GHI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Mr. Huub Lelieveld
Mr. Larry Keener
Dr. Sangsuk Oh
Dr. Gerhard Schleining
Dr. Vishweshwaraiah Prakash
Mrs. Christine Boisrobert
Dr. Lilia Ahrné
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GHI HONORARY OFFICERS
Ms. Julie Larson Bricher
Dr. Alina-Ioana Gostin
Ambassador Programme Director
Dr. Susanne Braun
Working Groups Coordinator
Dr. Aleksandra Martinovic
Mr. Richard Stier
Dr. Vishweshwaraiah Prakash
Ms. Irena Soljic
Assistant General Secretariat
Ms. Nicole CoutrelisRegulatory Advisor
Dr. Bernd van der Meulen
Legal Advisor - Food
Dr. Sian AstleyMr. Grigor BadalyanNewsletter PublisherMr. Gunter GreilWebmaster
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GHI's Working Groups (WGs) provide the consensus-building forums in which individual scientists share their expertise and come to agreement on the scientific principles that will support informed and objective global food safety, security and nutrition regulatory and legislative decision-making.
heart and soul of GHI.
GHI SUPERVISORY BOARD
Dr. Roland Ernest Poms (Chair)
EuCheMS Food Chemistry Division, Hamburg, Germany
CSIRO, Werribee, Australia
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Fuzhou University and Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology, Fujian, China
Roosevelt Academy, Tilburg,
EuroFIR, Brussels, Belgium
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela
Dr. Pablo Juliano
Plan to participate at upcoming GHI Meetings!
In the coming months, GHI will hold several general meetings, working group gatherings, and make presentations at scientific meetings all over the globe.
Visit the GHI Website
to get the scoop on our calendar of events.
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In many countries and for many people, the months of July and August are holidays. If you have been fortunate enough to take some time away from your work, I hope that you have had relaxing and rejuvenating time. Regrettably, however, there are also many parts in the world where violence, often on a large scale, makes it impossible for people to even think about holidays. Let us hope that in those areas the situations will become better with time.
In the food science world, much has happened this summer. Several scientific conferences have presented focus sessions on food regulations and harmonization, and many have involved GHI officers. In this issue of GHI Matters you will read about the GHI meetings in New Orleans during the annual IFT meeting and in Montreal during the IUFoST World Congress. During the latter, the plans to address improvement and harmonization of chemical food safety regulations were presented and welcomed with enthusiasm. We need similar plans in other areas, such as mycotoxins and nutrition. The chairs of the relevant working groups have announced that they will produce such plans in the near future. You will read about these in an upcoming edition of GHI Matters.
As always, we encourage you to contribute via email
your GHI-related news, calendar listings and resource links for inclusion in upcoming e-newsletters and announcements. On behalf of the GHI Executive Board, I do hope that we will have the opportunity to meet at one of this autumn's scientific conferences!
FREE PAPERS IN SEPTEMBER
During the 2012 International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) Congress in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, a full session was devoted to the subject of harmonisation of food safety regulations in which Global Harmonization Initiative (GHI) members presented information about the status of, and issues related to, food regulations in various parts of the world.
John Wiley & Sons is making these papers available for free viewing and download to GHI members only until September 31, 2014. Be sure to download your free copies today!
Articles based on those presentations are now published in the August 2014 In Focus section of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. The Global Harmonisation In Focus feature section also includes additional papers to provide readers with a broader view of varying global food regulations and why science-based harmonisation of food safety regulations is important.
For the month of September only, GHI members have been given free access to view and download the introductory summary by GHI's Huub Lelieveld and Hans Steinhart, and all 12 papers in the section. GHI member-authors cover every part of the globe, from Africa and Asia, to South America and the Middle East.
GHI Sponsors Macedonia Conference, Holds Meetings in Montreal, New Orleans
|GHI President Huub Lelieveld, GHI Ambassador to Croatia Vlasta Pilizota at CEFood 2014 in Macedonia.|
GHI was a cooperative sponsor of the Central European Congress on Food (CEFood 2014), which took place in Ohrid, Macedonia in May. The conference attracted 303 delegates from 38 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The topic, food chain integration, provided a multidisciplinary forum covering broad food areas that ranged from production, engineering, processing and sustainability, to analysis, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry, to biotechnology, novel bio-products, and functional foods.
GHI President Huub Lelieveld served as moderator of the Food Safety & Quality Session, and gave a presentation entitled, "GHI's Role in Food Laws."
