World Leaders Urge Push To Improve Food Safety

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

Illness linked to unsafe food put strain on healthcare systems and damage economies, trade and tourism.

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 United Nations statement on Tuesday.

“There is no food security without food safety,” UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva told the opening session of the First International Food Safety Conference in Addis Ababa.

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

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