Science & Technology

Closing the “fresh market” is not an effective policy solution to protect human health and biodiversity

According to researchers at Princeton University, the government is calling for the closure of so-called “wet markets” around the world, but this is not an effective policy solution. Instead, policy makers need to target the most risky aspects of the market to reduce the risk of human health and biodiversity while preventing disruption to the local food supply chain.Credits: Ginette Lai, Taiwan

A better understanding of the “fresh market” is the key to protecting human health and biodiversity.

Great uncertainty SARS-CoV-2Early on, some suggested links between COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) Seafood market in Wuhan, China. The origin of the virus is still unknown, but other theories are now widespread.

In response, the government has promoted the closure of so-called “wet markets” around the world, but this is not an effective policy solution. Princeton University Researchers report.

Extensive closure of all fresh markets can disrupt important food supply chains, stimulate unregulated black markets for animal products, and have unintended consequences of alien exclusion and anti-Asian sentiment. There is. In addition, most of these informal markets specialize in fresh meat, seafood and other perishables in the outdoor environment, so there is little risk to human health or biodiversity.

Instead, policy makers need to target the most risky aspects of the market to reduce the risk of human health and biodiversity while preventing disruptions in the local food supply chain, researchers said. Claim in the journal Lancet Planetary healthResearchers conclude that the market for selling live animals, especially live wildlife, poses the greatest risks to human health and biodiversity.

Wet market human health

Researchers at Princeton University report that a better understanding of the fresh market is the key to protecting human health and biodiversity. A study published by The Lancet Planetary Health analyzed how different types of markets, such as those introduced in Taipei, Taiwan, work and pose risks to people and wildlife.Credits: Ginette Lai, Taiwan

“The use of the term” wet market “has negative implications, especially in the light of COVID-19. I think this is partly caused by a misunderstanding about what these markets really are and how they can be meaningfully different from other markets. Given this confusion, the term is gradually being replaced by more specific terms in academic and popular literature, “said Bing Lin, the lead author of the study, with a second-year PhD. Says. A student of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs science, technology, and environmental policy programs. “Our research clarifies what a wet market is and shows exactly how risks can be considered and categorized.”

“Many countries have temporarily closed their wet markets in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they don’t last long. Some will eventually open, others will be more strictly regulated or fully regulated. Some will be closed, “said the co-author of the study. David S. Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Relations, High Meadows Institute for Environmental Studies, Core Faculty of Energy and Environmental Policy Research Center in Princeton. “Our work presents a way to determine which is worth focusing on for tighter regulations and closures.”

Wet market description

The fresh market sells consumer-oriented fresh food in environments other than supermarkets. The wildlife market, on the other hand, sells non-domesticated wildlife, and the live animal market sells live animals. The South China Seafood Wholesale Market, which is believed to be the possible cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a combination of the fresh market, the live animal market and the wildlife market.Credits: Bing Lin, Princeton University

Lynn and Wilcove started with the definition of a wet market, which sells consumer-oriented fresh food in non-supermarket environments. These markets are named after frequently wet floors. This is the result of regular cleaning to keep food stalls clean and melting ice to keep food fresh. The wildlife market, on the other hand, sells non-domesticated wildlife, and the live animal market sells live animals. The South China Seafood Wholesale Market, which is believed to be the possible cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a combination of the fresh market, the live animal market and the wildlife market.

To help policy makers distinguish between relatively benign and dangerous markets, Bing and his collaborators have worked with different types of markets, how they work, and how they work for people and wildlife. We analyzed the risks to the market. Next, we developed our own framework to identify key risks associated with these markets, such as size, cleanliness, whether we sell animals at high risk of disease, and the presence of living animals.

In the treatise, Lin and Wilcove used medical and peer-reviewed literature on the market from July to December 2020. They evaluated six specific risks that the informal market could pose to human health. Presence of live animals; Sanitation; Market size; Animal density and interspecies mix; Animal supply chain length and size. They also identified factors that pose a risk to biodiversity, such as the sale of endangered and declining wildlife species.

They report that many fresh markets around the world sell only processed livestock such as poultry. These include all markets in Singapore and Taiwan, as well as the US farmers market. A few markets sell livestock. Few people are still selling wild animals, dead or alive, along with livestock and livestock meat.

Comparing all of this, the market for selling live animals poses the greatest risk to human health and biodiversity, especially when selling live wild animals associated with emerging infectious diseases. Researchers report that these are markets that policy makers should target when trying to mitigate future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“Growing up in a big city in Indonesia, we knew from experience that the wet market was very different in composition and composition in the hustle and bustle of central Taiwan,” says Lin. Describes the different types of markets and the fluctuating risks associated with them. We believe that targeted risk-adjusted policies to mitigate the highest market risk are preferable to short-term changes that are drastic but ineffective. “

Researchers emphasize that these markets are not the only ones responsible for the pandemic. Instead, they represent one node of potential zoonotic transmission along the global wildlife trading supply chain. They hope that future research will continue to quantify the risk factors posed by these markets, helping decision makers better protect human health and biodiversity.

Reference: “A better classification of the fresh market is the key to protecting human health and biodiversity” June 10, 2021 Lancet Planetary Health..

Additional co-authors include Madelein L. Dietrich ’20 and Rebecca A. Sr., a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton SPIA.

Researchers cite the High Meadows Foundation, which supported the work of Lynn, Senior, and Wilcove. World Wildlife Fund to support some of Dietrich’s research activities.



Closing the “fresh market” is not an effective policy solution to protect human health and biodiversity

https://scitechdaily.com/closing-wet-markets-is-not-an-effective-policy-solution-for-safeguarding-human-health-biodiversity/ Closing the “fresh market” is not an effective policy solution to protect human health and biodiversity

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