High-Level International Food Safety Forum adopts the Beijing Declaration on Food Safety
A High-level International Forum on Food Safety, with the theme "Enhancing Food Safety in a Global Community", was held in Beijing, 26 and 27 November 2007. The forum was cosponsored by WHO in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Health (MOH) and the State Administration for Quality and Safety Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIS). The forum brought together senior officials from more than 50 countries and international organizations to review the major issues related to food safety. At the conclusion of the forum, the meeting participants adopted the Beijing Declaration on Food Safety, which demonstrated the high-level political commitment of Member States to resolving food safety problems through positive collaboration rather than erecting inefficient barriers to trade. The declaration urges all countries to develop comprehensive programmes to improve consumer protection from production to consumption, from routine to emergency, and from domestic to international.
Among other recommendations, the declaration urges all countries to actively participate in the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) to share information on emerging food safety issues and experience about best practices. Also important is rapid exchange of information on food safety incidents and emergencies, especially those that fall under the International Health Regulations (IHR (2005)). INFOSAN presently counts 164 Member countries and continues to build linkages with other networks, such as the OIE/FAO/WHO Global Early Warning System for Major Animal Diseases (GLEWS). In addition, the declaration urged countries to assess exposure of their populations to potentially toxic chemicals in their food supplies, especially by undertaking Total Diet Studies.