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Contaminated Food Leads To About 2ΜΝ Deaths Annually Driving Increased Demand For Agricultural And Environmental Diagnostics

The WHO estimates that approximately 2 billion illnesses and 1.8 million deaths on an annual basis are a direct result of contaminated food. The pathogens such as E. Coli, listeria, salmonella and others are linked to food borne illnesses and the increased prevalence of these pathogens are driving the necessity or improved scientific and technological solutions to test agriculture and environmental hygiene in the human food chain.

By 2017, the agriculture and environmental diagnostics market is forecast to be valued at US$3.8 billion. Strong growth in the agricultural and environmental diagnostics market is due to rising concerns over food and water safety and increasingly stringent controls and regulations on food safety and agricultural practices. The technological advances in testing equipment is also expected to drive increases in market value for the agricultural and environmental diagnostics market.

Food testing laboratories are benefiting from the increased food production and more intense agricultural practices which subsequently placing more importance on controlling and monitoring food safety worldwide. The increased connectivity of food distribution and centralised nature of food production results in the need for more control over food safety and diagnostic testing. One small issue on a single food source could have implications on a national or even worldwide scale due to the complex distribution networks currently in operation.

The agricultural and environmental diagnostics market deals with food product examination for the presence of disease-causing organisms, chemical residues, and other hazardous materials in food. Testing of food products is gaining prominence worldwide, owing to increasing consumer awareness on health concerns, growing demand for specialist diets in developed markets, and an increasing demand for cheaper, convenience food.

Europe represents the largest market for agricultural and environmental diagnostics, with the United States in second place. Asia-Pacific region is forecast to report an annual growth rate of 11 percent during the period 2011 to 2016. In terms of a particular testing segment, Microbiology represents the fastest expanding sector.

The requirement for more rapid testing in microbiology, is expected to drive a faster growth in revenues within the diagnostic industry, purely because the technology required to turnaround results in a timely manner are more expensive than the more traditional methodologies. Rapid testing diagnostic methods are forecast to increase their market share of the total diagnostic market.

The major players in the agricultural and environmental diagnostics market are 3M Company, Agdia Inc., Biocontrol Systems Inc., Biomerieux SA, Charm Sciences, C-Qentec Diagnostics, Eurofins Scientific Inc., IDEXX Laboratories Inc., Neogen Corp., R-Biopharm, Strategic Diagnostics Inc., Vicam.

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