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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.