The Scientific Committee of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), which held its 12th meeting in the presence of HE Rashed Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA, discussed a number of important issues related to food safety and agriculture, including non-tariff barriers as a new form of protection for national products, meat adulterated with horse meat that snowballed into a major issue in Europe recently, the historic development with regard to public agricultural policies in the European Union and safe circulation of animal feed.
The meetings was attended by senior ADFCA officials and a number of top experts in various areas, including Professor Nu'man Kanfani, Dr. Abdullah Al Dakheel, Dr. Ifan Seargent, Dr. Donal Samein, Dr. Naseef Rihani and Engineer Mohamed Butiba. The separate sessions to tackle specific issues covered a wide range of issues, such as the new proposal submitted to Codex about Halal food, viral diseases transmitted through food, Salamat Zadna system, risk-based control of parasitic contamination and anti-microbial resistance.
In regard to animal wealth, the meeting took up the animal wealth development program, a comprehensive strategy for animal disease control and the effectiveness of laboratory diagnosis of some animal diseases and good practices in tackling para-tuberculosis in ruminants. With respect to agriculture, the meeting discussed the use of treated sewage water in irrigation accompanied by a presentation on the Saudi experience in this sphere, in addition to taking up the integrated pesticide mechanisms against agricultural pests and control of the levels of chemical residues in agricultural products.
HE Rashed Al Shariqi, ADFCA Director General, stressed during his opening address that the previous year had seen ADFCA making giant strides in meeting the challenges of development and modernization in its various areas of activity, especially in the sphere of legislations. "A number of easy to implement legislations came out, which were marked by transparency and clarity. The ones that were meant for supporting small scale producers deserve special mention in this context," he pointed out.
Al Shariqi said that this year saw the completion of the Integrated Management System which comprised 7 globally recognized systems. "ADFCA is the first organization to achieve this distinction across the world. The Conformity Certificate from BSI was also granted this year. This was achieved by relying merely on internal resources within a limited time frame. Likewise, ADFCA also won the Middle East Excellence Award in Corporate Communication Management and media outreach," he explained, listing out the many other awards and accolades that ADFCA received in recent times.
HE Dr. Mariam Hareb Al Yousuf, Executive Director of Policy and Regulation, presided over the final session of the meeting which drafted and endorsed the recommendations of the Committee. Dr. Al Yousuf stressed on the need for focusing on choices that enabled development and enhancement of performance standards, taking into account the previously listed projects currently under execution. She called upon the Committee to choose as topics of discussion in the coming sessions those that presented practical challenges in the way of implementation.