Measures to Prevent Food Adulteration

The FDA says 13 more specialized laboratories to screen food products across the country will start functioning by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2017
Measures to Prevent Food AdulterationMeasures to Prevent Food Adulteration

Food adulteration or addition of unhealthy, unsafe substances or inferior substitutes in food products is usually motivated by profiteering. Adulterated food can cause severe biological, chemical as well as physical harm among consumers, as well as several nutritional problems.

Development of stricter monitoring programs to screen all food products for safety is the only way to secure food supply and address the growing concern over food adulteration. Without access to healthy foods, a nutritious diet that is necessary for good health is out of reach.

“In order to achieve the goal of safe, healthy food, a national eight-year document for food safety (2012-2020) was developed jointly by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of the Presidential Deputy for Science and Technology, the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBUMS), and Iran’s Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation,” said Dr Hassan Yazdanpanah, a board member of the SBUMS and in-charge of the document implementation plan, quoted by ISNA.

Pointing to the establishment of a Food Health Research Center at SBUMS in 2013, as the first step to carry out the first phase of the plan, he said, “The main responsibility of the center is to cooperate with the FDA for development of comprehensive and long-term strategic programs to reach the goals defined in the national document.”

The plan seeks to: use national researchers’ capabilities to develop methods of adulterated food detection; provide appropriate training to FDA staff and researchers for identifying food-borne pathogens and contaminants; and boost national knowhow in areas of monitoring food safety so as to prevent adulteration through signing bilateral memorandums of understanding with different food quality research centers across the world.

 “The university’s National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute had recently signed two MoUs with foreign research centers,” said Yazdanpanah.

  MoUs With European Institutions    

Earlier in February, the university signed two MoUs with RIKILT-Institute of Food Safety at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES).

RIKILT-Institute of Food Safety is an independent non-profit institute conducting research on the detection and identification of contaminants (including GMOs) in food and feed, and the interaction of these substances within the food chain.

 AGES is jointly run by the Austrian Federal Ministries of Health and Women’s Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.

AGES supports the management of the federal ministries in questions relating to public health, animal health, food safety, medical and drug safety, food security and consumer protection along the food chain by providing professional and independent scientific expertise.

 “Another MoU will be signed in late November between SBUMS and the Hungarian National Food Chain Safety Office known as NEBIH,” Yazdanpanah said.

The FDA says 13 more specialized laboratories to screen food products across the country will start functioning by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2017.

“The labs would accelerate the process of checking, testing and identification of food toxins, disseminate food safety information, and provide science-based solutions to problems impacting food safety,” said FDA head Rasul Dinarvand.

The FDA was allocated $6.75 million to equip their laboratories with the latest methods of detecting spurious and contaminated food. “This will help us to detect harmful edible products as everyday we witness new methods of faking food products.”

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