Part­ner­ship brings to­gether best in food safety stan­dards

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - ByWANG HONGYI in Shang­hai

China’s Cen­ter for Food Safety Risk As­sess­ment is to work with the US Pharmacopeial Con­ven­tion, a global health or­ga­ni­za­tion that sets stan­dards for medicines and food in­gre­di­ents, on de­vel­op­ing lab-based train­ing cour­ses for food safety.

The cour­ses will be­come part of the­World Bank’s Global Food Safety Part­ner­ship, an ini­tia­tive ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing the safety of food in mid­dle-in­come and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries by pro­mot­ing a glob­ally-co­or­di­nated and lo­cally-driven food safety ap­proach through ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion on food safety.

“The train­ing cour­ses will cover a se­ries of sub­jects such as mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy and physic­o­chem­i­cal knowl­edge, and will be de­vel­oped for world­wide use,” says Chen Jun­shi, chief ad­viser at CFSA, who is also a mem­ber of the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing.

Chen says the US con­ven­tion has wide ex­pe­ri­ence of set­ting stan­dards for food qual­ity, while the CFSA has bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of con­di­tions in China, and that the col­lab­o­ra­tion will lever­age both sides’ re­sources and play an im­por­tant role in im­prov­ing global food safety.

It is not the first time the two have part­nered. Ear­lier this year, they worked to­gether to trans­late the Food Chem­i­cals Codex 7, sci­ence-based test­ing stan­dards and spec­i­fi­ca­tions for food in­gre­di­ents, into Chi­nese. The FCC was then pub­lished by USP. The two have also col­lab­o­rated on a se­ries of work­shops and train­ing cour­ses in China.

“Food safety is­sues ex­ist all over the world. Solv­ing them re­quire many re­lated in­dus­tries to work to­gether,” said Markus Lipp, USP’s se­nior di­rec­tor of food in­gre­di­ents.

In re­sponse to the grow­ing num­ber of le­gal cases in­volv­ing food fraud, USP re­cently launched a guid­ance doc­u­ment on how com­pa­nies and reg­u­la­tors could pro­tect them­selves against cases, par­tic­u­larly those in­volv­ing in­gre­di­ents.

This guid­ance is to serve as a common ref­er­ence point to food fraud dis­cus­sions, says Lipp, whether the fo­cus is on the eco­nomic im­pact or pub­lic health as­pects.

“It is be­com­ing more common for the in­gre­di­ents of our food to travel through in­creas­ingly longer and more com­plex sup­ply chains. Help­ing en­sure and con­firm the in­tegrity of food in­gre­di­ents through­out is be­com­ing more and more needed to pro­tect con­sumers and brands from food fraud,” Lipp told del­e­gates at the re­cent China In­ter­na­tional Food Safety and Qual­ity Con­fer­ence & Expo in Shang­hai.

Chen Jun­shi said that the qual­ity and safety of foods and medicines has a wide im­pact not just in China but across the world.

“More co­op­er­a­tive ac­tiv­i­ties, such as knowl­edge shar­ing and im­pact­ful con­ver­sa­tions should be made in fu­ture to ad­dress food safety and fraud is­sues.”

More co­op­er­a­tive ac­tiv­i­ties, such as knowl­edge shar­ing and im­pact­ful con­ver­sa­tions should be made in fu­ture to ad­dress food safety and fraud is­sues.” CHEN JUN­SHI CHIEF AD­VISER AT CFSA, MEM­BER OF THE CHI­NESE ACADEMY OF EN­GI­NEER­ING

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