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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid