Nordic seminar discussing food safety

27.10.2011 8.50
News item N5-58587

Food safety is often invisible for consumers, although its maintenance is expensive. This was stated at the seminar Food Safety Systems - Share and Compare, a meeting for experts in international food safety, which took place in Espoo on 24-25 October. The Seminar was part of the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2011.

Mr Sanjay Dave, Director of the Indian Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority and Chairman of Codex Alimentarius Commission, told about the activities of Codex. The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) was created in 1963 by FAO and WHO to develop food standards and guidelines. Its main purposes are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade.

Finland would have a lot to give in promoting global food issues and food safety, Sanjay Dave said when he visited the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health after the seminar. Dave wants to make the Codex work more visible and he emphasises the importance of food issues in the Commission's work.

The seminar also focused on the efforts to streamline food safety standards and the possibility to rank countries' food safety systems. That way the consumers could compare different countries and they could understand better the level of food safety in the country. It was, however, pointed out that at the national level it is more useful to analyse the potential similarities between different systems instead of ranking them.

Mr Steve Hathaway, Director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in New Zealand, stated that food safety authorities must focus on concrete threats and protect people's health through legislation and supervision.

More information

Sebastian Hielm, Senior Veterinary Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. 050 5245761, [email protected]@mmm.fi
Sirpa Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. 050 554 4419, [email protected]