Safe Food International Launches Website

Consumer Organizations Aim to Improve Food Safety Standards Globally

June 21, 2004

Consumer organizations from around the globe are joining together to address the need for a safer food supply. Safe Food International (SFI)---in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Nuclear Threat Initiative---is seeking to establish a common platform for consumer groups and others in pushing for stronger national food safety standards.

Foodborne illnesses are rampant in all parts of the world, resulting in millions of deaths each year. The WHO estimates that tainted food causes approximately 1.5 billion annual cases of diarrhea in children, resulting in more than three million premature deaths.

SFI's Guidelines for Consumer Organizations to Promote Food Safety in their National Governments, currently in draft form, will be finalized at a landmark international conference hosted by SFI, the WHO, and the FAO at the WHO headquarters in Geneva next year. Consumer groups are encouraged to contribute to the guidelines which can be found on SFI's website. The final guidelines will be distributed after the conference to advocates worldwide.

"New food safety standards created by a unified global group of food safety organizations would not only improve the safety of the world's food supply but also ensure consumer confidence in foods produced worldwide," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). "Through Safe Food International, new food safety policies will help prevent needless deaths and illnesses from contaminated food sources."

SFI is a project of CSPI, a nonprofit group with offices in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Canada supported by more than 800,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and foundation grants. CSPI, a leading food safety and nutrition advocacy organization, accepts no money from industry or the government. Through SFI, CSPI aims to equip and inspire national governments in each region of the world to advocate sensible food-safety policies in their home countries and to further develop an international network for future communication and advocacy.


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