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High-Level International Forum on Food Safety Adopts Beijing Declaration on Food Safety

2007-11-27 20:28 824

BEIJING, Nov. 27 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- A Declaration aimed at advancing food safety as a global public health and trade issue was today adopted by the High-level International Forum on Food Safety held in Beijing on 26 and 27 November 2007.

(Logo: http://www.prnasia.com/sa/20061102095006-51.jpg )

The Beijing Food Safety Declaration affirms that access to safe food and nutritionally adequate diets is the right of each individual.

It recognises several underlying concepts that provide the foundation for contemporary approaches to food safety.

On the basis of these concepts, the declaration urges all countries to improve consumer protection through a series of measures that aim to comprehensively address food safety from production to consumption, from national to international and from routine to emergency.

In particular, all countries should build on the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) to share experience as well as emergency information about food safety incidents.

The forum brought together senior officials from more than 50 countries and international organizations to develop a consistent approach for enhancing food safety in the global community.

The forum was organised by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ), and co-sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The forum was held at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing.

More information about the high-level International Forum on Food Safety is available at http://www.aqsiq.gov.cn/forum.htm .

A copy of the Beijing Food Safety Declaration follows.

For more information, please contact:

Gregory Hartl

WHO Geneva

Tel: +41-22-791-4458

Mobile: +41-79-203-6715

Email: hartlg@who.int

Joanna Brent

WHO China

Mobile: +86-1391-120-5167

Email: brentj@chn.wpro.who.int

Beijing, 27 November 2007

BEIJING DECLARATION ON FOOD SAFETY

Adopted by consensus(1) by the High-level International Food Safety Forum -- "Enhancing Food Safety in a Global Community" held in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China on 26 and 27 November 2007

In recalling that access to safe food and a nutritionally adequate diet is a right of each individual(2) and in recognition that:

-- Oversight of food safety is an essential public health function that

protects consumers from health risks posed by biological, chemical and

physical hazards in food as well as by conditions of food;

-- Foodborne risks, if not controlled, can be major causes of disease and

premature death as well as lost productivity and heavy economic burdens;

-- Equal application of food safety measures between countries as well as

within countries can improve global food safety;

-- Integrated food safety systems are best suited to address potential

risks across the entire food chain from production to consumption;

-- Food safety measures should be based on sound scientific evidence and

risk analysis principles and should not unnecessarily create barriers

to trade;

-- Production of safe food is primarily the responsibility of the food

industry;

-- Education of consumers is critical in promoting safe food practices in

the home; and,

-- Interactive communication with consumers is important for assuring that

societal values and expectations are considered in the decision-making

process.

Therefore, all countries are urged to:

-- Establish competent food safety authorities as independent and trusted

public health bodies within a comprehensive production to consumption

legislative framework;

-- Develop transparent regulation and other measures based on risk

analysis to ensure safety of the food supply from production to

consumption, harmonized with the guidance of the Codex Alimentarius

Commission and other relevant international standards-setting bodies;

-- Ensure adequate and effective enforcement of food safety legislation

using risk-based methods, such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical

Control Point system, where possible;

-- Establish food and total diet monitoring programmes with linkages to

human and food-animal disease surveillance systems to obtain rapid and

reliable information on prevalence and emergence of foodborne diseases

and hazards in the food supply;

-- Establish procedures, including tracing and recall systems in

conjunction with industry, to rapidly identify, investigate and control

food safety incidents and to advise WHO of those that fall under the

International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) through the International

Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and the National IHR Focal

Point;

-- Communicate and consult effectively with consumers, the food industry,

and other stakeholders in developing, implementing and reviewing food

safety policies and priorities, including education and other matters

of concern; and

-- Expedite the strengthening of food safety capacities through effective

cooperation between developing and developed countries as well as among

developing countries, thus promoting safer food for all.

(1) The Australian delegation was unable to speak on behalf of the

Australian Government because of caretaker conventions following the

recent election.

(2) World Declaration on Nutrition (1992) FAO/WHO International Conference

on Nutrition, Rome

Source: World Health Organization
collection