The meeting helped in the crystallization of a global joint vision, says Dr. Mariam Al Yousuf
Abu Dhabi, December 16, 2010: The first global meeting of the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), hosted by Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) in the capital over the past three days December 14-16, has concluded today.
During the meeting, senior officials from World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) as well as representatives of more than 150 countries discussed the ways and means of establishing an effective system of communication across the member states on food emergencies. The meeting resulted in specific recommendations for better global coordination on food safety. The details will be unveiled shortly.
Delivering the valedictory speech on behalf of His Excellency Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA, at the event Dr. Mariam Harib Sultan Al-Yousuf, Executive Director, Policy and Regulation Sector, ADFCA and Chairperson of the Organiziong Committee for INFOSAN meeting, said: ï¿½This important meeting has reviewed the current global situation and the basic obstacles with regard to the increasing risks emanating from unsafe food. These risks have begun to pose a challenge of global dimensions, impacting adversely on food safety and creating hurdles for economic development. The meeting has contributed to vitally strengthening the network of communication among the participating countries. This will, in turn, facilitate communication for preempting any food emergency and guarantee rapid communication thereof." She pointed out.
"We hope to develop integrated and cohesive international systems in the spheres of food inspections and monitoring, based on risk management and in line with the commitments enshrined in the agreements of the World Trade Organization. This meeting has helped us in the crystallization of a global joint vision, guaranteeing the formulation of integrated and coordinated food policies.Besides identifying the ways and means of the exchange of information about food risks in a safe fashion among the member states, this has also served as a first step towards globalizing the best practices and applications in the sphere of food safety." Dr. Al Yousuf stated.
Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water, inaugurated the meeting on Tuesday, December 14, in the presence of representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO),the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and various local and federal government bodies. Featuring a wide range of speakers, the meeting focused on many issues including health promotion in food safety, regional and national food safety alert systems, and methods of sharing food safety information on a global level.
Speakers who addressed the meeting included Dr. Hussein A. Gezairy, Regional Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Mr Saad A. Al-Otaibi, ADG/FAO Regional Representative for the Near East, Andrea Ellis INFOSAN Secretariat for WHO, Alan Reilly Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Masami Takeuchi FAO INFOSAN Focal Point for FAO, Tobin Robinson European Food Safety Authority, Jean Michel Poirson from EMPRES Food Safety at FAO, Karim Ben Jebara from OIE, Paul Brent and Barbara Butow from Food Standards Australia, New Zealand, Penny Campbell Emergency
Contact Point Department of Health in South Africa, Franï¿½oise Fontannaz from WHO Headquarters, Josï¿½ Luis De Filipe - Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed at EC and EU, Ellen Morrison - US Food and Drug Administration, Feng Yong, Ministry of Health, China; Bashir Manji, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Jan A. van Kooij, Food and Consumer Product Authority, Netherlands, Nilay Demir, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Turkey and Dr. Maged Younes from WHO.