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World leaders urge push to improve food safety

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Addis Ababa, Feb 13 (IANS/AKI) Nations must work together more closely to eliminate unsafe foods which cause ill health and death, cost developing countries nearly $100 billion dollars a year and hamper sustainable development, global leaders said, according to a statement on Tuesday.

"There is no security without safety," UN and Agriculture Organisation's told the opening session of the First International Conference in

"Safeguarding our food is a shared responsibility. We must all play our part. We must work together to scale up in national and international political agendas," da Silva said at the event organised by the African Union, FAO, the UN and the (WTO).

Food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins or causes more than 600 million people to fall ill and 420,000 to die worldwide every year, according to the UN.

"is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, but has not received the political attention it deserves," WHO said.

"Ensuring people have access to safe food takes sustained investment in stronger regulations, laboratories, surveillance and monitoring. In our globalised world, is everyone's issue," he added.

Illness linked to put strain on and damage economies, trade and tourism. The impact of costs low- and middle-income economies around $95 billion in lost productivity each year, said the statement issued by

A central theme of the conference is that need to keep pace with the way food is produced and consumed, according to the statement.

Information technologies, shared information, training and education play a key role in making food safe and in facing current challenges posed by climate change, the globalisation of food production, the growing global population and urbanization, said the statement.

Conference participants agreed that food safety must be a paramount goal at every stage of the food chain, from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, preparation and consumption, the statement said.

"Without safe foods, it is not possible to achieve food security," Commission told the conference.

WTO highlighted the key role played by trade in eradicating poverty.

"Trade is an important force to lift people out of poverty... when we reconvene in in April we will consider these issues in more depth," Azevedo said.

A follow-up event, the International Forum on Food Safety and Trade, which will focus on interlinkages between food safety and trade, is due to be hosted by WTO in on April 23-24.

Around 130 countries are taking part in the two-day conference in Addis Ababa, including agriculture, health, and trade ministers. Leading scientific experts and representatives from partner agencies, consumer, and organisations and the private sector are also taking part.

--IANS/AKI

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 00:04 IST
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