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

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora