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Joan Marie Shields jshields at taurus.oac.uci.edu
Thu Aug 19 09:37:03 EST 1999

ianj <ianj at zipworld.com.au> wrote:
>I want to ask Peter:

I'd like to address a couple of these things if you don't mind.  I work 
with an organism that is mostly passed via food so I know a little about

>1. is the evidence to support the 'hygienic food' leads to 'poor immunity'

People can only develop antibodies to organisms that they have been 
exposed to - via vaccination or to exposure.  I can't give you a food-
borne pathogen example but I can give you two others: polio outbreaks
in the US and the diptheria outbreak in the former Soviet Union in 

Polio has been called the disease of development because it has only 
become a problem BECAUSE of good hygine.  Before the improvements in 
sanitation children were exposed to polio (via water) as infants and
when they were not nearly as susceptible to active infection.  They 
received antibodies from their mother via breast milk.  When they 
grew older and were exposed to the virus and susceptible to the 
devistating effects it can have on the central nervous system they 
were protected.  Children who were not exposed as infants came down 
with the disease.

>2. a number of large outbreaks may not be prevented by refrigeration, is
>that not so?

While most large outbreaks are due to food processor error, most people
get food poisoning from poor food handling and storage practices.  The
MMWR issues a report describing the reported foodborne diseases that 
have occurred in the US.

>3. do you also believe that 'hygienic food' gives pathogens the opportunity
>to grow to higher levels than they would otherwise (no competition)? Do you
>have evidence for that?

Well, isn't that how we grow single cultures?  By eliminating other

Joan Shields       jshields at uci.edu       http://www.ags.uci.edu/~jshields
University of California - Irvine         School of Social Ecology
Department of Environmental Analysis and Design
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