A major goal of CEFood 2014 is to ensure papers are subsequently accessible to a wider food science community. As a result of this aim, paper and poster abstracts were published in the CAB Abstracts database, and full papers will be published in the Journal of Hygienic Engineering and Design (Key/EHEDG), Food Packaging and Shelf Life (Elsevier), Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture (Springer), CABI Full Text repository database, FSTA Food Science and Technology database, and the International Institute of Refrigeration Fridoc database, and the Global Health database.
|Larry Keener, GHI Vice President|
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
New Orleans, Louisiana (US)
GHI held a general information meeting at IFT's Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans, led by GHI Vice President Larry Keener with support from the organisation's Communications Director, Julie Larson Bricher. The hour-long meeting attracted a mix of current GHI members and food scientists who came to find out more about the organisation's mission and processes.
Mr. Keener updated the participants on GHI's recent activities, including progress on the upcoming publication of GHI's second book on food safety aspects of traditional and ethnic foods and the progress of several GHI Working Groups. Ms. Larson Bricher outlined plans to update the GHI website and introduced the organisation's new e-marketing tool now being used to send members the GHI Matters e-newsletter, meeting promotions and other announcements.
Meeting participants discussed a variety of topics, including the work of the newly re-formed Nanotechnology Working Group and the Food Chemical Safety Working Group. A new working group on food safety training and education was proposed, as well as one on transportation. IFT vice president Will Fisher addressed the group with regard to IFT's new Global Food Traceability Center and associated reports that will summarise global regulations related to traceability. He invited GHI's participation in this effort.
|GHI officers and members met in August at the 2014 IUFoST World Congress in Montreal.|
IUFoST World Congress
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
GHI held a general information meeting at the 2014 IUFoST World Congress in Montreal in August, led by GHI President Huub Lelieveld with support from GHI Communications Director Julie Larson Bricher. Approximately 20 GHI members and food scientists interested in joining the organisation attended the meeting. The meeting provided an update to participants on GHI infrastructure and finance, communications, Ambassador Programme, and working groups progress.
Mr. Lelieveld detailed fundraising efforts by GHI-Financials, a separate charitable organisation that raises money for the GHI-Association to fund its activities. He also outlined plans to extend the Ambassador Programme, which currently represents about 40 countries. The ambassadors have proven an effective way to communicate GHI's message of global food regulation harmonisation on regional and local levels. Ms. Larson Bricher outlined the proposed redesign of the GHI website and the institution of a new e-marketing system to help ambassadors, working groups and the general membership to network and receive more timely news and information about GHI.
Participants discussed a variety of topics, ranging from a new consensus-building strategy document introduced by the Food Chemical Safety Working Group, the recently published group of papers on global harmonisation from IUFoST 2012 in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, and the possibility of organising a GHI member conference. A participant from a multinational food manufacturing company invited Mr. Lelieveld to speak to the company about GHI, noting, "Our main concern as a department is harmonisation of food regulations and laws, and we are very interested in initiatives such as this to solve harmonisation issues."
|Order Your Copy of GHI's First Book and Receive a 20% Discount
Based on the principles of GHI, Ensuring Global Food Safety: Exploring Global Harmonization offers a rational and multi-faceted approach to current food safety issues, while arguing that a science-based global regulatory framework will enhance the safety, availability and quality of the food supply worldwide. GHI was specifically established to help build global consensus on the scientific evidence underpinning food safety policymaking. This book provides practical examples in key areas such as microbiology, toxicology and nutrition, as well as discusses possible improvements necessary to sustain the integrity of the global food supply in the 21st century. Get a 20% discount by using Code 98440 when you order your copy from Academic Press/Elsevier...
India Gives Shape to New Food Safety Regulations for Nutraceuticals
|Dignitaries, who enriched delegates' experience with recent innovations in the field of nutraceuticals, inaugurated the Nutra India Summit Conference.|
The finalisation of new food safety regulations for nutraceuticals in the Indian market or manufactured in India was the focus of discussion at 9th Nutra India Summit Conference in Bengaluru, India in March 2014. Prof. MS Swaminathan, was honoured with a lifetime achievement award and spoke about zero hunger as a key challenge for achieving food and nutrition security. Dr. Thyagarajan, former Director of India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories, suggested a global research alliance for nutraceuticals development should be created, which could be a platform for industrial innovation.
Dr. V. Prakash, Vice-President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and GHI Executive Committee Member, talked about how R&D for nutraceutical claims should be evidence-based, which will lead to self-regulation and involve ethical marketing with transparent public policy. Speaking on innovations in nutritionals, naturals, nutraceuticals and ayurceuticals, in relation to epidemiology and the struggle with the regulations, Dr. Prakash said, "The journey from concept to product approval to marketing of nutra-products is pebbled with firestones of hard labour and hardcore science that, ultimately, must reach the consumer with all its claimed benefits at an affordable cost."
