We believe that if food isn’t safe for consumption, it’s not food. We also believe food safety is everyone’s business. Yet every day, millions of people around the world lack access to safe food, compromising their nutrition and potentially posing serious threat to human and animal health.
To find additional ways to tackle this critical issue and help build more resilient food systems, it was our privilege to host the first Food Safety Coalition meeting, bringing together a group of like-minded organizations—from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to the University of Cambridge, among others.
The Coalition brought them together to share data and knowledge about the challenge of global food safety, starting with the important area of aflatoxins, a poisonous chemical produced by mold that contaminates 25% of the world crops and impacts millions of people. Aflatoxins are already an area of focus for the Mars Global Food Safety Center, given the serious health threats they pose.
The aim of the Coalition is to identify specific actions to mobilize behind ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit this September, and to keep working on them beyond the Summit to progress a long-term transformational food safety agenda.
During the Coalition meeting, participants discussed the impacts and challenges of aflatoxin risk management, the tools available and lessons learned from earlier efforts around the world, as well as the key challenges surrounding prediction models and adoption of best food safety practices. Now, the Coalition is working to develop actionable plans that can be driven at pace, immediately.
No single entity can tackle global food safety challenges and all of us—the private sector, non-governmental organizations, regulators and academia—have a role to play in making food systems better to help ensure safe food for all. This significant transformation can only happen through new ideas, actions and uncommon collaborations. We look forward to progressing this important work over the coming weeks and months.
For a full meeting recap and to read more about the Coalition’s workstreams, actions and next steps, visit the Mars Global Food Safety Center site.