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One Health International Symposium on risk communication in resource-limited countries

November 19, 2018 at the University of Florida

Presented by

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems 

in collaboration with the University of Florida’s:


Food contamination is a serious concern worldwide. Aflatoxins are a group of fungal metabolites that contaminate a variety of staple crops, including corn and peanuts, and cause an array of acute and chronic animal and human health problems. Through new research, many countries are learning about high levels of aflatoxin contamination, and this new knowledge creates a dilemma for leaders who want to avoid creating panic, while still educating the public about the risk.

This Symposium’s two main purposes were to: 1) discuss strategies on how best to approach communicating “bad news” resulting from research projects (such as detection of high levels of toxins or pathogens in agricultural products), using appropriate risk communication methods; and 2) discuss innovative interventions and solutions for addressing these situations.

VIDEO: Complete symposium

The University of Florida’s research in Florida and abroad is tackling challenging food safety issues, such as aflatoxins, to improve production of safe agricultural products and to contribute to improved human health and nutrition. This symposium brings together experts from across the university to address the complex issues surrounding aflatoxins in animal feed and their possible consequences on public health.

Session 1: Current situation

PresenterPresentation (PDF)Video
  • Ilaria Capua, Ph.D., Director of the One Health Center of Excellence

  • Brenda Chalfin, Ph.D., Director of the Center for African Studies

  • Saskia Hendrickx, M.S., Deputy Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems

Introduction and welcome (no PDF) Video section 

Nicolás Hernández Gallo

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, visiting scholar at the One Health Center of Excellence.

Setting the scene: What are aflatoxins and why do they matter      Video section


Session II. Challenges and opportunities

PresenterPresentation (PDF)Video

Renata Serra, Ph.D.

  • Lead, Enabling Policies for Livestock & Co-Lead, Gender in Livestock Systems: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
  • Senior Lecturer, Center for African Studies
Literature review on prevalence and regulation of aflatoxin in East and West Africa Video section

Zack Brym,   Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Agroecology
Tropical Research and Education Center, Department of Agronomy

Innovative research and extension in agriculture through transdisciplinary approaches Video section


Session III: Panel Discussion

Discussion regarding challenges and opportunities given the current epidemiological, political, and economic scenario in Ethiopia and Rwanda  

Adegbola Adesogan, Ph.D., Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems  Dr. Capua   Video section 
Ann Christiano, M.S., Director of the Center for Public Interest Communications
Ricky Telg, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Public Issues Education Dr. Brym 
Dr. Serra


Session 4. Communication Workshop

Ann Christiano

The Back of the Envelope Guide to Developing Your Communication Strategy

(article in Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Video section 
Dr. Capua Closing remarks Video section

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems is part of Feed the Future

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This work was funded in whole or part by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security under Agreement # AID-OAA-L-15-00003 as part of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems.  Additional funding was received from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation OPP#1175487.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors alone.