wastes (Michael). Organic foods can be just as harmful to humans and our environment. There is also debate whether ingesting harmful chemicals, which are sprayed during conventional farming methods in order to kill other living organisms, are toxic to the human body.

Because organic foods do not use fungicides and such, they are also frequently contaminated with bacteria and naturally occurring toxins that are harmful for human digestion (Miller). Studies have been performed to test the harmful effects to humans from organic chemicals. A recent study released by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of 110 people and 358 matched controls showed two organic pesticides commonly used today, rotenone and paraquat, are linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease in humans. Use of either of these pesticides makes people 2. times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Rotenone prevents the mitochondria from making necessary energy within cells. Similarly, paraquat produces excessive harmful oxygen by-products that are harmful to cellular structures (NIH). Furthermore, A 2007 Study of Use of Products and Exposure-Related Behavior (SUPERB) surveyed 364 children between ages two and five in order to compare toxin consumption and cancer risk factors. Research found all children examined had excessive amounts of arsenic, dieldrin, DDE and dioxins, all known to cause cancer.

In addition, over 95% of preschool children had unacceptable amounts of acrylamide; a cooking byproduct found in potato and tortilla chips, also know to cause cancer (University of California). With so many pesticides and toxins, organic or not, proving to be harmful to the human race, it is difficult to understand what the best options are. Research concludes all chemicals, natural or synthetic, are damaging to the human body and the environment. So the question remains, is it better for people to ingest organic and synthetic chemicals or harmful bacteria and toxins?

Organic foods travel long distances and may be more damaging to the earth. Rich Pirog, the associate director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, states that food travels 1,500 miles on average from farm to consumer, giving birth to the term “food miles”(DeWeerdt). Priog’s team concluded that conventional food distribution systems used four to 17 times more fuel and emitted five to 17 times more CO2 than the local and regional systems. However, Priog mentions that food miles are a good measure of how far food has traveled.

But they’re not a very good measure of the food’s environmental impact (DeWeerdt). For instance, heated greenhouse tomatoes in Britain use up to 100 times more energy than those produced in fields in Africa (Johnston). Another example is our country’s largest retailer for organic foods, Whole Foods. They actually purchase most of their products from China and only mention it in small fine print on the back of the products. Upon choosing your produce, it is helpful to check the label to identify the food miles accumulated.

Media and advertisements lead people to believe organic produce has a greater nutritional value than conventional foods. The USDA website makes no claims that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food (USDA/Miller). Likewise, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency reported that there is no proof organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown varieties (Taverene). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the organic food industry.

Their standards have recently been scrutinized for allowing minimal amounts of approved chemicals. The EPA suggests the minimal traces of dangerous chemicals found in organic or conventional foods are not harmful to humans. However, studies report children and elderly are at the greatest risk of the damaging effects from chemicals. Charles Benbrook, previously a chief scientist for the Organic Center, states that the best benefits of organic foods are for children, pregnant women, and elderly who all tend to have weakened immune systems.

Furthermore, he also reports studies that have followed pesticide levels in pregnant women’s blood and found their children to score four to seven percent lower on IQ tests compared to their classmates (Chang). Organic foods are a wise choice for certain populations. Most people choose organic products believing they are sustainable. Organic farms yield 20-50% less produce compared to conventional farms, making organic farming a less efficient use of land. For example, organic potatoes use less in terms of fertilizer production and/or energy, but require more fossil fuel for plowing.

For example, a hectare of conventionally farmed land produces 2. 5 times more potatoes than an organic one. Subsequently, if only organic foods were available, half the current human population would starve to death (Taverene). Orgainc foods tend to cost more than conventional foods. Although organic food yields are less, prices are as much as triple the cost of conventional foods (Taverene). This is due to the greater amounts of labor involved with organic farming procedures. Organic farmers are also held legally responsible for cross-contamination by genetically engineered foods, which in turns raises costs of organic produce.

Organic farming uses fewer chemicals, which in turn promotes greater farmland biodiversity. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic fields also require less irrigation, reduce pollutants in ground water and create richer soils that aid plant growth while reducing erosion. Organic methods also minimize pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports various cities in the United States to have unsafe levels of tap water consistently for weeks at a time (DeWeerdt). Some studies show no benefit to people consuming organic foods.

Although high doses of pesticide cause cancers and birth defects, there is no evidence proving the miniscule amounts of chemicals found in conventional foods are damaging to human health. Some studies released show cancer occurrences among farmers, who are often exposed to relatively high levels of these chemicals, are no more frequent than in other occupations. Furthermore, during the last fifty years, during a time when synthetic chemicals became the industry standard for food production, the average life expectancy has increased by over seven years (Chang). Organic foods claim to have more nutritional content than conventional foods.

