Hung Nguyen-Viet is the co-leader of Animal and Human Health program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and was a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China. He recently published an op-ed about his experience--and what it means for the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit in The Telegraph. This is a short excerpt from that op-ed.
Early this year, I travelled to Wuhan as part of the WHO team of 10 scientists to investigate one of the most pressing scientific mysteries of our time: the origin of the COVID-19 virus.
While we didn’t find it—and the possibility of a lab leak is back in the spotlight—our study shed new light on what to do next. One important step we can take ahead of the landmark United Nations Food Systems Summit this year is to integrate two grand approaches to managing complex man-made systems.
The first, known as the One Health approach, can help us unravel the convoluted web of interactions between people, wild and domestic animals, agriculture and the environment. The second, known as the food systems approach, offers a way of thinking about the food system in its totality, taking into account all its elements and their interrelationships.
Together, these two approaches can help us not only understand what is happening with the current pandemic, but also how to prevent future outbreaks.