Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

FAO Regional Consultation seeks to improve food safety policy

Media Advisory Update - Bangkok, Thailand, 17-19 Dec 2012

© John Riddle, 2005
Asia-Pacific Food safety policies to be strengthened

Bangkok, Thailand, 14 Dec 2012 -- More than 40 representatives from 13 Asia-Pacific countries are expected to attend a 3-day meeting organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to consider how food safety approaches in the Organization’s 44 Asia-Pacific member countries can be improved. Food safety is a multidisciplinary subject and needs to be addressed by taking into account roles of multiple agencies and stakeholders.

 The FAO Regional Food Safety Consultation Workshop brings together different interest groups, governmental and non-governmental, having a role in strengthening food safety in the countries concerned with food safety policy and regulation. The Consultation is being held in collaboration with the Bureau of Food Safety Extension and Support, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, from 17-19 December 2012 at the FOUR POINTS by SHERATON in Bangkok.

The Consultation will provide participating officials, and others involved in food safety, with an in-depth understanding of the region’s rapidly changing food environment. The Consultation will examine the regional dimensions of safety challenges and concerns within the context of agriculture and food production, and important value chains. It will also look at food safety policies in relation to trade in local and international markets to harmonize food safety and quality standards in value chain development and strengthen legal and institutional frameworks that govern food safety and quality in value chain development.

Food safety policies need to take account of many issues. In addition to public health concerns, the impact that food safety policies may have on food production and food and agriculture trade need to be carefully thought out. The situation varies from country to country within the Asia-Pacific region, particularly when it comes to food production and consumption patterns, levels of food controls and available resources. Food safety involves a number of different ministries and government departments, which has led to differing priorities and areas of focus. As a result, national food safety policies and strategies need to be based on a country-by-country analysis. The Consultation will provide a forum to discuss and exchange ideas and country experiences to bring out important issues in the form of a guidance document which could be used by countries to strengthen their food safety policy development and implementation process and thereby lead to improved food safety in the region.

Invitation to news organizations:

When: Journalists are invited to cover the opening session of the consultation on Monday, 17 December 2012 at 0900-1000 AM.

Where: Four Points by Sheraton, Sukhumvit Soi 15, Bangkok 10110 Thailand.
Telephone: 02 309 3000


The opening session will be addressed by:
• Welcome Address - Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.
• Opening Address - Vichai Tienthavorn, Vice Minister of Public Health, Thailand.
• Vote of Thanks - Shashi Sareen, FAO Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.