Policy Matter

Make food safety a priority: World Health Organization

Prior to World Health Day on April 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called upon nations, policy makers, farmers, food food-saftyhandlers, families and individuals to make food safety a priority.

An estimated 7,00,000 children die of diarrhoea in WHO’s south-east Asia zone, which includes India, every year.

“Bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals and other contaminants in our food can cause over 200 diseases ranging from diarrhoea to cancer. New and emerging threats – such as climate change and its impact on food production; emerging biological and environmental contamination; new technologies; new food-borne infections and diseases; and antimicrobial resistance through food chain – all pose challenges to the safety of our food,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia.

“These existing and emerging threats call for urgent action. Countries must put in place comprehensive food safety policies matched by legislation and robust food safety strategies, and they must be stringently implemented across the food chain. This requires a trained workforce and an informed and empowered consumer” she added.

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