Asia Pacific Food Analysis Network (APFAN)

The Asia Pacific Food Analysis Network is a special project of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies formed in 1989.  It aims to serve the needs of food analysts and thereby to promote food safety and good nutrition. The network of food scientists and food technologists from more than 25 countries in the Asia, Pacific and African regions have now grown to over 500 members. Dr Howard Bradbury was the founding Coordinator, followed by Dr Pieter Scheelings in 2001, then Prof FG Winarno in 2014 and since July 2018, Mr Stewart Jones is the new Coordinator.

Cassava cyanide diseases and neurolathyrism network

In 2001 Dr Bradbury established a free information network called the Cassava Cyanide Diseases Network for those concerned about cyanide poisoning, konzo, tropical ataxic neuropathy and other diseases due to consumption of cassava. In 2009, after an International Workshop on konzo and neurolathyrism organised by Professor Fernand Lambein at the University of Ghent, Belgium, at which the close medical similarities between these diseases were highlighted, it was decided to expand the network to include neurolathyrism. The CCDNN has about 700 members from 60 countries, and we produce a six monthly newsletter called Cassava Cyanide Diseases and Neurolathyrism News (CCDN News). Dr Bradbury was the first coordinator of CCDNN and in December 2011 he gratefully handed this on to Professor Fernand Lambein.

This network lapsed in 2023 and has been replaced by 2 more specific networks.

  1. The Fernand Lambein Fund which issues a regular newsletter “What’s new around lathyrus?”
  2. The Safe Cassava Working Group which will connect those working on cassava and konzo.

Vale Prof Lambien - March 2020, see CCDN News 35

The Safe Cassava Working Group

With the demise of the CCDN, Professor Roslyn Gleadow convened a new group to enable wider contact between those working with cassava and konzo. The aim is to foster collaboration of researchers in medical, genetic, agricultural and public health fields and build a network for the benefit of this most neglected field.  The first zoom meeting was held in May 2023 and regular meetings have been expanded to include informal presentations from participants. The aim is to build to a wider network that may include webinars, conference workshops and newsletters supported by a part-time administrator.

Contact for more information – Kira Maher kira.maher@monash.edu


    1. The Division of Ecology & Evolution, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, is thanked for supporting research on konzo and cyanide in cassava by providing facilities for research and development on cassava cyanide diseases and for facilitating the production of this web page. Website: https://biology.anu.edu.au/research/divisions/ecology-and-evolution
    2. Institute of Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries (IPBO), Ghent University, B-9000, Ghent, Belgium. Professor Fernand Lambein is the Coordinator of Cassava Cyanide diseases and Neurolathyrism Network (CCDNN) and Editor of CCDN News. Website: http://ipbo.vib-ugent.be/projects/ccdn
    3. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) now replaces the former AusAID, which funded our work on the control of konzo using the wetting method in 12 villages in DRC and 3 villages in Mozambique, over the period 2011-June 2014. We thank AusAID, now Australian Aid, and DFAT for their financial support. Website: www.dfat.gov.au
    4. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Canberra, funded research and production of picrate kits for determination of total cyanide in cassava roots and flour and urinary thiocyanate and for their supply, free of charge, to health workers and agriculturalists in developing countries. ACIAR also funded longitudinal monitoring in Nampula Province, Mozambique until 2004. We thank ACIAR for financial support. Website: http://www.aciar.gov.au
    5. The Kyeema Foundation funded testing in 2004-6 of the wetting method. Website: http://www.kyeemafoundation.org/
    6. The International Conservation and Education Fund (INCEF) from 2019 to 2020 developed resources pertaining to the eradication of Konzo in the Kwango province of the Democratic Republic of Congo and fostering local sustainable outreach. Website: http://www.incef.org/
    7. The Ministry of Health National Program for Nutrition (PRONANUT), Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
    8. ANU Philanthropy. In 2016 ANU chose the Konzo eradication project as the focus for the annual ANU Giving Day. Their continuing support has facilitated the Kwango province project in DRC working with INCEF and PRONANUT. Website: https://www.anu.edu.au/giving/support-us/transforming-our-world/konzo-eradication.

    Updated:  27 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  Web Services/Page Contact:  Web Services