Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Global partnership to tackle food safety

A press release from the World Bank: More than 70 countries, private companies, international organizations, trade associations, academic institutions, and non-governmental groups are meeting in Singapore at the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) 2nd Annual Conference to evaluate its first-year achievements and discuss future plans to scale up and shape the world’s response to food safety challenges.

There is an ongoing world food safety problem that threatens every economy and food company, challenging governmental regulatory authorities, sickening millions of people each year, introducing barriers to trade, and hurting corporate bottom lines. As a result, the international community faces the critical task of strengthening food safety capacity in developing and middle income countries in order to safeguard public health, while promoting food security and economic development.

“Safe food should not be a luxury for so many at our global table,” said JuergenVoegele, World Bank Director for Agriculture and Environmental Services.“Everyone involved in the global food chain has an obligation to ensure food safety.  At the same time, meeting international or industry standards creates both challenges and opportunities for poor farmers and agri-businesses competing in these growing markets.Our partners recognize that no single organization acting alone can have the impact we all want.  By building the understanding, knowledge, and motivation to fully address food safety risks, this unique partnership can help to decrease food-borne hazards, reduce poverty, and improve food security.”

Uniquely, the GFSP actions are supported by a World Bank multi-donor trust fund that can accept funding from both public and private contributors. The GFSP’s mission is to create a new paradigm of public-private collaboration for food safety capacity building. It aims to reduce risks to consumers and businesses and increase the benefits to both public health and the economy by strengthening food safety protections and supporting effective and efficient global supply chains....

Campylobacter bacteria are the number-one cause of bacterial food-related gastrointestinal illness in the United States. To learn more about this pathogen, ARS scientists are sequencing multiple Campylobacter genomes. This scanning electron microscope image shows the characteristic spiral, or corkscrew, shape of C. jejuni cells and related structures. Shot by De Wood, Pooley, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, EMU.

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