An international conference exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the safety of global food supply was the setting to mark the Food Safety of Ireland’s (FSAI) 20th anniversary.

Delegates at the conference heard that while producing food sustainably is a major issue, food safety needs to be central to any debate to ensure innovations in production are matched with robust food safety risk assessments to protect public health.

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of the FSAI, outlined to over 300 delegates at The Science of Food Safety – What’s our Future? at the Convention Centre Dublin that as ways to produce food evolve to feed an increasing global population, scientific research is critical in enabling our regulatory controls adapt and develop so that we can protect consumers.

At the conference a range of national and international experts outlined advances in food sciences that are being made that are leading to healthier and safer foods, all with the aim of building sustainable food systems to feed what is expected to be the needs of 10bn people on the planet by 2050.

The event also focused on the microbiological and chemical safety of food, public health implications, as well as exploring what is required for effective regulatory control strategies in the future.

Keynote speaker, Dr Bernhard Url, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), outlined the importance of trust in science in underpinning bold policies aimed at the design of more sustainable global food systems.

“Looking at the present and future challenges and the more and more pressing questions on how to feed a growing global population using less resources and restoring at the same time a degraded environment, I believe solutions are found again in the scientific process. And more precisely in the integration of food safety into food security, enabling ‘one-health one planet’ policies which would deliver on the fulfillment of the UN global agenda,” said Dr Url.

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