Food Safety on Two Continents: Emerging Pathogens and Policies

Upcoming Conference Will Address Food Safety in the United States and European Union

May 28, 2012

On June 6, government leaders and consumer representatives from the United States and the European Union will gather to discuss food safety challenges presented by emerging pathogens. Conferees will discuss approaches to controlling hazards, such as antibiotic-resistant Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and implications for consumers.

The conference is organized by Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and "Which?" (a U.K. consumer organization). The TACD is a forum of consumer organizations that develops joint consumer policy recommendations and submits them to the U.S. government and European Union.

"Food safety is a global issue," says CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWaal. "Consumer organizations in the U.S. and E.U. are looking for innovative approaches that could help prevent the next major food safety scare."

Attendees will address last year’s produce outbreaks in both the United States and the European Union. Contaminated sprouts in Germany claimed over 50 lives, while an outbreak linked to cantaloupes in the United States claimed 30 lives. Other topics include industrial meat production, transparency of corporate practices, and traceability. The conference will be convened by the co-chairs of the TACD Food Committee—Caroline Smith DeWaal of CSPI and Sue Davis, the chief policy officer at "Which?"

Speakers at the conference will feature high-level government officials, including Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Elisabeth Hagen, executive director of the European Food Safety Authority Catherine Geslain-Lanéele, Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Foods Mike Taylor, and Michael Scannell, director of the Food & Veterinary Office with the E.U.’s Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs.

Additional speakers will include Erik Olsen of Pew Charitable Trusts, former chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission Karen Hulebak, Ruth Veale of the European Consumers’ Organization, Jean Halloran from Consumers Union, and Carol Tucker Foreman with the Consumer Federation of America. For a full list of participants, please see the conference agenda.

"Food Safety on Two Continents" takes place on June 6 in Washington, D.C. at the Pew Charitable Trusts Conference Center. The conference is free and open to the public, and those interested in attending can register with TACD.


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