FAO, WHO Call for Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture, Food Systems
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) jointly celebrated the first World Food Safety Day in Iran to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks.
According to a joint press release published by FAO and WHO Representations in the Islamic Republic of Iran on Friday, consuming unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhea to cancer.
“As it is reflected in this year’s theme ‘Food Safety is Everyone’s Business.’ Today, food is processed in greater volumes and distributed over greater distances, within countries and across borders, than ever before making the inclusive collaboration of all stakeholders in the food supply chain essential to ensure food safety” FAO Representative to Iran Gerold Bodeker said addressing the event.
“Food safety is a critical part of food and nutrition security, which is achieved when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to the food that meets their dietary needs for an active and healthy life” he added.
FAO and WHO in their latest publication asserted that the impact of unsafe food costs low- and middle-income economies around US$ 95 billion in lost productivity each year. Also, it is estimated that almost 600 million people fall ill after eating contaminated food which results in the death of over 400 000 people every year.
Christoph Hamelmann, the WHO Representative to Iran, by underscoring the burden of 40 percent of the foodborne disease by children under 5 years of age in the world with 125000 deaths every year, urged for widespread contributions of all actors in the food supply chain. “We believe good governance and implementing smart regulations within the framework of Codex Alimentarius, would ultimately enable us to achieve food safety for all” he said.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission, managed by FAO and WHO, establishes science-based food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice that ensure food safety and quality by addressing contaminants, hygienic practices, labeling, additives, inspection and certification, nutrition and residues of veterinary drugs and pesticides.
FAO and WHO invited policymakers to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems; support farming practices for sufficient supply of safe food; emphasize the importance of empowering consumers in making healthy food choices; and underline universal shared responsibility to “work together on such an issue that affects us all.”
On December 20, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 73/250 proclaiming 7th of June 2019 as the first occasion for the worldwide celebration of World Food Safety Day.