The three-day event dealt with various issues, such as research areas of new nutra-ingredients and policy matters with the emphasis on the future for nutraceuticals and nutritionals in the global arena, safety, global policies, protecting intellectual property rights for products and processes, principles governing the ethical and legal marketing of such ingredients, maintaining the quality of products, and the need to develop human capital for the industry. Other topics discussed included creating value through product management, communication, branding and delivering value through customer confidence and the need to educate consumers about efficacy and safety of the products.
The role of nutra-ingredients in maintaining good health was another key area of discussion, which included innovations in protein research for structure-function and efficacy, which go beyond the amount and source of protein, amino acid content and peptides; lycopene-rich supplements for managing osteoporosis; and plant bioactive components to prevent Alzheimer's disease and the potential of compounds such as curcumin from Indian turmeric and green tea catechins in this area. In addition, probiotic mechanisms of action, in terms of desirable and functional characteristics (e.g., adhesion to intestinal epithelium, antagonism against pathogens, stimulation of the immunological system and beneficial metabolic activities on the host) were also presented.
The conference concluded with a topical discussion on the regulation of nutraceuticals fortified with vitamins and minerals. Speakers from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Thailand gave a global view and the seminar attracted wide discussion. The meeting ended with a note that the 10th Nutra India Summit Conference will be at Mumbai, India, 18-20 March 2015 in the Hotel Lalith. The conference was graced by the presence of IUFoST president Dr. Pingfan Rao, secretary general Dr. Judith Meech and president-elect Dr. Rickey Yada.
--By Jamuna Prakash, GHI Ambassador, India
Check out this article by GHI Ambassador, Australia Dilip Ghosh, PhD, FACN
, published in Nutraceuticals World Online
in July 2014. Dr. Ghosh explores how the association of nutraceuticals with Ayurvedic medicine, an Indian traditional medicinal approach, is gaining consumer acceptance. However, he writes, numerous nutraceutical combinations have entered the international market through exploration of ethno-pharmacological claims made by different traditional practices without robust quality, safety and efficacy proofs. More evidence is needed before these products can be broadly integrated into national health systems for disease prevention.
Read the full article at Nutraceuticals World Online
July 2014, 352 pages, ISBN 9783527335558
Filling a distinct need in the globalized food economy, this introductory reference distills the key facts and regulations from the food laws of 10 major countries across four continents. The result is a truly global survey of the world's most important food markets in terms of regulatory standards, principles and the authorities involved. Chapter 1, Argentina is co-written by GHI Ambassador to Argentina Alejandro Ariosti.
The tried-and-tested concept behind the book originates from a regular summer school on food law for non-lawyers organized by the editors, and dispenses with formalized legal language, such that food specialists without a law degree can use the content. By virtue of its systematic structure, the book allows different market conditions to be easily compared, and global trends in food legislation can be followed. Key facts for food producers active on the international market, who often lack the time and resources to refer to the primary laws and legal commentaries. Order information from publisher John Wiley & Sons.
GHI Ambassador Snapshots
GHI Ambassadors hail from more than 40 countries. For more information about becoming a GHI Ambassador, please email Dr. Alina-Ioana Gostin, GHI Ambassador Programme Director.
Prof. Dr. Vlasta Pilizota
GHI Ambassador, Croatia
I was appointed GHI Ambassador for Croatia in June 2012. It was my wish to join this network of organisations and individuals, after 33 years of professional and scientific career at the University of Osijek and the Faculty of Food Technology, Josipa Juraj Strossmayer, Croatia. I have been involved in many national and international activities, attending meetings and collaborating with other national and international scientists, institutions and associations. In doing my research and teaching students, my aim is to broaden my horizons (and theirs) and to build connections with other scientists all over the world, especially but not only with those who share the same (similar) ideas in different fields of interest as well as contributing in different ways. Joining GHI was a logical outcome of these activities.
Currently, I am taking every opportunity to provide information about the GHI, certainly among my younger colleagues, many of whom are former or current students. I am also working to identify experts in Croatia who are willing to join GHI Working Groups, attending meetings with the Croatian Food Agency, and participate in GHI activities. Other contributions include presenting at the recent CEFood 2014 in Macedonia, IFT Annual Meeting 2014 in New Orleans, and IUFoST 2014 in Montreal. I am also proud to be one of more than 1,400 food scientists who earned Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credentials at the IFT Annual Meeting 2013 in Chicago.
Dr. Aleksandra Martinovic
GHI Ambassador, Montenegro
The food production and agriculture sector has an important role in the economy of Montenegro with agriculture contributing 11.3% of the GDP. However, despite this importance, there are numerous issues associated with this sector not least because it is slow growing and offers very limited competitiveness.
