Beijing site of IFIC food-safety workshop
Sept. 24, 2015
by Erica Shaffer
BEIJING – Several high-profile food-safety scandals in China have underscored the need for more resources, training and communication platforms for stakeholders. In response, the International Food Information Council co-hosted a two-day workshop with the China Food and Drug Administration to provide those resources.
The food-safety workshop featured leading experts from the US, China — including the China FDA, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, China Agricultural Univ. and Peking Univ. — and the World Health Organization.
As part of the workshop, IFIC Foundation developed “Food Safety: A Communicator’s Guide to Improving Understanding” to provide a variety of tools to health professionals, food and nutrition stakeholders, government officials, journalists and others. The purpose of the guide is to enable effective planning and execution of food safety risk communication. The guide was prepared by IFIC Foundation with funding from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Dept. of Agriculture.
“In the overall view, risk communication is still in the early stage in China,” said Du Xiaoxi, CFDA deputy director-general, Department III, Food Safety Inspection Division. “We are trying to build risk communication platforms for all of the stakeholders proactively. “We are drafting risk communication guidelines for Chinese circumstances. The need for risk communication experts in our administration is very important. This is why we are holding this training program.”
The guide provides tools and templates for risk communications in unique environments to account for local and national cultural contexts in which the communication occurs. Included in the guide are discussions about specific food safety situations.
Tony Flood, IFIC Foundation senior director for food safety and defense, aid “… This resource will enable key stakeholders — including government officials, journalists, academic and health experts, as well as consumers — to enhance public trust and confidence in the safety of our global food supply.”
IFIC plans to translate the guide into a variety of languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesian and others. An electronic version of the full guide is available at www.foodinsight.org/foodsafetyguide, where translated versions of the guide will be posted in the next few months.