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FAO, Codex and other key international initiatives on GM food safety Masami Takeuchi, Ph.D. Food Safety Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "FAO, Codex and other key international initiatives on GM food safety Masami Takeuchi, Ph.D. Food Safety Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 FAO, Codex and other key international initiatives on GM food safety Masami Takeuchi, Ph.D. Food Safety Officer

2 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) FAO Headquarters Rome, Italy

3 FAO’s mandate Food Security

4 Definition of food security “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food” [FAO World Food Summit, 1996]

5 Food Safety and Codex Unit Codex Alimentarius Commission Secretariat –provides technical and operational secretariat assistance to the commission (international risk management) – joint FAO/WHO food standards programme Provision of Scientific Advice –provides a neutral, international forum for formulating supportive policy and regulatory frameworks (international risk assessment) – mostly done in collaboration with WHO Capacity Development –supports Member Countries in strengthening their food control programmes and activities Emergency Prevention (EMPRES Food Safety)

6 Food control and consumer protection Normative work –Development of training material - guidelines, training kits, manuals –Expert consultations Capacity building –Awareness seminars –Training courses and workshops –Integrated projects (regional and international) –Direct assistance at country level

7 Food safety assessment Activities –Joint FAO/WHO Expert meeting on food additives and contaminants (JECFA) –Joint FAO/WHO ad hoc consultations on risk assessment of microbiological hazards in food (JEMRA) –Joint FAO/WHO ad hoc expert consultations on foods derived from biotechnology –Joint FAO/WHO expert consultations and meetings on specific food safety matters, e.g. acrylamide, active chlorine etc.

8 Food safety assessment outputs Advice to Codex and member countries Guidelines and tools for risk assessment of hazards in foods Information system of chemical characteristics of food additives Field studies on exposure assessment of chemical or microbiological hazards in food.

9 Emergency Prevention System for Food Safety (EMPRES Food Safety) Emergencies can quickly spread due to rapid international food trade FAO focuses on –Early warning –Emergency prevention –(Rapid response) Tools: –Framework for developing national food safety emergency response plans, –Rapid risk analysis guide, –Food recall guide, etc


11 What’s Codex Intergovernmental Standards-setting Body established by FAO and WHO in 1961/63 Approx.190 Member Countries + 1 Member Organization (European Community) “Harmonization” is key

12 Codex Mandate Two major objectives: –Protecting the health of consumers –Facilitating fair practices in food trade Non-mandatory in nature But Codex standards and related texts have since 1995 become international benchmarks for harmonization under the SPS and TBT Agreements of WTO

13 Codex ad hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on food derived from biotechnology 2 terms –2000 – 2003 (4 years, 1 st – 4 th sessions) –2005 – 2007 (3 years, 5 th – 7 th sessions) 4 key documents –Principles for the risk analysis –Plants guideline (with 3 annexes on 1: allergenicity, 2: nutrition/health aspects and 3: LLP situations) –Microorganisms guideline –Animals guideline (including fish)

14 CAC in Rome

15 Consumers information and fair trade practices Standards for specific foodstuffs (safety and essential quality) including foods for special dietary uses Standards and Guidelines for labelling and claims (including nutrition labelling and nutrition/health claims) Guidelines on Food Inspection and Certification (including information exchange on rejected imports and other emergency situations) Methods of analysis and sampling

16 Codex – Science based Codex – FAO/WHO Expert Bodies - –JECFA – food additives, veterinary drug residues, contaminants in food –JMPR – pesticide residues in food –JEMRA – microbiological hazards in food –ad hoc Expert Consultations Liaison and Separation Risk management Risk assessment

17 FAO/WHO Scientific Advice: mechanisms FAO/WHO Scientific advice team FAO/WHO Scientific advice team Codex Alimentarius Member countries WTO Standards guidelines Requests Requests, data, expertise Scientific advice International trade agreements SPS benchmark Requests Scientifi c advice

18 GMOs

19 Definition: Modern Biotechnology The application of: –in vitro nucleic acid techniques, including r-DNA and direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles, or –fusion of cells beyond the taxonomic family, to overcome natural physiological reproductive or recombinant barriers and using techniques not used in traditional breeding and selection (Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety)

20 Modern biotechnology Should not result in foods that are less safe than those produced by conventional techniques (OECD, 1993) A new or different standard of safety is not required Previously established principles for assessing food safety still apply





25 Training Tool Published in 2008 Interpretation of Codex documents 3 case studies CD with training materials

26 FAO GM Foods Platform Simple online platform for Codex Members to share information on safety assessment of foods derived from recombinant- DNA plants authorized in accordance with the Codex Plant Guideline Follows the agreement reached at the Commission 33 (2008) on the annex III of the Plant Guideline (LLP annex). Official launch: 1 July 2013 (replacing the relevant functions of the IPFSAPH)

27 FAO GM Foods Platform Open for the public Only officially nominated focal points (by Codex Contact Points) are allowed to upload data/information So far approximately 130 countries have joined the Platform community Colombia is one of them

28 FAO Technical analysis of the LLP issues LLP of GMOs in internationally traded crops: growing concern National policies and regulations: vary Land area under GM cultivation: steadily growing A number of countries developing GM crops: growing A number of trade-related problems have been reported due to unintentional mixing of LLP of GMOs in “non-GMO” consingments Need to better understand the extent of trade- disruption due to LLP

29 FAO Technical analysis papers To determine the extent of the impact of LLP in internationally traded commodities or trade flows, on food and feed availability, food security To determine which commodities and which countries are most affected To determine how the impact of LLP in internationally traded commodities is likely to evolve over the next 5- 10 years and how this impact will affect food security and economic development To investigate how selected regulatory scenarios could affect the movement of commodities with LLP of GMOs. Available at: quality/a-z-index/biotechnology/llp/es/ quality/a-z-index/biotechnology/llp/es/

30 FAO International technical consultation on the LLP issues FAO Organized an international technical consultation to discuss the results and findings from the study on 20-21 March 2014 The technical consultation was useful to identify various options and ways to realize and address the key issues, as well as to identify information and data gaps to fill FAO technical consultation offered its members a neutral and transparent forum to discuss various issues around LLP of GMOs Final summary report will be available soon

31 FAO Overview paper development on OMICS In addition, FAO is currently developing an overview paper on OMICS technologies The paper covers a variety of topics including OMICS applications in microbiology, food quality and whole food risk assessment (e.g. GM food safety assessment, GMO detection)

32 Questions?

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