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WHO expert: Russia’s presidency in G8 correlated to food security problems

February 18, 2014, 14:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Priorities of Russia’s presidency in the Group of Eight are correlated to food security problems that demand attention of the world community, said Kazuaki Miyagishima, director for Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Russia chose management of risks as the priority of its presidency, Miyagishima said, adding that food security problems well complied with Russia’s presidency.

Food security is now transforming into a concept on food safety, the WHO official said.

A person can eat right food, but it itself can be unsafe that is why food security problems should be integrated into a common concept on global health security, he said.

The expert said last time food security problems had been raised at the G8 summit in Okinawa, Japan, in 2000. Since then much has changed: even the great powers face food security problems, which are often fraught with the serious economic consequences, Miyagishima said.

When the world faces food security problems and when necessary measures are not taken in time the world can face food shortages, the WHO official said.

Globalization promotes strong economic pressure on foodstuffs’ producers in all countries: thus, they try to reduce production expenses in maximum and resort to fraud by using illegal ingredients, he said.

The lack of control over trading over the Internet is directly related to food security. Globalisation gives no chance to just close the border in order to solve the problem, Miyagishima said.

Last week the WHO official took part in the meeting of the G8 working group, which had gathered in Moscow. The key task was to support one of the priorities of Russia’s presidency in order to ensure global safety by strengthening warning and response mechanisms for fighting infectious diseases.

The meeting focused on several initiatives and proposals, which will be submitted to the G8 leaders in Sochi on June 4-5, 2014. A report on the meeting has been put on Russia’s G8 presidency website

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