One foot in the furrow: linkages between agriculture, plant pathology, and public health.
Additional Document Info
Plant pathology is a field of biology that focuses on understanding the nature of disease in plants as well as on more practical aspects of preventing and controlling plant diseases in crop plants that are important to agriculture. Throughout history, plant diseases have had significant effects on human health and welfare. Several examples, in both historical and contemporary contexts, are presented in this review to show how plant pathogens, biotechnology, and farming practices have affected public health. Specific topics illustrating clear linkages between agriculture and human health include allergens in the environment, food-safety and agricultural practices, mycotoxigenic fungi, agrobioterrorism, and the biological control of plant diseases. The further argument is made that in order to monitor and ensure that good health and safety practices are maintained from "farm to fork," public health specialists may benefit from the resources and expertise of agricultural scientists.