Chinese protein firm is most at risk of incubating the following pandemic: FAIRR

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s largest suppliers of meat, fish and dairy products are at high risk of incubating the next global pandemic, according to a new report from a network of investors FAIRR.

Entitled “The industry is re-infected”, The FAIRR report explores 60 corporations with a total value of $ 363 billion, which provide some of the world’s largest retail stores and restaurant chains.

FAIRR, which represents investors with total assets of $ 48 trillion under management, ranked these companies into six categories that are considered risk factors for the occurrence and spread of zoonotic diseases. (i.e. diseases transmitted to humans from other animals.)

These six factors are deforestation and biodiversity; use of antibiotics; waste management and pollution; working conditions; food safety; and animal welfare. Support for companies developing alt-proteins that can slow or reduce intensive livestock farming has also been considered.

Chinese meat processing plant Sunny was the worst performer in general, followed by compatriots Fuchen and Shunxin Agriculture.

JBS, Fonterra, Thai Unionand Tyson Foods are among the other major agri-food companies included in the report.

Nearly two-thirds of leading protein producers are “high risk”

FAIRR’s new disease risk rating methodology found that 38 of the 60 companies covered by the report, or 63%, posed “high risk” in terms of maintaining the conditions for future zoonotic pandemics.

In fact it is an improvement over the 2020s inaugural risk reportwhere 73% of companies are classified as high risk. Despite this progress, FAIRR says that “too little has been done” since then.

One health approach

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) recognizes seven factors, all mediated by humans, which stimulates the emergence of zoonotic diseases. Five of these factors are directly related to intensive livestock production, including increased demand for protein and “unsustainable intensification of agriculture”.

The world’s attention over the past few years has been largely focused on responding to the current pandemic rather than preventing the next one. But like UNEP noted, the frequency of transition of pathogens from animals to humans increases; and of all the new infectious diseases that appear, 75% pass from one species to another.

Intensive livestock farming is known for its cramped living conditions for animals, low genetic diversity and poor working conditions for humans – all of which can cause the spread of disease. The FAIRR report argues that more needs to be done to hold meat producers accountable for disclosing such risks and for greater transparency in their operations.

“The incidence of diseases that move between animals and humans has increased significantly over the last decade.” David Nabara, the World Health Organization’s special envoy for Covid-19, said in a report. “Hence the importance of concerted action by governments, sectors, institutions, civil society, indigenous peoples, youth and others. […] adapt systems for preventing pandemics and tackling the inequality of infectious diseases ”.

The cost of preventing a pandemic is through One approach to health – Global cooperation, which aims to achieve “optimal health outcomes by recognizing the relationship between humans, animals, plants and their shared environment” – is estimated at $ 22-31 billion. The FAIRR says it’s “several orders of magnitude less” than the estimated trillions of costs from the Covid-19 pandemic. Chinese protein firm is most at risk of incubating the following pandemic: FAIRR

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