This collaborative research project between the Rural Business Unit at Askham Bryan College, the Food Standards Agency and the Food and Environmental Research Agency (Fera), alongside the University of East Anglia, is part of a larger drive on the part of the College to become a leader in the research field for the agri-food supply chain. Stemming from the College’s long tradition of undertaking relevant research projects that have delivered practical solutions and innovation to the sector, this investigation into the long-term effects of river flooding on contaminants (specifically dioxins and polychlrorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) found in meat products built on previous research indicating higher levels of these contaminants in milk from animals grazing on flood-prone pasture. The River Trent and Rivers Aire and Ouse provided samples for the study, which included both flood-prone and control farms. It is considered that increased river flooding associated with climate change could result in contaminated sediment deposition onto pasture becoming a more significant source of contamination of the terrestrial food chain, although the authors recommend further studies on a wider range of flood-prone farms in order to interrogate and strengthen the statistical evidence further.


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