Food safety for human beings and feed safety for animals can never be over emphasized. It is very appropriate for the Ministry of Food Processing and the Union Government to declare 2008, as Food Safety and Food Quality year. Food and feed safety is as important as is Food Security and Energy Security. While the threat of global warming due to Green House Gases (GHG) has brought the need for adopting “Clean or Green Energy Solutions”; the same can be drawn for the Food Safety (Free from contaminants) called by different names of Clean Food, Synthetic Chemical Free Food or Organic Food.
Contaminants free food (Biological and Non-Biological) is no doubt the need of the hour for safe guarding human health from the hazard and deleterious effects caused by these contaminants. Such measures are largely focused on control of Biological Contaminants due to Bacteria and Viruses. However, the damaging effect on human and animal health due to Mycotoxins, Pesticides, Heavy Metals, and Dioxins are much more serious and not getting enough attention.
It is important and appropriate to bring awareness about the health hazard due to these contaminants, identify the source point of their entry into our Food Chain, devise methods to test and monitor them in various commodities and revisit and redefine their safety standards from the point of safe guarding human health.
This decade of 2000 is witnessing more and more assault on human health with higher incidences of Immune Disorders and Cancers. Often, it is related to contamination and degradation of soil, plants and animal produce which are laced with these deadly pollutants / contaminants. Indiscriminate burning of plastic(s) and municipal waste is resulting in increased levels of Dioxins in the water, posing great health threat. Lot of awareness need to be created to control this menace.
Our national laboratories and Research Institutes have successfully addressed, there is gap when it comes to testing, monitoring, regulating and defining safety standards of Mycotoxins, Pesticides, Heavy Metals and Dioxins in Food and Feed.
General Public awareness is low, and not many laboratories exist to speedily test these residues in food. Dioxins testing facilities are restricted to research laboratories and commercial test houses have to gear up in this area.
Non-Biological Contaminants threat to human and animal health is long term with often irreversible damage; the control strategy has also got to be long term and perhaps a five year road map is required to be developed to control the menace. This can only be possible in “Mission Mode” with the patronage from government and participation of commercial enterprise, watch dog role of peoples representatives and constructive contribution of the Media.
The NBC are not only a threat to human health but also a threat to our national economy. A lot of food and feed ingredients becomes unfit for export because they do not come upto international quality standards. We as a country have to overcome and remove these barriers.
I am confident that our country has all the necessary infrastructure, human resource, scientific manpower and technical expertise to develop competence par excellence to international standards.
I believe the deliberation during the two days of National Seminar would address the issue and bring out road map for acquiring competence to achieve food security with food safety. Our organization has taken the lead and would like to move forward with the support of all for acquiring food security and with food safety.