Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Food Safety - Looking at the Regions

A lot of the global focus on food safety has been around the US and China over the last year. This post takes a look at the world's latest headlines on Food Safety - region by region.

Middle East

UAE Minister of Environment and Water Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad opened the fifth Dubai International Food Safety Conference with some startling facts, including
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that there are more than 250 different food-borne diseases, more than 30% of the world population is suffering from these diseases and proves fatal for 2.2 million people annually.
On what the UAE is doing to address food safety issues, he said,

This will be followed by unifying the food inspection and control procedures in the country. A food-borne diseases surveillance system will be established, and applied research and studies in the area of food safety will be conducted in collaboration with private sector, universities, and research centres.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, attending the first plenary session of the food safety commission in Beijing, said:
Food is essential, and safety should be a top priority for food. Food safety is closely related to people's life and health and economic development and social harmony.
He also urged "improvement in food safety standards and the food system production check-ups, risk evaluation, accident prevention and emergency response."


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced earlier this year that it’s moving forward with creating national mandatory safety standards for the growing, harvesting and packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables. To get the process started, last week, the Produce Safety Project and Cornell University invited FDA and USDA officials along with local growers, extension agents, food retailers and consultants for the first of four national stakeholders’ discussion series.
Robert Hadad of Cornell Vegetable Program sees "such federal regulations as “a huge undertaking” that is far more complicated and involved than the National Organic Program, which took years to develop and implement."


Jürgen Matern, a vice president of German cash and carry giant Metro AG, is to take over chairmanship of the Global Food Safety Initiative board.
The appointment was announced at the Global Food Safety Conference in Washington. Marten will take over the chair immediately, replacing J.P. Suarez, of Wal-Mart.

The board is delighted that Jürgen has agreed to take over this role, which occurs at an important time for GFSI," said Suarez.

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