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Summary report of the webinar on food safety implications from the use of environmental inhibitors in agrifood systems









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    Food safety implications from the use of environmental inhibitors in agrifood systems 2023
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    The challenge of feeding a growing world population while responding to the climate crisis, requires development of practices and technologies to increase sustainability of agrifood systems and reduce harmful effects on the environment. Among those approaches, environmental inhibitors are used to improve the production efficiency of crops and livestock while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane or limiting the loss of nitrogen from cultivated fields and pastures. An inadvertent presence of environmental inhibitors in food commodities can raise health concerns as well as trade disruption if standards are not established. Challenges related to food safety risk assessment and management of these substances include the lack of internationally harmonized maximum residue limits (MRLs), agreed definition for environmental inhibitors and insufficient safety information for some compounds. This publication provides an overview of various synthetic and biological environmental inhibitors along with an analysis of possible food safety implications from their use. Regulatory frameworks relevant for environmental inhibitors in selected countries are presented as examples of current approaches being taken at national or regional level. Finally, food safety-related knowledge gaps are discussed together with some perspectives on how to move forward.
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    Food Safety Foresight Technical Meeting on New Food Sources and Production Systems FAO, Headquarters, Rome, Italy: 13 – 17 November 2023
    Summary and conclusions
    2023
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    New food sources and production systems (NFPS) can play a critical role in the transformation of our agrifood systems by diversifying our current ways of producing food. Therefore, it is important that FAO monitors this space, keeps gathering relevant information and disseminates sound technical advice on NFPS, particularly in the context of the food safety aspects of NFPS. Based on this objective and aiming to also build on the previous work of FAO in the area, the Food Safety Foresight Programme of the Food Systems and Food Safety Division of FAO organized a technical meeting to discuss the food safety aspects of i) plant-based food products, ii) new applications of precision fermentation, and iii) 3D food printing. At the meeting foresight approaches were used to explore the possible future landscape of NFPS. Applying foresight approaches in agrifood systems, and particularly in food safety, will allow FAO and its members to prepare for potential emerging threats, disruptions, and challenges, while also being ready to optimize opportunities that may arise in the medium- to long-term future. This executive summary report summarizes the key conclusions of the meeting and outlines some data gaps and research needs pertaining to the three focus areas.
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    Proceedings of the nature-based solutions webinar
    Hand in hand with nature: Understanding nature-based solutions in agriculture through GIAHS - 1 December 2020
    2021
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    The adverse effects of anthropogenic-induced climate change on the sustainability and resilience of agri-food systems at inter-regional scales calls for a substantial reorientation and sectoral transformation of the existing production and governance systems. In this context, FAO’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia convened a webinar on 1 December 2020 under the theme “Hand in Hand with Nature: Understanding Nature-Based Solutions in agriculture through GIAHS”. The main thrust of the webinar was to open a debate on the potentialities of nature-based solutions (NbS) to support agri-food systems in the Europe and Central Asia region. The dialogue also sought to develop a multi-stakeholder platform for upscaling NbS in agriculture based on real cases, tools and science-based shreds of evidence in ECA countries. The two-hour virtual session encompassed keynote presentations, interactive dialogues, and panel discussions covering the concepts of NbS and the Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems (GIAHS). NbS are measures taken to sustainably conserve, restore and manage ecosystems in order to meet societal challenges in an effective and adaptable manner while also benefiting life on Earth. GIAHS is a major FAO programme that aims at identifying, supporting and safeguarding remarkable agricultural, forestry and fisheries production systems, with their livelihoods, agrobiodiversity, landscapes, knowledge systems and cultures around the world. Through this first webinar, FAO provided a revision of nature-based solutions in agriculture with real and time-tested examples coming from GIAHS.

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