News / USA

APEC Announces Partnership For Global Food Safety

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director of The World Bank, speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, November 11, 2011, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director of The World Bank, speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, November 11, 2011, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Asia Pacific leaders are meeting in Honolulu through Sunday for the annual summit of APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.  On the sidelines, corporate chief executives have been meeting with officials of the 21 APEC economies.  One result of this year's summit is a public-private partnership to ensure the safety of global food supplies.

The U.S. government says nearly 50 million Americans are made ill by the food they eat each year, and thousands die from food-borne illnesses annually.

American officials, corporate executives and World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced a partnership Saturday to help APEC members and others ensure the safety of their food.  Sri Mulyani says that problems in the food supply spread quickly.

“A food safety crisis that originates in one region can so rapidly become a crisis in another region,” said Sri Mulyani.

The United States upgraded its food safety standards last January when President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act.  The new law focuses on prevention of food-borne illnesses, which Pamela Bailey, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, says is crucial.

“Prevention is at the heart of food safety, preventing an incident before it occurs,” said Bailey.

The new fund aims at building oversight capacity, initially among members of the APEC trade group, which includes industrial countries such as the United States, emerging economies like China and Russia, and developing nations, including Vietnam.  

Rohit Khanna of Waters Corporation, a maker of scientific instruments and a partner in the fund, says the strategy involves educating food producers and processors, and scientific testing.  He says food suppliers who sell to industrial nations already test their food.

“That's critical,"said Khanna. "They have to make sure that before they export it, it's tested and it's going to meet our standards.  But what's happening is, as these countries, as the poor population is now moving into a middle class arena, they're starting to expect the same type of quality of food locally that we would expect coming into the United States, for example.”

An American official, speaking at the launch of the Global Food Safety Partnership, said as much as 20 percent of the food Americans eat is imported, including 80 percent of their seafood, most of which comes from Asia.  He says a strategy for food safety must be global.

Pamela Bailey says the new fund is a step in that direction.  It is being launched with a modest one million dollars.  Half of the sum is to be provided by Mars Incorporated, a global company known for its candy, and one quarter of  the amount will come from the U.S. Agency for International Development.  The World Bank will manage the fund.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association is providing its expertise, and the association's Pamela Bailey says the global food safety effort is just getting started.   

“What's most important is the partnership - industry, [the] government of the U.S., I know we'll be joined by other governments, the World Bank, and it's the world's first global fund for food safety,” said Bailey.

An American aid official says the fund is part of a larger effort to reduce hunger and malnutrition around the world.

You May Like

AU Takes Action on Boko Haram, Defers on S. Sudan

African Union is moving forward with a request for a military force to stop the spread of Boko Haram insurgency in West Africa; Ban Ki-moon welcomes decision to form a five-nation force More

Mass Protests Held for 58 Killed in Pakistani Shi'ite Mosque Bombing

Thousands of Shi'ite Muslims took to the streets across Pakistan Saturday to protest a powerful bomb blast at a mosque in Sindh province during Friday prayers, killing dozens of people More

Williams Wins Australian Open with Straight-Set Victory over Sharapova

The win is Serena Williams' sixth in Australia, and her 19th overall Grand Slam title More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid