- Food Safety

Global Food Safety and Global Food Trade


The agriculture, the domestication of animals and the abandonment of nomadic life made the formation of cities possible. Trade and interchange between one region and another started. With rising productivity time was left to develope the arts, science and other mankind activities. All great civilizations have rested on a food base, usually a single key staple crop like rice, wheat, corn or meat.


Depending on one single key staple food such as rice, wheat, corn or meat the control over food became more and more concentrated in organized trade busines. Foods had to stored, transported and distribuited in a retailing system, this gave rise to industrialization.

Fears concerning safety matters

Industrialized food gave rise to fears about. Responding to the rising control of food by corporations, the consumer became increasingly afraid of loosing the control over his basic needs. Concerns about food safety resulted in sofisticated safety systems.

Check Food, what is it?

Disenchantment of food

As meals are more and more no longer prepared and consumed at home, their symbolic, religious and cultural importance are lost. They merely serve as a mean of sustaining life and are a source of pleasure. Powerful corporations are taking over world production of almost every food.

In order to coordinate the global trade the WTO was founded.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations.

Today, FAO is one of the largest specialized agencies in the United Nations system and the lead agency for agriculture forestry, fisheries and rural development. An intergovernmental organization, FAO has 187 member countries plus one member organization, the European Community.

FAO works to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security, defined as the access of all people at all times to the food they need for an active and healthy life.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Biological diversity is the variety of life on Earth, from the simplest bacterial gene to the vast, complex rainforests of the Amazon. Human beings are an integral part of this diversity, as is the food, medicine, clothing and other biological resources that sustain us.

Recognizing the importance of biodiversity to our daily lives and the pressure that human activities are placing on our living world, governments adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 as an activity of the UN Environmental Program. From the start it was understood that scientific knowledge and technological know-how would have a vital role to play.

Biological diversity

The German Federal Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen called for increased efforts to combat the worldwide loss of biological diversity. At a special session of the 65th UN General Assembly on biological diversity he mentioned in particular the destruction and overexploitation of habitats and species, environmental pollution and climate change as the main reasons for this biodiversity loss.

The Federal Environment Minister pointed out that the target set by heads of state and government in 2002 to significantly reduce the global loss of biodiversity has not been reached. “But biological diversity is the basis for our own survival. Every day we make use of the services provided by nature without even thinking about it: clean air and water, fertile soils, construction materials and fuels, medical substances, CO2 storage in forests, bogs, soils and oceans, are just some examples. Therefore preserving biological diversity is not a luxury but a necessary investment in our own future”, Minister Roettgen stressed.

The FAO paper also proposes costs to be divided equally between the governments of countries where hunger is a problem and international donors. Ultimately the success of anti-hunger programs will depend on winning support and commitment at both the national and international levels.

The International Alliance against Hunger

The International Alliance against Hunger was created by FAO. It should unite national governments, the international community and all civil society organizations to reduce the number of hungry by at least half by 2015.

A specific priority of the Organization is encouraging sustainable agriculture and rural development, a long-term strategy for increasing food production and food security while conserving and managing natural resources. The aim is to meet the needs of both present and future generations by promoting development that does not degrade the environment and is technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable.

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