Food safety concerns related to local animal production in the French West Indies - INnovative Strategies to establish Safe livestock rearing systems In Chlordecone Contaminated Areas (INSSICCA)
The chlorinated polycyclic ketone pesticide chlordecone (CLD) was used from 1971 until 1993 in the French West Indies to fight against the banana black weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus). Its application resulted in a long term pollution of soils which is thought to last 5 to 7 centuries for the heaviest polluted soils. About 1/4 of the total agricultural acreage of the two French overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique) are moderately to heavily polluted and national survey plans carried out since 2008 in slaughterhouses revealed unexpected contamination of animal products. Thus, the Martinique and Guadeloupe populations are concerned by CLD contaminated food and there is a growing demand for solutions that would enable maintenance of local animal production and production of safe animal products, even in historically contaminated areas.
Overall, this research project aims at evaluating local animal rearing systems in terms of livestock exposure to CLD (WP1), characterizing the bioavailability of CLD, its behavior and metabolization in the animal organism (WP2), and establishing innovative strategies to bind CLD via activated carbon in the digestive tract (WP3). On the basis of the results obtained in WP1, WP2 and WP3, safe local livestock rearing systems will be proposed in agricultural areas historically contaminated by CLD, and assessed in terms of economical efficiency (WP4) and social acceptability (WP5). From the studies on soil ingestion (WP1), recommendations will be provided to farmers and other stakeholders in order to avoid where possible the entry of CLD into the food chain. The analytical approaches which are going to be developed in WP2 are of major importance to identify and quantify CLD and its metabolites fluxes in the organism. On the basis of mechanisms described in WP1, WP2 and WP3, sustainable rearing strategies will be proposed and applied in close relation with the local producers and the meat sector Inter-Professional Organization of Guadeloupe (GDS, IGUAVIE) and Martinique (AMIV), the Chambers of Agriculture and the Direction of Agriculture, Food and Forest (DAAF). In WP4 and WP5, socio-economic approaches will be developed in order to (i) promote adaptive governance and sustainable development particularly in rural territories of tropical islands and to (ii) evaluate conditions for adoption of the proposed innovations.
Key words: chlordecone, soil, livestock, food safety, rearing strategies, economical efficiency, social acceptability