What is in your food? The threat of global supply chains to human health

 Video: Division of Research

Almost every package of food you purchase at the grocery contains a wide range of ingredients from all over the world. But can you identify those ingredients or tell where they are produced?

Probably not, even if you scrutinize the nutritional labels required on all packaged goods sold in the United States, says Aleda V. Roth, a 2013 Faculty Fellow with the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study who is conducting collaborative research at Texas A&M.

As the Burlington Industries Distinguished Professor at Clemson University, Roth is an internationally recognized authority on global supply chains — those complex networks of exports and imports that deliver meat, seafood, vegetables, grains, vitamins, spices, and other key ingredients used to manufacture packaged foods.

Her research points to a central problem: a lack of transparency among producers, exporters, importers, and manufacturers that often deceives consumers and threatens their health.