October 14, 2015

14/10/2015: Food safety and traceability


by Chris Jackson, Export Manager UK TAG 

First published in Milling and Grain, July 2015

I cannot believe that another month has flown by and that I am writing another column (this time from the Philippines!). Such extensive travel means that I have hardly had time to touch base with my farming roots in the UK, where after a very late spring, the crops are beginning to look good.

Travel this month has taken me to the USA to attend World Pork Expo. I observed that the numbers of exhibitors this year is down on previous years - their industry is still beset with the menace of PED. After more than a year of its devastating effects, the farmers are beginning to live with the disease by improving management and biosecurity.

Here I am reminded of some groundbreaking research carried out at the Rowett Institute in the UK with pigs. At the institute they have successfully transplanted genes from the warthog, which is resistant to African Swine Fever, into domestic pigs that have subsequently also proven resistant to the disease.

The importance of research and development for our industry cannot be underestimated. I am reminded of a veterinary surgeon many years ago saying that cutting research budgets could pose serious problems. How right he was! As well as being incredibly gratifying to see this exciting research being carried out by universities, it is also vital that we do not lose species and breeds within breeds as they all have different genetics that are still not fully understood and could, in the future, be vital for survival. 

Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE.  

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