Food pollution causes cancer in Yemen [Archives:2005/887/Health]

October 20 2005

According to a recent study by the University of Sanaa, College of Agriculture, the high incidence of cancer in Yemen is a function of unacceptable levels of pollution in food. The study, conducted in the governates of Sana'a, Taiz, Ibb, and Dhamr, warned of the effect of toxins that grow up on cereals such as wheat, corn, soybeans and the fodder fed to animals, particularly poultry.

According to Hamid Jaber these toxins are the result of poisonous mushrooms that grow on the cereals, either while they are growing or after they have been harvested and are being transported.

Naturally occurring toxins, such as Mycotoxions, Marine biotoxions, and toxins occurring in poisonous mushrooms are found at measurable levels in many staple foods. Sampling of 29 examples of chicken fodder revealed toxic levels acutely higher than international regulations allow. Such toxins cause liver cancer, hepatitis A, and a negative effect upon the immune system leading to fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, a loss of appetite and intestinal bleeding. Sometimes they cause chronic health problems, including reactive arthritis and neurological disorders.

The study recommended the careful assessment and monitoring of the stores that keep the seeds, constant monitoring of export fodder, observing animal behavior and a public awareness campaign to allow farmers and citizens to recognize the symptoms of the condition.

Medical sources claim that twenty thousands Yemeni infected of cancer yearly and 25% of yemnies have hepatitis A.