An increase in competitiveness, through various forms of support for agriculture and food processing industries, has been identified as a priority by various strategic documents. Scope for improvement in this sector is wide, but one of the issues is inadequate quality standard level (hygiene and environment) - in other words, food quality and safety. The reasons for this are two-fold; ensuring a stable and acceptable supply of food in terms of quality and price is one of the objectives for the national agricultural policy, which is expected to contribute towards growth and increased competitiveness, but food safety is linked directly with public health, and protecting and improving the health of consumers should be among any country's top priorities. Montenegro needs to put significant effort into harmonising legislation with EU Acquis as it moves towards EU integration.
I was elected GHI Ambassador for Montenegro in October 2012. As a member of GHI, and a GHI Ambassador, I am determined to present GHI advice and set up goals, not only in Montenegro and through my connections at the University of Donja Gorica, Podgorica, but also in the region through existing networks. My ambition is to involve Montenegrin research and the wider scientific community, as well as stakeholders from food production, in contributing to GHI activities. The focus of my activities, involving as many national and regional experts as possible, is to strengthen links among scientists and exchange knowledge and experience. So far, I have spread the information through the Montenegrin scientific community and recommended experts take part in various GHI Working Groups.
Morad S. Ahmed
GHI Ambassador, Egypt
As an accredited food safety and quality auditor and trainer in Egypt and the Middle East, I work to upgrade food processors to achieve compliance with international standards. I saw the benefits of joining GHI and have promoted its message of global harmonisation of food safety regulations in training sessions for both the state and private sectors.
Many agri-food processors and exporters in the region understand the benefits of streamlining operations and adhering to international standards to ensure high quality and safe foods. However, they are often asked by international buyers to obtain more certifications, even if an exporter is already certified for HACCP, ISO 9001 and ISO 22000, and OHSMS or ISO 18001, and some also have ISO14001 (environmental compliance). If they want to continue exporting to Europe then additional certification, such as EuroGAP, BRC, IFS, and CSR (ISO26000), also are necessary. For US markets, FDA registration is required, and prior notice of each shipment and a local agent. Such certification and regulations poses a heavy financial burden on developing world agro-food processors and exporters, and fall into what WTO/ ITC would consider 'technical barriers to trade' (TBT).
Joining GHI and serving as its Ambassador to Egypt gives me the chance to convey a message to these processors about those who care and work for more streamlined international trade, such as Global Harmonization Initiative.
Conferences & Meetings
GHI regularly makes presentations and holds general and working group meetings in conjunction with scientific and food industry conferences around the globe.
Please check our website for details, or contact the GHI Meetings Coordinator, Aleksandra Martinovic, via email to submit listings.
New and Upcoming Articles of Interest
Regulating the Low-Level Presence of Chemicals in Foods: The Way Forward
GHI Working Group on Food Chemical Safety chair Jaap Hanekamp has penned an article on that shows that the chemical product safety of foods is a misnomer, partly because some chemicals regarded as synthetic are also natural. Moreover, he writes, the toxicity of chemicals is related to ingested dose and concomitant bioavailability rather than mere presence. The latter, unfortunately, has made central stage in many food safety policies because of vastly improved analytical capabilities. Read more in the August/September 2014 issue of Food Safety Magazine.
NuFFooDS Spectrum Features GHI Interview with Huub Lelieveld
In an interview with the online e-news publication, NuFFooDS Spectrum, GHI president Huub Lelieveld shared his thoughts on the progress and achievements of GHI and the global harmonisation of food safety regulations. Read more...
More Publications of Interest...
Effect of climate change on Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin B1 production
By Angel Medina, Alicia Rodriguez and Naresh Magan
July 2014, Frontiers in Food Microbiology
Professor Naresh Magan, co-chair of the GHI Working Group Mycotoxins, has published a review with colleagues from the Applied Mycology Group, Cranfield Soil and AgriFood Institute at Cranfield University, UK, that examines information available on the potential impact of key environmental factors and their interactions on the molecular ecology, growth and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus in vitro and in maize grain.
Editor's note: The GHI Working Group on Mycotoxins, chaired by Professors Naresh Magan, Karina Grigoryan and Mark Shamtsyan, aims to (1) harmonise regulations so governments can require industries and others in the supply chain to use methods avoiding development of mycotoxins or reducing their concentration, and (2) to develop methods for the reduction of mycotoxin concentrations on contaminated staple foods.
Member News & Notes
Join Us for Monthly GHI Teleconferences
The activities of GHI are now sufficiently widespread and diverse that it is difficult to keep track of them. One solution has been the introduction of monthly teleconferences. For more information about how you can participate, please contact GHI Secretariat Irena Soljic