Food safety critical to development and ending poverty: FAO deputy chief

FAO/Olivier Asselin
Smallholders and small family farms produce up to 80% of the food in many developing countries.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Ensuring that people everywhere can trust the safety and quality of the food they eat is the focus of a UN meeting taking place this week in Rome.

The international food standards body known as the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is expected to adopt a text on the maximum level of  mercury in fish, among other matters, during its annual session, which opened on Monday.

“One of the greatest challenges the world faces is how to ensure that a growing global population has enough safe food,” Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told the gathering.

“Food safety is a critical enabler for market access, which promotes economic development and alleviates poverty.”

The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established more than 50 years ago by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It coordinates input from nearly 190 countries and the European Union, and addresses themes such as contaminants, pesticides, health claims and nutrition labelling.

The Commission meets every year for one week to adopt the standards, guidelines, codes of practice and other recommendations that make up the Codex Alimentarius—Latin for “food code” —aimed at protecting consumer health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.

Tom Heilandt, CAC secretary, told UN News that mercury in fish and other seafood can be harmful or even deadly to people of all ages.

“We are particularly concerned about the contamination of fish because of contamination of the seas with this heavy metal. It is partially because of natural contamination, meaning that the mercury was in the environment already and then dissolved in the oceans, and partly also because of emissions from industry,” he explained.

“It can also enter into the body, even through the hair, and it is also possible to enter the foetus in a pregnant woman.  And that can be really bad for the baby.”

Representatives from nearly 120 countries and 70 organizations are attending this year’s CAC meeting, which concludes on Friday.

Guilherme da Costa, the chairperson, called on delegates to build consensus in setting standards.

“It is essential we do our best to further develop and disseminate Codex standards in order to ensure food safety and quality for everyone everywhere,” he said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The next EU President will first have to drink his tea at Downing Street

Black Panther’s ‘General Okoye’ joins the fight against gender-based violence

ECB’s Draghi favours a cheaper euro to serve all Eurozone countries

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

Artificial intelligence summit focuses on fighting hunger, climate crisis and transition to ‘smart sustainable cities’

How India is harnessing technology to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Consumers suffer three defeats

‘Crimes against humanity,’ ‘war crimes’ and risk of new ethnic violence in DR Congo, warn UN experts

The vehicles of our future

South Sudan’s foreseen genocide: from “Never Again” to “Again and Again and Again”?

Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

The new assembly lines: Why AI needs low-skilled workers too

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

Monday’s Daily Brief: human rights in the Near East and a Forum for Refugees

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

Vaccine hesitancy: a pregnancy related issue?

Erdogan’s electoral win on a ‘me or chaos’ dilemma means trouble for everybody

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

US-North Korea summit in Singapore ‘a promising development’ says Guterres

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

Use space technology to build a better world for all, urges UN chief

These 3 countries are global offshore wind powerhouses

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

UN chief welcomes new push by El Salvador’s political parties to begin fresh dialogue

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

Would you let an AI vote for you?

The EU adopted €297 million in concrete actions for refugees and local communities in Jordan and Lebanon

The German automotive industry under the Trump spell

Relieving the suffering of dying: Home Palliative Care as a spiritual coping strategy

What can Darwin teach the aviation industry about cybersecurity?

Burned in the Amazonian forest: Your health may be in danger

MEPs demand Bulgaria’s and Romania’s swift accession to Schengen area

‘No shortcuts to a healthier world’: WHO chief sets out health priorities for the decade

Stop violence against women: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative

Nordic noir: The unhappiness epidemic affecting young people in the world’s happiest countries

Is the energy industry meeting its sustainability goals?

The European Sting Cookie Policy

The punishment gap: how workplace mistakes hurt women and minorities most

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

UN agencies call for action to bolster rights of Europe’s stateless children

The hidden downsides of autonomous vehicles – and how to avoid them

Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency, says UN agency

Joint UN-Congolese strategy needed to address insecurity following deadly attacks

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

Unemployment and immigrants haunt the EU; who can offer relief?

EU-China trade: closer ties as US-China trade battle brews

Amazon, a pair of shoes and my Data Privacy walks away

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

A poor kid died just now. Do you know why?

Hunger in Yemen: WFP considers aid suspension in face of repeated interference by some Houthi leaders

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

10 predictions for the global economy in 2019

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Libya civil war, African displacement, global trade tensions, terrorists’ children ‘secretly detained’, and more

Green deal for Europe: First reactions from MEPs

Three ways China can make the New Silk Road sustainable

In the age of the tourism backlash, we need ‘destination stewards’

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s