Food and Environmental Protection - Previous Highlights

International food standards. A video, available online below, has been made by the Codex Alimentarius, THE world food standards body. It highlights the Food and Environmental Protection Section of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division and its experts in food and nuclear sciences. With a direct link to the Joint FAO/World Health Organization Codex Alimentarius Commission and its international food safety standards, activities in joint FAO/IAEA programme are supporting member states and international standards. Not only does this work involve food irradiation proceedures, it also includes strengthening and disseminating Codex standards for analytical technologies to verify food authenticity and also to accurately measure residues of agrochemicals such as pesticides and veterinary drugs in food.
The FAO/IAEA partnership is an important example of a unique, interagency cooperation — with a fusion of complementary mandates, common targets, joint programming, co-funding and coordinated management all contributing to the safety of the food globally. Watch Video »

FAO/IAEA-NARO Technical Workshop on Remediation of Radioactive Contamination in Agriculture. The Technical Workshop “Remediation of Radioactive Contamination in Agriculture” was held at IAEA Headquarters from 17 – 18 October 2016. This Workshop aimed to promote and share knowledge and experience related to remediation of radioactive contamination in agriculture – including the improvement of emergency preparedness related to food and agricultural production in Member States and support efforts to re-establish agricultural trade from areas currently affected by residual levels of radionuclides. Read More »

Nuclear Techniques and International Food Standards of the Codex Alimentarius. The Joint FAO/IAEA programme and its dedicated laboratories work with sister divisions in FAO and the IAEA. In terms of food and agriculture, it specializes in nuclear sciences to improve food safety, protect consumer health, and facilitate international agricultural trade. The programme provides technical expertise and support to Member Countries in the following areas, all closely related to the international food standards of Codex: the use of ionizing radiation, food authenticity, the control of food contaminants, IAEA radiation standards and nuclear or radiological emergency preparedness for events that could affect food and agriculture. The Codex Alimentarius is highlighting a video report of the IAEA in Austria to explore the very central role that nuclear science has played in the development of international food standards. Read More »

Catching food fraudsters through isotopes – FAO Podcast. In this podcast, our journey into the authenticity of food takes us from a small cheese shop in Italy to the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory in Seibersdorf, where we explore how FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency collaborate on nuclear technology for food and agriculture. We'll also hear stories about the rice fields of India and Pakistan. Along the way we talk to producers, scientists and food safety experts about the importance of genuine food and the role of isotopes as the tiniest, but very powerful, allies in the global fight against fraud. Read More »

Contributing to Strengthening Food Safety: IAEA Commemorates World Health Day. Contamination hazards in the agricultural food chain can stem from a range of sources including residues of agrochemicals, and natural toxins. The economic impact of food contamination and fraud is significant, and food fraud alone is estimated to cost billions of US dollars each year, affecting up 10 percent of food products sold. Read More »

Food safety laboratories - As the food supply chain globalizes. What began in 2006 as a network of 49 food safety laboratories in Latin America and the Caribbean has now expanded to include representatives from 19 countries in the region with many more expected in the future. The initial network was made up of analytical laboratories and supported by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division. It focused on addressing contamination problems and determining ways to improve environmental and food safety that had regional applicability as well as health, trade and economic benefits. Read More »

Indonesia: Irradiation - a matter of food safety. In February 2014, a landslide swept away a remote Indonesian village in West Java, displacing more than 2 000 villagers. At the time, Indonesia’s National Nuclear Energy Agency was participating in a Joint FAO/IAEA Division project that was using food irradiation to develop safe hospital food and emergency rations. When the project staff members learned of the landslide, they decided to use the technique to package safe rations for distribution at the emergency shelter. The staff was determined to give the shelter residents more than just the calories and nutrients they needed: the goal was to give them food that would make them feel good. Read More »

Viet Nam: Preventing insects from hitch-hiking to new pastures. From very modest beginnings of around 100 tonnes in 2008, Viet Nam increased its dragonfruit exports to the US to 1,300 tonnes in 2013, an increase made possible because the fruit went through an irradiation process to keep insect pests from stowing away in the shipment, allowing it to be certified as irradiated, which enabled it to pass strict US import regulations. Read More »

Just the Right Amount: Using Dosimetry to Measure Absorbed Radiation . Photo Essay: Modern life just wouldn’t be the same without firm and ripe imported fruits, frozen pizza or überclean medical tools. All thanks to dosimetry! View Photo Essay »

A Laboratory Success Story – Colombian Pesticide Residues Analysis Laboratory. The Pesticide Residues Analysis Laboratory (LARP) of the Chemistry Department at Universidad Nacional de Colombia obtains international recognition and addresses agrochemical misuse in Colombia. Read More »

Sampling Procedures to Detect Mycotoxins in Agricultural Commodities. Adherence to regulatory limits for mycotoxins in agricultural commodities is important to safeguard consumers and to permit trade in affected commodities across international borders. Reliable estimates of mycotoxin concentrations are required to implement regulatory decisions on the suitability of lots of produce for consumption or trade. Read More »

Fumonisins: From Technical Cooperation to International Standards. Fumonisins, along with aflatoxins, are the major mycotoxins of international health concern. They are unique among the mycotoxins in being almost exclusively contaminants of maize, particularly when grown in warmer regions. Maize is a major human dietary staple that has been in the diet of Nigeria and the African region for centuries. Full Story »

Agrochemicals Unit Selected Country Achievements in 2005 and 2006
The training and methodologies provided by the Agrochemicals Unit have been put to good use in many countries. The "train the trainers" approach taken for the workshops and training courses organised by the Unit has also had considerable impact on awareness-building and expansion of the knowledge-base in Member States. Full Story 2005 », Full Story 2006 »

Food Irradiation: A Powerful Nuclear Tool for Food Safety
Consumer demand for safe, wholesome and nutritious foods is increasing on a worldwide scale. This demand, together with ever increasing global trade in foodstuffs, brings with it a number of related concerns: the possible contamination of foods by harmful micro-organisms; the need to protect crops from insect pests; and the need to support international trade and economic development. Full Story » [pdf]

The Role of eLearning in Supporting Analytical Laboratories
The Centro de Investigación en Contaminación Ambiental, Universidad de Costa Rica (CICA-UCR), is among other tasks responsible for the analysis of pesticide residues and a range of environmental contaminants and is accredited under ISO 17025-2005. Full Story » [pdf]

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