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20 October 2011 12:17
More than 200 food-borne diseases are spreading in Western Pacific countries, the World Health Organization said
People travelling to Western Pacific countries might want to purchase
medical travel insurance after it emerged that diseases caused by the consumption of unsafe food are spreading in the region.
More than 200 diseases are spreading in the region due to unsafe food, Dr Shin Young-soo,
World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for the Western Pacific, revealed.
He said: "Unsafe food causes many acute and lifelong diseases, ranging from diarrhoeal disease to various forms of cancer, with more than 200 diseases being spread through food."
Food contamination instances across the world, according to WHO, have increased due to the extensive globalisation of food production.
In the Western Pacific, there is concern about the spreading of the Ebola Reston virus found in pigs, excessively higher-than-usual iodine levels in soy milk products, fish poisoning, the spread of hepatitis A in partially dried tomatoes, pesticide residue poisonings and chloropropane contamination in soy sauce.
Dr Shin said that the New Zealand economy had suffered a NZ$161 million (£80.7 million) hit in 2009 due to six food-borne diseases.
He added: "It was a proof that the economic impact of food-borne disease and food contamination is also significant."
Dr Shin went on to say that melamine-tainted products were present in 47 countries in 2008.
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