Food safety

Food Safety News No 16


Spices

Food Safety News
No 16 - 28 June 2005

Issued by the Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases
World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/foodsafety
foodsafety@who.int


IN THIS ISSUE:

  • New department of Food Safety in WHO
  • Food Biotechnology
  • Support for Codex in Developing Countries
  • Outcome of the 65th Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Food Additives (JECFA) held 7-16 June in Geneva
  • FAO/WHO Regional Conference on Food Safety for Africa - Harare, Zimbabwe, 3-6 October 2005
  • FAO/OIE/WHO Consultation on Avian Influenza and Human Health
  • WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies- First report

New department of Food Safety in WHO

WHO is promoting an integrated approach to food safety and in particular the strengthening of links between the different sectors involved in food safety (from farm to table) and zoonoses prevention and control. A number of Member States are now in the process of updating their food safety systems and veterinary services to reflect a similar paradigm change.
As of 1st June 2005, pre and post harvest food safety and foodborne disease surveillance are covered by the new Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases (FOS). In addition to foodborne zoonotic diseases the Department will also cover zoonoses which are of public health importance but not related to food (e.g. rabies).
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Food Biotechnology

The report of a WHO study on biotechnology and food "Modern food biotechnology, human health and development: an evidence-based study" has been published on 23 June 2005. This report presents an evidence-based analysis of Genetically Modified (GM) foods in relation to several areas of interest. These areas are: the current and future use of GM foods, human health and environmental risk considerations for GM foods, the need for capacity building in developing countries, the issue of food security and social and ethical concerns as they relate to GM foods.
The report is available at http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/biotech_en.pdf
An INFOSAN Information Note on Biotechnology was sent to all the members of the INFOSAN and INFOSAN Emergency Network on 21 June (http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/No_04_Biotech_Jun05_en.pdf)
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Support for Codex in Developing Countries

The FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund has been established through the generosity of a number of donors who are keen to enhance developing countries cooperative involvement in the establishment of international food standards. The Trust Fund, which is administered by WHO supports the attendance of developing countries delegates at Codex meetings and at Codex training courses. With the help of Trust Fund support, 35 delegates from 33 developing countries will attend the meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Rome, 4-9 July 2005. More information about the Codex Trust Fund can be found at http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/trustfund/en/.
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Outcome of the 65th Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Food Additives (JECFA) held 7-16 June in Geneva

The meeting evaluated the safety of 15 food additives, including a substitute for folic acid, and evaluated the safety of over 130 flavouring agents. In addition, the Committee considered several issues related to the further improvement of risk assessment procedures, including the concept of ‘threshold of toxicological concern’ for substances consumed in very small amounts, and the intake assessment of flavouring agents.
Contact: Angelika Tritscher (Tel: +41 22 791 3569 – E-mail: tritschera@who.int)

FAO/WHO Regional Conference on Food Safety for Africa - Harare, Zimbabwe, 3-6 October 2005

Additional information on this Conference is now available in both English and French from the website, including Conference promotional brochures and Conference Room Documents at: http://www.foodsafetyforum.org/african/index.asp
Contact: Peter Karim Ben Embarek (Tel: +41 22 791 4204 – E-mail: benembarekp@who.int)

FAO/OIE/WHO Consultation on Avian Influenza and Human Health

FAO/OIE/WHO will convene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 4-6 July 2005 a consultation on Avian Influenza and Human Health: risk reduction measures in producing, marketing, and living with animals in Asia. This consultation is organized in response to the urgent need to address the root cause of the problem – the interaction between humans and the production, distribution, processing and marketing of animals particularly poultry for food.
Contact: François Meslin (Tel: +41 22 791 2575 - E-mail: meslinf@who.int)

WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies- First report

The report of a WHO Expert Consultation held in Geneva 5-8 October 2004 (http://www.who.int/rabies/trs931_%2006_05.pdf) provides new data on the estimated burden of the disease and its distribution in the world. It also reviews recent progress in the classification of rabies viruses, rabies pathogenesis and diagnosis, rabies pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, the management of rabies patients and canine as well as wildlife rabies prevention and control. More information is available at www.who.int/rabies
Contact: François Meslin (Tel: +41 22 791 2575 - E-mail: meslinf@who.int)

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