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Climate Issues: Drastic Change Needed to Protect Food Safety and Security

By Dr. Louise Manning

Consumers expect the food they purchase to be high-quality and safe. Assuring food security means there must be sufficient, affordable, safe food that is accessible for all. Some emerging questions are: How will climate change affect food safety? What strategies will the food sector need to adopt now and in the future to ensure food is safe to prepare and consume?

Global Implications

Predicted temperature change resulting in droughts, landslides, floods, and more will impact plants, fish, shellfish and other animals. Drought, for example, can cause a higher concentration of contaminants and pathogens in surface water. Landslides can also cause contamination of surface water, and flooding can cause contamination of soil. Arsenic can accumulate in the soil after frequent flooding. For instance, arsenic has often been found in rice in Asia. Adverse weather conditions can also lead to increased pest infestation, mould growth or bacterial growth in crop production.

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