Mon, Jul 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Global NGO’s local office to help with health, food

INTERNATIONAL LINK:A food expert said the aim of the NGO’s local arm is to link government with industry and academia to collaborate on food safety

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The newly established local branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) can help the government achieve better public health and food safety, Lucy Sun (孫璐西), chairperson of the institute’s preparatory committee, said yesterday at the inaugural meeting of ILSI Taiwan.

The institute is a non-governmental organization with 16 branches worldwide that aims to foster collaboration among experts from academia, government and industries on issues concerning nutrition, food safety, toxicology, risk assessment and the environment.

One of the organization’s major objectives is to make the large food supply data that is generally kept private publicly available to inform decisionmaking, said Geoffry Smith, president of ILSI for South East Asia.

Given the globalization of food supply processes, “taking the understanding in one part of the food supply chain to other parts of the world” is crucial, Smith added.

ILSI Taiwan aims to be a platform for international communication, information-sharing and domestic collaboration, said Sun, who is a professor of food science and technology at National Taiwan University.

“Food safety concerns everybody and the goal of the local branch is to facilitate interaction between the food industry and the scientific community, as well as helping the government come up with a management strategy that is both consumer-centered and industry-friendly,” she said.

Tsai Shu-chen (蔡淑貞), chief of the Food and Drug Administration’s food division, said that the recent amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) has strengthened the management of the food industry and its products and aims to better protect consumers with ensuring greater government accountability.

“The revised act needs support from the industry and academia to be effective, and the platform provided by ILSI can help both sides with food safety management and safeguarding food security,” Tsai said.

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