Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has recently hosted the seventh meeting for the Technical Sub-committee for Organic, Functional and Genetically-Modified Food at its headquarters in MBZ City in which representatives of various standardization authorities from the GCC countries participated. The meeting attended by officials from GCC Standardization Organization, Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology, UAE Ministry for Climate Change & Environment, Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council, Dubai Municipality, Sharjah Municipality and other standardization authorities of member countries was chaired by HE. Dr. Mariam Hareb Sultan Al Yusuf, Executive Director of Policy & Regulation Sector in ADFCA.
According to Dr. Mariam the sub-committee has deliberated on 11 food standardization projects that are aiming to ensure food safety and to protect the health of people in the GCC- including citizens and residents- in the light of studies carried out on the international best practices and the latest trends seen in the field regionally and globally. She said the deliberations mainly dealt with general standardization projects for general requirements for handling of foods for special medical purposes and the project on Principles for the risk analysis of foods derived from modern biotechnology in addition to a project on General methods for the detection of Irradiated foods.
In addition, Dr Mariam added saying that, the sub-committee reviewed the recommendation of the sixth meeting, the progress of its implementation and the 2013-16 Plan and its progress as well as the recommendations for 2017 Plan.
She said the secretariat of the sub-committee will soon send the proposed projects for the review of the Main Standardization Committee for food & agriculture products sector expecting the approval and executive actions from the part of GCC General Standardization Committee.
Also, the subcommittee viewed a presentation on the legal frameworks of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified products as well as regional and global practices in this regard in addition to various experiences from the European Union.
The meeting also approved the recommendations to be submitted to the GCC Food Safety committee, which are focusing on skill development, utilization of the programs initiated by FAO and other global organizations and on adopting unified GM food control mechanism for the GCC in addition to launching specialized awareness campaigns on standardization.
In the end, the members thanked Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the UAE government for hosting the meeting and contributing in the efforts to raise the health and food safety levels in the GCC. In return, Dr. Mariam Hareb expressed her gratitude towards each and every member of organizations for attending the meeting and hoped the meeting might become a catalyst in the positive and fast change seen in the GCC food sector.