In Brussels, GFSP CEO Addresses Food Safety Investments in Low and Middle-Income Countries

On May 24, 2017, GFSP CEO Lystra N. Antoine joined food safety colleagues in Brussels to discuss the vastly underestimated burden of foodborne disease in low and middle-Income Countries and its likely causes. The discussion was convened by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

According to Antoine, among the conclusions reached were:

  • Achieving food safety in informal markets is critical to reducing food borne illnesses in low and middle-income countries.
  • The nexus between food safety, water and nutrition needs to be acknowledged and emphasized, and these communities brought closer together since their agendas are complementary.
  • Partnerships are critical to addressing food safety, which is a multifaceted problem.
  • There are unintended consequences of certain actions targeted at improving food safety (removal of street vendors, closing wet markets), that impact vulnerable groups the most, particularly women and children.
  • In the developing country context where risks are pervasive, cost of compliance is high and enforcement capacity is weak, there is need for better models on standards and approaches that can work at scale to assure food safety.
  • Risk-­based approaches are still the most effective in addressing food safety, since policies established to deal with hazards can lead to perverse results.

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