The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) conducted the 37th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) preparatory conference on June 11, 2015, at Hotel Jen Manila.
The pre-conference integrated the results of the pre-ASM roundtable discussions and discussed the draft resolutions that will be presented on July 9, 2015, the second day of the ASM. The activity was hosted by the Health Sciences Division (HSD) and the 37th ASM Resolutions Committee, chaired by Academician (Acd.) Jaime C. Montoya and Acd. Antonio Miguel L. Dans, respectively.
Prior to this conference, NAST PHL conducted a series of pre-ASM roundtable discussions on the roles of the agricultural, social, biological, mathematical and physical, health,and engineering sciences in the control and prevention of NCDs.
Acd. Montoya gave the objectives of the pre-conference and overview of the 37th ASM. Acd. Dans presented and discussed the draft resolutions.
According to Acd. Dans, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) happen “everyday, everytime, and everywhere”. He dispelled common misconceptions about NCDs; among these are that NCDs are “diseases of the rich” and that “lifestyle is a choice”. He presented the results of several studies about the prevalence of NCDs and showed that more poor people suffer from NCDs. He also said that behavior is not exactly a choice, rather an adaptation on the world we live in. Acd. Dans added that education alone does not work in prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. According to him, knowledge about a healthy lifestyle is universal, but the practice is limited.
Dr. Jaine C. Reyes, associate professor at the College of Public Affairs of University of the Philippines Los Baños, gave a synthesis of the discussions. Dr. John Mark S. Velasco, Outstanding Young Scientist 2014 and deputy head and research coordinator of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, served as the moderator of the activity.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), through the Agricultural Sciences Division (ASD) and in partnership with the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), held the Roundtable Discussion on Screening of Genetic Defects in Domestic Livestock Industry on May 14, 2015 at Acacia Hotel Manila. The RTD focused on animal breeding and development, particularly genetic defects screening of breeder stocks in commercial farms.
Dr. Michelle M. Balbin, science research specialist II of the PCC, discussed common genetic defects in domestic animals. Dr. Balbin gave a background on the local livestock production and genetic improvement program. She discussed the impacts of animals with genetic defects to the industry, which include lower production, physical deformities, and deadly diseases. According to Dr. Balbin, not all animals show signs of genetic defects. Some animals are carriers that will pass on the defect to the next generation. Dr. Balbin reiterated the importance of testing the herd for the presence of genetic defects to avoid economic losses from genetic defects. bShe enumerated common defects in domestic animals, with focus on cattle and water buffalo.. She also discussed genetic defects on swine, sheep, goat, and horse.
Dr. Ming-Che Wu, division chief of Breeding and Genetics, Taiwan Livestock Research Institute, talked about screening for genetic defects in domestic animals. He explained the ACTION scheme: Aware status, Core facility, Team ready, In-time service, Outreach system, and Niche management. According to Dr. Wu, the action scheme was established for the genetic improvement of elite breeding stocks in private farms of Taiwan using DNA-based screening for genetic defects.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Agricultural Sciences Division, held the Roundtable Discussion on Livestock Nutritional Biotechnology: Pre and Probiotics in Food Animals on May 11, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila. The RTD focused on the hazards of the long-term consumption of meat and meat products with antibiotic residues and the use of pre and probiotics as alternatives in animal food production.
Dr. Soo-Ki Kim, professor at the Department of Animal Science and Technology, College of Animal Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea, discussed the pre and probiotics and their application in food animal production. Dr. Soo-Ki stated that the use of antibiotics is already banned in the European Union in 2003 and South Korea in 2011. The ban challenged the development of alternative methods to control pathogenic bacteria. Potential alternatives to antibiotics are probiotics, enzymes, immune modulators, organic acids, and herbs. According to Dr. Soo-Ki, pre and probiotics are used in animal production for the improvement of animal productivity, reduction of environmental pollution, and production of designed animal food. He suggested areas for future research, which include safety of animal probiotics and verification of efficacy of probiotics, among others.
Dr. Loinda R. Baldrias, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines Los Baños, discussed antibiotic residues in meat and meat products and their implications to human health. She discussed the benefits of using antibiotics in animal production to the producers (production efficiency), consumers (affordability and improved quality), and animals (improved health). However, excessive antibiotic use in animal production causes antibiotic residues that may lead to antimicrobial resistance in consumers.
According to Dr. Baldrias, antibiotic residues may be caused by the following: giving antiobiotics to animals without availing of proper veterinary services, the non-observance of withdrawal period (time between the disappearance of drug effects and the point at which the drug concentration in the animal reaches the “safe” level, improper dosing, and emergency slaughter and sale of treated animals without certification of treatment, among others. She suggested promoting awareness among producers of antibiotic resistance and heightened surveillance through regular mandatory testing to help address the issue of antibiotic resistance.