FAO Conference in Sochi, Russia

Roland Poms, Secretary General of MoniQA, was invited to give a talk on Food Allergen Management at an International Conference entitled “Food Safety and Risk Analysis” which was held in Sochi, Russia, 18-19 May 2017. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian Federal Agency for Wellbeing, Consumer Rights and Consumer Protection were jointly organizing this meeting. The conference drew an international audience and discussed global and regional food safety challenges. This international meeting brought together more than 350 delegates representing sectoral governmental agencies, specialized international organizations, the private sector, consumers’ associations and the scientific community. The conference was aimed at exchanging experiences and best practices on assessing multifaceted food safety risks, enhancing multilateral dialogue in the field of improved nutrition, expanding international and interregional sectoral cooperation, and promoting partnerships between different stakeholders.

Please check the conference programme here.
To check the conference website please go to http://www.fao.org/food/food-safety-quality/events-projects/event/joint-faorussian-government-international-conference-on-food-safety-and-risk-analysis-18-19-may-2017-sochi-russia/en/

Globalization and international trade have drastically changed the way that food is produced, processed, transported and consumed. This has created the need for a more holistic and integrated approach to assuring the safety of the food chain. Additional pressures come from climate change, food security concerns, economic volatility and unknown risks related to changing agricultural practices or new production technologies. Modern approaches in risk assessment and risk management are needed to ensure public health. Harmonization of food safety standards and international collaboration are necessary to mitigate emerging and persistent food safety risks.

Many legislations use a risk analysis framework fostered by the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure that regulatory decisions about foods are science-based and transparent. In recent years, many countries established distinct separate entities for risk assessment (science based) and risk management (policy based). Regional, national and trans-national food safety and consumer protection strategies may differ in focus and priorities due to traditional consumption patterns, geographic and climatic situations, and socio-economic considerations.

Basis for this conference are the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, which sets goals to eradicate hunger, ensure access to safe and nutritious food, end all forms of malnutrition, combat communicable and non-communicable diseases. The achievement of these goals directly depends on ensuring food safety. As confirmed by the Second International FAO/WHO Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), improvements in diet and nutrition quality require relevant normative frameworks and control systems for food safety regulation.

Increasing global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a major threat to human and animal health. It endangers modern human and veterinary medicine and undermines the safety of our food and environment. Antimicrobials play a critical role in the treatment of diseases of farm animals (aquatic and terrestrial) and plants. Their use is essential to food security, to human well-being, and to animal welfare. However, the misuse of these drugs, associated with the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant micro-organisms, places everyone at risk (FAO, 2016).

Declared goals of the jointly organized conference were 1) strengthening multilateral international cooperation on food safety, 2) improving nutrition on a global and regional level, 3) realizing the provisions of the 2030 Agenda and the ICN2 recommendations, and 4) a Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance.

On behalf of the conference organizers.

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