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Science and communication: the keys to addressing food safety challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean


Delegates from 16 member countries are gathered in Santiago, Chile 22 to 25 October, 2019 for the 21st FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for the Latin America and the Caribbean region (CCLAC).

Diego Varela, Chairperson of the committee and International Affairs Coordinator at the Chilean Agency for Food Safety and Quality (ACHIPIA), extended a warm welcome to those present recalling the importance of collaboration and communication within countries to address food safety and trade issues in the region.

Based on science.

Marisa Caipo, Food Safety and Quality Officer, FAO Chile, speaking on behalf of Ms. Eve Crowley, Deputy Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that Codex is an excellent tool that contributes to the achievement of food and nutrition security. “Scientific evidence is the fundamental pillar of the Codex Alimentarius and Codex committees, together with Member countries, are responsible for making evidence-based decisions to establish international standards”, she said.

Video message from Eve Crowley


Luis Fernando Leanes, Representative of OPS/WHO in Chile recalled the importance of the work of Codex for food, highlighting its role in fighting non-communicable diseases at regional and global level.

We have to make evidence-based decisions and have science as a cornerstone.

“As the food basket of the world, it is vital that we work together to promote food safety and trade in the region” said Ms. Nuri Gras, Executive Secretary of ACHIPIA. “It is of the utmost importance to focus on the opportunities presented by science and new technologies. But to address such an important issue as the impact of food on public health, we have to make evidence-based decisions and have science as a cornerstone”. She also said that while Chile was coming to the end of its term as Regional Coordinator, it would remain committed to Codex work.

Steve Wearne, UK, Vice-Chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Commission said, “the region can take a lead in helping us understand how approaches to front-of-pack nutrition labelling here in Latin America support implementation of national food and nutrition strategies”. Wearne stressed the importance of science for Codex texts, recalling the need “to recognise the robust insights that may be provided by the economic and other social sciences, both in terms of regulatory design, and also in evaluation of the impacts of different interventions in different national and international settings”.


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