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Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 Focuses on Strengthening Food Safety Systems

The Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 signifies a significant step towards collaborative efforts in ensuring safe and nutritious food for all.

Shivam Dwivedi
Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 Focuses on Strengthening Food Safety Systems (Photo Source: Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya twitter)
Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 Focuses on Strengthening Food Safety Systems (Photo Source: Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya twitter)

The Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 was inaugurated by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, marking a significant step towards strengthening food safety systems across the world. The summit, organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), brought together food regulators from various nations to exchange perspectives and knowledge on crucial issues related to food safety and regulatory frameworks.

The event commenced with the gracious presence of esteemed dignitaries, including Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Narendra Tomar, and special guest Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Govt. of Nepal, Dr. Bedu Ram Bhusal. The session was also attended by Prof S P Singh Baghel and Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare, adding to the significance of the summit.

Addressing the audience, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya emphasized the importance of safe and nutritious food in promoting good health and well-being. He highlighted how balanced and wholesome food acts as preventive care, safeguarding public health. The Union Minister stressed the need for food regulators to adopt an integrated "One Health" approach, considering the health of climate, humans, animals, and plants in their regulatory systems.

With a focus on the ongoing G20 India Presidency, Dr. Mandaviya emphasized that "One Health" remains a key priority for the Health Working Group. He also called for international cooperation and solidarity, aligning with the theme of India's G20 Presidency, "Vasudev Kutumbhakam: One Earth, One Nation." Considering agro-climatic diversities across regions, he urged for exploration of how regional differences can be integrated into global best practices for food safety.

The Union Minister emphasized the crucial role of soil health in ensuring the quality of food. He mentioned the recently announced PM-PRANAM scheme, which encourages balanced chemical use in food cultivation and promotes organic, natural, and alternative farming methods. Dr. Mandaviya appealed countries worldwide to collaborate in addressing the global food shortage problem, emphasizing the philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (the world is one family).

Narendra Singh Tomar, the guest of honour, highlighted the fundamental right to food and the need to ensure its availability and affordability for all. Stressing on the importance of farmers, he urged that they must be at the center of any food supply policies to protect their interests. Additionally,  Tomar advocated for the promotion of millets, citing their water-efficient nature, resilience to adverse climatic conditions, and high nutritional value.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, congratulated the organizers through a recorded message, stating the importance of ensuring safe and nutritious food for everyone, everywhere.

Global Food Regulators Summit 2023 Initiatives 

During the summit, several essential initiatives were launched. The Food-o-Copoeia, a collection of food category-wise monographs, was released, serving as a comprehensive reference for applicable food safety standards and regulations. Another crucial database, 'SaNGRAH' - Safe food for Nations: Global food Regulatory Authorities Handbook, was introduced, providing information on Food Regulatory Authorities of 76 countries, their mandates, food safety ecosystems, and contact details.

A Common Digital Dashboard was unveiled, offering comprehensive information on standards, regulations, notifications, advisories, guidelines, contamination limits, and the latest developments by Food Regulators in India.

Furthermore, an exhibition featuring 35 exhibitors, including Food Business Operators (FBOs) and esteemed organizations like APEDA, MPEDA, EIC, Spice Board, Tea Board, and Coffee Board, was inaugurated during the summit. The exhibition provided a platform for exchanging ideas and information on food safety, food standards, food testing capabilities, product reformulation, and advancements in food technologies.

The summit also featured technical sessions focusing on various critical topics, including roles and responsibilities of global food regulators, challenges and solutions for global food safety, robust standard setting, and innovation in food emergency response.

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