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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:91-4.

Human health problems associated with current agricultural food production.

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Secretary General, Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies, Centre for Science, Society and Culture M 11, Kakateeyanagar, Habshiguda, Hyderabad- 500 007, India.


Scientific and technological developments in the agricultural sectors in the recent past has resulted in increased food production and at the same time led to certain public health concerns. Unseasonal rains at the time of harvest and improper post harvest technology often results in agricultural commodities being contaminated with certain fungi and results in the production of mycotoxins. Consumption of such commodities has resulted in human disease outbreaks. Naturally occurring toxins, inherently present in foods and either consumed as such or mixed up with grains, had been responsible for disease outbreaks. Other possible causes of health concern include the application of various agrochemicals such as pesticides and the use of antibiotics in aquaculture and veterinary practices. Foodborne pathogens entering the food chain during both traditional and organic agriculture pose a challenge to public health. Modern biotechnology, producing genetically modified foods, if not regulated appropriately could pose dangers to human health. Use of various integrated food management systems like the Hazard Analysis and critical control system approach for risk prevention, monitoring and control of food hazards are being emphasized with globalization to minimise the danger posed to human health from improper agricultural practices.

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