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Building a healthy food chain, Thanks to Algae

Natural solutions for food production without antibiotics, pesticides and chemical additives will be addressed at Olmix’s annual conference 2015 held in Paris, France today

Themed ‘Building a healthy food chain, antibiotic-free, pesticide-free and chemical additive-free, Thanks to Algae,’ Olmix has invited world-renowned experts in public health, food marketing and agriculture to discuss why the world is urgently needed to reduce reliance on these molecules or drugs, and what are the way out.

“Excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobial drugs is accelerating the appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As such, common infections and minor injuries that have been treatable for decades may once again kill,” warns World Health Organisation’s coordinator for antimicrobial resistance Charles Penn.

By 2050, the number of deaths due to infections by antibiotic resistant bacteria would reach 50 million/year globally, more than cancer or any other disease with 10 million deaths in China alone, forecasted former chief economist at Goldman Sachs Jim O Neil.

What is the real situation of antibiotic resistance and how this could pose impacts to humans, Olmix has asked Prof Antoine Andremont from the Faculty of Medicine Xavier-Bichat University Paris VII to address on this issue at the conference.

One of the world’s leading specialists in medical bacteriology, Prof Andremont focuses his research on the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and develops innovations against resistant bacteria. According to him, bacteria resistance is growing, leading to an unprecedented crisis.

Along with the prevailing antibiotic resistance, increase use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers in horticulture is resulting in massive water pollution and soil degradation, according to Prof Dung Cao, Deputy Director of the Potato, Vegetable and Flower Research Center at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam.

“We need to change this practice in using pesticides and chemical fertilises if we want to make food production sustainable in the long-term,” he said.

Prof Jose Luiz Tejon Megido, leading agri-business marketing specialist from Brazil, will share with the audience on the perspective of exporting country such as Brazil on antibiotic free, organic products and other options in order to serve the changing market requirement for safe food.  

To address challenges of producers towards the building up of the healthy food chain, Danièle Marzin, Olmix Group’s Marketing Director will shed light on Olmix’s strategies to cope with these challenges. 

“With a vision of Olmix’s founder Herve Balusson in identifying algae as a renewable raw material with unexpected potential, Olmix brings natural sources of nutrition and health to plants, animal and people for a complete food and health chain,” said Ms Marzin.

Olmix’s plant care divistion Melspring develops algae based products to help plant resistant against diseases, leading to a higher yield and quality of crops without resorting to chemical pesticides.

For animal care, Olmix targets to reach ‘antibiotic free’ production, while improving farmer’s profit and animal’s well-being.

“This will not be achieved only by nutrition and even more with a single “miraculous” feed additive. Thanks to algae, Olmix offers a global strategy to improve the hygiene of the animals, enhance their immune defenses, guarantee the digestive welfare, increase the digestive efficiency and fight mycotoxins,” she said.

To get optimal efficacy, Olmix engages the whole livestock chain as products are implemented by farmers (For Farm), veterinarians (For Vet) or the feed miller (For Feed).

Finally Olmix human care division develops sustainable algae based food additives to reduce the chemical ones. Research is also pending on potential pharmaceutical application of algae extracts.

To prove that these strategies work, Olmix collaborates with a feed manufacturer and a group of farmers in France to produce antibiotic-free chicken using the group’s range of products for farm, for feed and for vet.

In doing so, the conventional production scheme was maintained (intermediate growth strain, 40-day slaughtering and rearing in poultry houses), while the farming hygiene and feed programmes were adapted to include  products from the For Feed (MFeed+ and MT.X+) and For Farm (Mistral) ranges . In addition, innovative For Vet products distributed by drinking water (SeaLyt and Searup) were added during critical health controls (start phase and vaccination) to provide the farmer with complete control at these key moments for successful batch performance.

“The results were successful: from an industry that used antibiotics on more than 50 percent of batches, we managed 0 antibiotics (including medicinal antibiotics) on more than 95 percent of batches. The results were also noteworthy in terms of zootechnical performance, since there was no deterioration and even an improvement in certain indicators such as the age at which the chickens were removed for slaughtering,” said Dr Thomas Pavie, Director ‘One Health’ at Olmix Group.

“Beyond the purely technical aspects, the farmers involved in the process said they were proud of the results, which gave new meaning to their jobs. The veterinarians associated with the project also noted an improved atmosphere overall in the rearing sheds and an enhanced view of their role as animal health professionals. All of this feedback helps to meet consumer demand (as part of a “health and nutrition” approach) and could be promoted by the ‘Thanks to algae’ brand,’ said Dr Pavie.