Food Safety Magazine

News | August 11, 2017

FAO Urges United Nations to Establish World Food Safety Day

By Food Safety News

FAO Urges United Nations to Establish World Food Safety Day

Source: Food Safety News

The General Assembly of United Nations is scheduled to consider establishing a World Food Safety Day when it meets in September.

A recent draft resolution, adopted by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference on July 7, was forwarded to the secretary-general of the United Nations “with a view to having the General Assembly of the United Nations consider, at its next session, declaring June 7 as World Food Safety Day,” according to the FAO.

Ren Wang, director of FAO’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, told conference attendees “World Food Safety Day will raise awareness of the global threat posed by foodborne diseases and reinforce the need for governments, the food industry and individuals to do more to make food safe and prevent these diseases.”

International food safety leaders have said they believe a recurring World Food Safety Day will increase consumer health protection and reduce foodborne diseases.

“The World Food Safety Day will contribute to raising awareness about the importance of food safety among all relevant stakeholders including the public and private sectors and all actors in the food chain, from primary producers to consumers,” said Awilo Ochieng Pernet, chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The annual World Day Food Safety Day was initially proposed in 2016 FAO Conference in Rome.

International support from Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela and Estonia favored the proposal from a collective level. Specifically, Costa Rica stressed the significant threat that foodborne disease poses to health worldwide along with socio-economic development obstacles.

On behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), Argentina supported the initiative with regard to hunger and malnutrition, and the consumption of contaminated and adulterated food. The increasing complexity of the food chain is also increasing public concern about food safety, GRULAC representatives said.

“Noting that there is no food security without food safety and that in a world where the food supply chain has become global, any food safety incident has global negative effects on public health, trade and the economy, …” the FAO Conference resolution states.

“(The FAO Conference) requests the Director-General following the passing of a relevant resolution in the appropriate WHO governing body to liaise with the Director General of WHO in transmitting this Resolution to the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to having the General Assembly of the United Nations consider, at its next session, declaring 7 June each year as World Food Safety Day.”