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Final Meeting Report: Technical Meeting on the impact of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) on food safety management: within a One Health approach

The 9th meeting of the Global Microbial Identifier (GMI9)









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    Technical meeting on the Impact of Whole Genome Sequencing on food safety management: Poster abstracts
    23 - 25 May 2016
    2016
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    On the occasion of the Technical Meeting on the impact of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) on food safety management and the 9th meeting of the Global Microbial Identifier from 23 - 25 May 2016 in Rome, Italy, a poster session is held as an opportunity for experts to share and discuss their projects on the topic of WGS and food safety. The abstracts of all presented posters are compiled in this document. The topics of the posters range from research projects on WGS of specific microorganisms, devel oping national strategy to bring pathogen genomics into practice, different platforms for detection and analysis of foodborne outbreaks, to use of WGS in a factory environment. The poster session serves as a good platform for the participants of the Technical Meeting for further discussion and exchange of ideas on the topic of WGS for food safety.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Applications of Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) in food safety management 2016
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    Recent advances in Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology have the potential to play a significant role in the area of food safety. WGS provides rapid identification and characterization of microorganisms, including antimicrobial resistance (AMR), with a level of precision not previously possible. With the rapidly declining cost of this technology, WGS applications in food safety management, including the opportunities it provides for enhanced integration of information from other sectors, suc h as human and animal health, could contribute to enhanced consumer protection, trade facilitation, nutrition and food security. However, the level of understanding of the concepts and potential use of WGS in food safety management vary among countries. This document aims to take the first steps in addressing these gaps, and providing answers to some of the questions which food safety officials (particularly those in developing countries) need to ask and consider if they are to make informed dec isions about WGS and its potential value in food safety management in their context. Four real-life case studies are presented to highlight key benefits and potential drawbacks of WGS in food safety management. Benefits and drawbacks are explained in detail, including the issues related to global data sharing. The document discusses challenges in employing WGS within the regulatory framework in both developed and developing countries, and highlights considerations for countries with limited capa city and resources. A simple exercise to enable developing countries to assess the feasibility of incorporating WGS into national food control systems through a step-by-step approach is described. While WGS can significantly contribute to improving food safety management, it still relies on the appropriate interpretation of laboratory data in the context of epidemiological evidence; WGS alone will not suffice. Despite the challenges, WGS is poised to become standard methodology in some places fo r the identification and characterization of foodborne pathogens. Finding appropriate mechanisms for data sharing will be an important element of its application. In all of this, there is a strong need at the global level to ensure that situations in developing countries are fully taken into account, and that the technology advances in an appropriate direction, in order for WGS to become an effective tool for all.
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    Meeting
    Application of genome sequencing for sustainable agriculture and food security. Meeting Report
    Side event of the 25th Session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG)
    2016
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the joint division of FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a side event on “application of genome sequencing for sustainable agriculture and food security” on 30 September 2016 during the 25th session of Committee on Agriculture (COAG) at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Genome sequencing has the power to revolutionize food security and sustainable agriculture including food safety, animal, plant and publ ic health, reducing the risks from disease outbreaks and improving agriculture through effective plant and animal breeding. While several industrialized countries advance with the technology, application in developing countries is limited. The side event provided a forum for Members to discuss benefits, drawbacks, policy implications and challenges in genome sequencing that call for global actions. During the event, the panelists explained to the audience about the relevant work carried out by t heir respective units and divisions and discussed the impact and potential implications of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

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