This member participated in the following discussions
Recommendation for CFS HLPE Activity for the Biennium 2016-2017
Kindly accept this recommendation that the CFS give a high priority to an HLPE Report focus on the linkages among food security, nutrition, health and safety challenges by:
- Assessing the human, economic and social impacts of food contamination from mycotoxins, including aflatoxins and other microbiological hazards
- Assessing and prioritizing the existing solutions opportunities by location and commodity targets
- Recommending a research agenda to address solution gaps
Such an assessment would be a unique contribution to global decision makers and afford an opportunity for all sectors to participate in contributing to the outcome of the assessment which should:
- Increase the awareness of food safety and quality problems that thwart efforts to eliminate food insecurity even with increased agriculture production and delivery of more affordable nutritious food products for diverse diets;
- Demonstrate the direct linkages of food contamination to food and nutrition insecurity and their serious human and economic impacts;
- Highlight existing and longer term solutions; and
- Offer opportunities for collaboration and partnerships among sectors of interest to implement problem solving approaches.
Achieving sustainable food security for the 9 billion people projected to populate the planet in 2050 will require more than increased production, availability and regular access to sufficient amounts of nutritious and affordable food. These foods must be also be safe.
500 million of the world’s 570 million farms are family owned and these farms account for almost 60% of agriculture production. Thus it is critical to raise the profile and create awareness of food safety challenges and to define and implement solutions that contribute to food security, nutrition, diverse diets, and increased income opportunities for all farmers.
Food safety problems present significant and pervasive threats to food security as these facts express:
- 25% of food crops are contaminated, naturally occurring and widespread throughout pre and post- harvest production, processing, manufacturing and storage.
- Mycotoxins, especially aflatoxins, are prevalent among key food crops consumed by hundreds of millions of malnourished people.
- 4.5 billion people a year are exposed to contaminated food staples of maize, rice, groundnuts, cassava, sorghum, livestock, poultry, eggs and milk.
Poor women and children are the most susceptible, creating high incidences of premature deaths of women and high rates of childhood stunting:
- 2,000 people die each day in Africa from food safety related incidences
- Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of liver cancer from food contamination
- Aflatoxins and mycotoxins are major safety risks to the World Food Programme and other humanitarian food commodity efforts
- Food contamination creates short and long term economic and social impacts:
- Reduces the absolute amount and the value of food produced
- Degrades food quality for consumption and enhances waste levels
- Lessens crop values, reduces farmer’s income, restricts trade opportunities
- Thwarts the ability of food companies to procure local food commodities to help eliminate poverty by stimulating employment and increasing income
This HLPE assessment should provide useful and timely insights and perspectives to assist interested parties to co-create platforms to:
- Deploy existing and develop an expanded toolbox of innovative capabilities, technical expertise, information and management systems
- Foster purpose driven, creative research and development for use and adaptation in developing countries
- Establish robust, transformative partnerships and allies for leveling the playing field for consumers and business opportunities
Such outcomes will help to:
- Improve the quality and safety of food commodities and products
- Enhance human, health and economic opportunities and impacts
- Bring food security closer to reality for more people
Recommendation submitted by J.B. Cordaro, May 19, 2014