Biotechnology

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

The government has called for the closure of so-called “wet markets” around the world, but this is not an effective policy solution, researchers at Princeton University said. 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 of the local food supply chain.Credits: Ginette Lai, Taiwan

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

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

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

The unintended consequences of widespread closure of all fresh markets disrupts critical food supply chains, stimulates unregulated black markets for animal products, and agitates foreign exclusion and anti-Asian sentiment. May occur. In addition, most of these informal markets specialize in fresh meat, seafood and other perishables outdoors, but pose little risk to human health or biodiversity.

Instead, policy makers should target the most risky aspects of the market to reduce the risk of human health and biodiversity while preventing disruption of the local food supply chain, the study said. Claims in the journal. Lancet Planetary healthResearchers conclude that markets selling live animals, especially live wildlife, pose the greatest risks to human health and biodiversity.

Wet market human health

A better understanding of the wet market is the key to protecting human health and biodiversity, researchers at Princeton University report. In a study published by The Lancet Planetary Health, they analyzed different types of markets, such as Taipei, Taiwan, introduced above, and how they function and pose risks to people and wildlife. I analyzed it.Credits: Ginette Lai, Taiwan

“The use of the term” wet market “has negative implications, especially in the light of COVID-19. We believe this is partly due to a misunderstanding of what these markets really are and how they can differ significantly from other markets. Given this confusion, the term is gradually being replaced by more specific terms in academic and general literature, “said Bing Lin, lead author of the study and a second-year PhD. A student of the Science and Technology Environmental Policy Program at Princeton School of Public International Affairs. “Our research clarifies what a wet market is and provides accuracy in how it is categorized with risk in mind.”

“Many countries have temporarily closed their fresh markets following the COVID-19 pandemic, but that won’t last long. Will some eventually open up, or will they be more tightly regulated? In some countries it will be completely closed, “said the study co-author. David S. Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Professor of the High Meadows Institute for Environmental Studies, and a core faculty member of Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. “Our work shows how to know which one is worth paying attention to for tighter regulations and closures.”

Wet market description

Wet markets sell consumer-oriented perishables in non-supermarket environments. On the other hand, the wildlife market sells non-domesticated wildlife, and the live animal market sells live animals. The South China Seafood Wholesale Market, which is thought to be the cause of the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection, was a market that integrated the fresh market, the live animal market, and the wildlife market.Credits: Bing Lin, Princeton University

Lin 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 the floors that are often wet as a result of regular cleaning to keep food stalls clean and melting ice to keep food fresh. On the other hand, the wildlife market sells non-domesticated wildlife, and the live animal market sells live animals. The South China Seafood Wholesale Market, which is thought to be the cause of the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection, was a market that integrated the fresh market, the live animal market, and the wildlife market.

To help policy makers distinguish between relatively calm and dangerous markets, Bing and his collaborators have worked with different types of markets, how they work, and who they are. And analyzed the risks to wildlife. Next, we developed our own framework to identify the key risks associated with these markets. This includes factors such as size and cleanliness, whether you are selling animals at high risk of illness, and the presence of living animals.

For the treatise, Lynn and Wilcove used medical and peer-reviewed literature on the market from July to December 2020. They evaluated six specific risks that informal markets 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 wildlife species.

They report that many fresh markets around the world sell only processed livestock such as poultry. This includes all markets in Singapore and Taiwan, as well as the US farmers market. There are only a few markets that sell livestock. Alongside livestock and livestock meat, few people sell wild animals, dead or alive.

Comparing all of these, 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 the markets that policy makers should target as they seek to mitigate future epidemics of infectious diseases.

“Growing up in the metropolitan area of ​​Indonesia and growing up in the hustle and bustle of central Taiwan, I knew from experience that the fresh market is very different in composition and composition,” Lin said. About different types of markets and the variable risk associated with them. We believe that targeted risk-adjusted policies to mitigate the highest market risk are preferable to drastic but ineffective short-term changes. “

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

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

Other co-authors include Madeleine L. Dietrich ’20 and Rebecca A. Senior, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton SPIA.

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



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

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