The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that each year, approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted at a cost of $990bn.
The combined potential harmful effects on the world’s oceans, that arise from the entry of a multitude of contaminants, chemicals, metals, plastics etc, is immense. These contaminants can adhere to tiny particles which are then ultimately absorbed into the food chain.
Counterfeiting is pervasive across the whole economy. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime describes counterfeiting as a crime which touches “virtually everyone in one way or another” and that counterfeit goods, whether drugs or consumer products pose a serious risk to health and safety”.
Technology in medicine is dramatically changing the outlook for many critical situations in many environments, but bringing cheap, effective, reliable, disposable and consistent sensors for use in early warning diagnostics, non-invasive monitoring and other fields of life-saving work should be as available to the third world as it is to the first.