However, every fruit and vegetable has differing nutritional composition, which depends on a wide variety of factors including but not limited to growing conditions and season, fertilizer administration, and means of crop protection (i. e. , herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc. ) Food products from animal sources also differ in nutritional contents depending on such factors as age, breed and feeding routine of the animal. Furthermore, the nutritional compositions of raw foods increase during processing, transportation, storage, and cooking before consumption (DeWeerdt).

Locally grown food decreases the transportation period, resulting in less carbon emissions to the environment and less oxidization to the produce, therefore providing better nutritional content (Chang). Furthermore, organic food usually tastes better, contains no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, which are known to cause cancer, and are more often locally grown. Furthermore, the USDA describes organic food as, food produced by farmers who promote the use of renewable resources and the conservation of water and soil to improve the quality of the environment for future generations (USDA).

Organic foods are not always better than conventional foods. It must be considered the bacteria and toxins remaining on organic produce, the environmental effects and chemical additions in order to make an adequate decision of what type of produce to purchase. After studying the USDA food pyramid logo, it is apparent that the federal government encourages consuming more fruits, vegetables, and grains without any evaluation of the current farming procedures that manufacture these foods. The food pyramid also suggests an apple is an apple and that we should be eating more apples and less processed foods, sugars and fats. (Michael)

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Genetically Modified Food

English 1010 11 November 2012 Genetically Modified Food Genetically modified foods (GMF) have foreign genes such as plants, animals and bacteria inserted into their genetic codes. Genetically modified organism is processed in a way that does not occur naturally. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology. There are alternative names for genetically modified foods, such as “genetically engineered,” “biotechnology,” “genetic modification,” or “transgenic. Genetically modified organisms allows scientist to speed up the process by moving desired genes from one plant into another, sometimes from an animal to a plant, for example they take a genetic material from a number of different sources from virus and bacteria and they insert it into the soybean plant, which herbicide usually kills the plant but because of the genetic modified organism it does not. Genetic modified food is dangerous because it greatly expands the scope for horizontal gene transfer and recombination; this process creates new viruses and bacteria that cause disease, epidemics, and trigger cancerous cells.

Genetically modified foods are dangerous because it can cause harmful effects on human health (“What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods GM Products: Benefits and Controversies”). Many foods in the United States contain genetically modified organism, such as corn, soy, sugar and aspartame. In most of the foods we eat today contain those ingredients and most people do not even realize that they are eating genetically modified food because labeling the food is not mandatory in most of the United States.

Related article: Food Safety

The reason scientist developed genetically modified organism is because they believe it will provide more nutritious food, tastier food, cheaper food supply, ability to farm in unfavorable climates, faster growing plants and animals, possibility of disease fighting foods, improving the lives of farmers and less pesticides used but there are many risk that cancel out the potential good of genetically modified organism, for example endocrine disruptors, organ damage, decreased fertility, increased allergies, and more pesticide resistance.

However Europe is protesting against genetically modified foods since they were first created. Studies in Europe say “The science of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another was supposed to be a giant leap forward, but instead they pose a serious threat to biodiversity and our own health” (“What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods GM Products: Benefits and Controversies,”). UK says “The simple truth is, we do not need genetically modified technology in order to possess future food security.

Using sustainable and organic farming methods will allow us to repair the damage done by industrial farming, reducing the excessive use of fertilizer, herbicides and other man-made chemicals, and making genetically modified crops redundant” (“Genetically Engineered Crops”). The United States does not realize that it is bad for you but Europe, UK, Japan, and Australia bans all genetically modified foods for their safety and health. In the United States the FDA does not require any safety test for genetically modified foods because they know majority of people will not buy genetically modified foods.

European has been the most concerned with genetically modified foods, everyone one should be concerned about these important factors (Gardner). Genetically modified food has many dangerous effects on the world, for instance genetically modified foods actually lose nutritional content in the process of altering their genetic genes. Some genetically modified foods may contain higher levels of allergens and toxins, which can have negative outlook on the personal health of those who eat genetic foods.

Viruses and bacteria are used in the process of modifying foods, which means that there is a possibility that they could cause the development of a new disease. Also genetically modified foods could potentially cause damage to other organisms in the ecosystems where they are grown. If these organisms are killed off, it leads to a loss of biodiversity in the environment (“What are Genetically Modified (GM) Foods GM Products: Benefits and Controversies,”).

Animals and people have become seriously ill or died from genetically modified foods because bacteria have been inserted into our food and our bodies cannot fight off these diseases. Even our environment has been damaged because gene pollution cannot be cleaned up, once genetically modified organisms, such as bacteria and viruses are released into the air it is difficult to recall or contain them. Toxins have also been the cause of killing people and animals by one or more extremely poisonous substances that unexpectedly appeared in this food supplement. Single genes should not be transferred to a foreign nvironment; their effects are unknown and therefore cause unknown harmful effects to the human health: “The reason that genetically engineered food could be dangerous is because there has been no adequate testing to ensure that extracting genes that perform an apparently useful function as part of that plant or animal is going to have the same effects if inserted into a totally unrelated species. A number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment.

Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer. As for environmental impacts, the use of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction, and the potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life forms with novel and possibly hazardous genetic material” (“Genetically Engineered Crops”).

Monsanto is an agricultural company that first produced genetically modified foods. Monsanto is not worried about health of others; there main concern is the business. They hear of many lives being in danger from genetically modified food but they are not concerned with this because they are making money. There is no long-term safety testing for genetically modified food. Genetic engineering uses material from organisms that have never been part of the human food supply to change the fundamental nature of the food we eat.

Without long-term testing no one knows if these foods are safe. . They say, “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans” (Wilcox). Genetically modified foods are bad for everyone because it can cause harm to humans, animals and the environment. Genetically modified food should be tested, and labeled so humans have the choice to purchase the food items or keep away from them.

The main reason the United States has not banned genetically modified food is simply because most people do not even know what foods contain these harmful ingredients. If the FDA made a law that genetically modified foods are to be labeled many families would chose not to eat those foods because of the dangers it causes to the world. Work Cited Wilcox, Christine. “The very real dangers of genetically modified foods. ”. The Atlantic, 9 2012. Web. 12 Nov 2012. Genetically Engineered Crops. Center for food safety, 5 2012.

Web. 12 Nov 2012. “Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms. ” What are Genetically Modified (GM) FoodsGM Products: Benefits and Controversies. U. S. Department of Energy Genome Programs, 17 2012. Web. 12 Nov 2012. Gardner, Richard. “Pros and Cons of GM Foods. ” Arguments for GM Foods, Arguments Against GM Foods. N. p. , 30 2012. Web. 12 Nov 2012. Villano, Caren. “Genetically Modified Foods. ” What are genetically modified foods, Advantages, Types of genetically modified crops. N. p. , n. d. Web. 12

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Summary on Gm Food

So why are we seeing a dramatic increase in allergies? Some health experts believe that it could be, in part, due to the recent introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods. If evidence from around the world is anything to go by, there may be a case to answer.?? In 1999, the York Laboratory in the U. K tested 4,500 people for allergies reactions and sensitivities. In previous years soy had affected 10% of consumers. In 1999, that figure skyrocketed 50%  after GM soy from the U.

S started to arrive in the U. K provoking public angst over GM foods. When massive protests followed, supermarkets started removing GM foods from sale and the rapid increase in anaphylaxis in children aged 0-14 stabilised.?? But why should GM foods be implicated in the rise in allergies? GM critics believe that the inherent cross-species nature of biotechnology may be responsible. GM foods are created by splicing genes from the DNA of one organism into the DNA of another possibly unrelated organism.

In experiments, strawberries have been spliced with fish genes, rice and tobacco with human genes and even lettuce with rat genes. Since genes are the instruction codes for proteins, and proteins are implicated in allergic reactions, GM foods may be introducing allergenic proteins into our food that have never before been part of the human food supply. ?? The litany of allergenic reactions to GM foods grows daily.

A gene from a Brazil nut was inserted into soybeans with tests verifying that people allergic to Brazil nuts were allergic to the GM soybean . A GM corn, considered allergenic by the U. S EPA was approved as animal feed, yet it contaminated the human food supply and thousands reported health effects, some life-threatening . A GM pea produced by the CSIRO induced an allergic-type inflammatory response in mice, yet the same protein when produced naturally in beans, had no effect .

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Proposal Management at Kudler Fine Foods

The objective of the auditing is to gain the understanding business functions and evaluation of Kudler Fine Foods’ business. Hence the auditing is linked with accounts, volume of transactions processed, systems and processes utilized in the operations etc. The audit may be internal or external. The internal audit is performed to regulate internal control and evaluation whereas the external audit is mandatory as per the statutory regulations.

As such the internal auditor access and review the correspondence files, budgetary information, organizational charts, job descriptions, evaluation of internal controls. In this regard, the auditor makes internal report along with deficiencies notices. The audit may be statutory or internal, yet several types of audits exist. As far as Kudler Fine Foods, the related audits are Financial Audits, operational Audits, Department Reviews, Information System Audit, Investigative Audits, Follow-up Audit etc.

The financial Audit is historically oriented and independent evaluation is performed so that fairness, accuracy, reliability of financial data is expressed. The gFinancial Audit is mandatory. With respect to the Operational Audit, it is future-oriented and evaluation of organizational activities. The primary source of the financial audit is operational policies and achievements that are related to the organizational objectives. However financial data may be utilized for the purpose and internal controls/efficiencies can be evaluated during operational audit.

The Department Review is linked with the current period analysis of administrative functions in order to evaluate adequacy of controls, safeguarding of assets, proper use of resources, statutory compliances etc. The Information System Audit allows to analysis of General Control Review, Application Controls Review and System Development Review. Follow-up Audit is not mandatory, yet such type of follow-up Audit is conducted after six months of internal/external audit report has been issued. The Follow-up audits are designed to evaluate corrective action that has been taken in connection with issues reported in the Audit Reports.