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The impact of climate change on food safety, 17 November 2020










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    Book (series)
    Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety 2020
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    Climate change is causing unprecedented damage to our ecosystem. Increasing temperatures, ocean warming and acidification, severe droughts, wildfires, altered precipitation patterns, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and amplification of extreme weather events have direct implications for our food systems. While the impacts of such environmental factors on food security are well known, the effects on food safety receive less attention. The purpose of Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety is to identify and attempt to quantify some current and anticipated food safety issues that are associated with climate change. The food safety hazards considered in the publication are foodborne pathogens and parasites, harmful algal blooms, pesticides, mycotoxins and heavy metals with emphasis on methylmercury. There is also, a dedicated section on the benefits of forward-looking approaches such as horizon scanning and foresight, which will not only aid in anticipating future challenges in a shifting global food safety landscape, but also help build resilient food systems that can be continually updated as more knowledge is assimilated. By building a more widespread and better understanding of the consequences climate change has on food safety, it is hoped that this document will aid in fostering stronger international cooperation in making our food safer by reducing the global burden of these concerns.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    The impacts of climate change on food safety
    Join the webinar on 17 November 2020
    2020
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    A webinar to discuss how climate change impacts food safety will be held on the 17th November 2020. The discussion will also include the key findings from the FAO publication, "Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety". The programme shows the reasons why the topic is important along with objectives of the webinar as well as the event agenda.
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    Meeting
    FAO/WHO Regional Conference on Food Safety for the Americas and the Caribbean - FInal Report - San Jose (Costa Rica), 6-9 December 2005
    Practical actions to promote food safety
    2006
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    Ensuring safe food is essential for the protection of human health and for improving the quality of life in all countries. The importance of safe food, whether domestically produced and consumed, imported or exported, is well known by the countries of the Americas and the Caribbean. An estimated 57,000 deaths have occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean as a result of food- and waterborne diarrhoea in 2004, but even this estimated burden likely greatly underestimates the true magnitude of th e food-borne disease problem in the region. Each food-borne disease outbreak results in a number of direct and indirect costs, in addition to the resultant human suffering. Furthermore, food safety is foundational to all other issues in the area of nutrition and food security, as well as international trade of foods. Food exports from the region are currently worth some US$66 billion, or 12% of the world's total food trade, and this figure could increase rapidly over the coming decades if food s afety and quality standards are improved. Despite these well-known and important reasons, many challenges remain to improving food safety in the region. The countries of the region recognize the importance of developing practical actions for capacity building to overcome these challenges and to promote food safety in the region. Accordingly, following the guidance of the FAO/WHO governing bodies, in line with the suggestions made by the participants at the first and second Joint FAO/WHO Global Fora of Food Safety Regulators (GF1-Morocco, January 2002 and GF2- Thailand, October 2004) and the kind invitation of the Government of Costa Rica, FAO and WHO jointly convened the first Regional Conference on Food Safety for the Americas and the Caribbean in San José, Costa Rica from 6 to 9 December 2005. The Conference brought together over 175 delegates from 32 member countries of the Americas and the Caribbean and observers from 14 international governmental and non-governmental organizatio ns to discuss food safety issues in the region, under the general theme of “Practical Actions to Promote Food Safety”. The participants at the Conference recommended a series of practical actions to the member countries and to FAO and WHO to strengthen food safety systems in the region. It was generally recognized by the participants that although the convening of the Conference itself was successful, its true success can only be measured by the degree of implementation of the recommended actio ns of the Conference and the improved safety of foods produced and consumed in the region.

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