International Symposium in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
"The Role of International Food Standards in Japan
- Food Safety in a Global World"
|[Date]||Tuesday, September 24, 13:00-16:00|
|[Venue]||Koshiba Hall, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Map|
|[Languages]||Japanese and English (interpretation provided)|
|[Hosted by]||UTokyo Policy Alternatives Research Institute (PARI)|
Health and Labour Science Research Grants, Research Group on Food Safety, Research on the development of process analysis to enhance effectiveness of international food standards
|[Co-hosted by]||Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries|
|[Participants]||158 persons (including industry, consumer groups, academia, students and the general public)|
|Ms. Makiko Matsuo||University of Tokyo|
|Opening remarks||Prof. Hideaki Shiroyama ||University of Tokyo||Part 1||Keynote Speech 1|
"Codex 50 years: Achievements and Future Challenges"
| Dr. Stuart Slorach ||Former Chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Commission||Keynote Speech 2|
"Codex Reform - 10 years later"
| Dr. Kasuaki Miyagishima ||World Health Organization||Part 2||Presentation|
"Improvement of MAFF's participation in Codex activitiess"
| Mr. Kenji Asakura ||Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries||Panel Discussion||Moderator||Prof. Hajime Toyofuku||Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Yamaguchi University||Panelists||Dr. Stuart Slorach||Dr. Kazuaki Miyagishima||Mr. Kenji Asakura||Dr. Hiroshi Yoshikura||A former Vice Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the former Chairman of the Codex Task Force on Food Derived from Modern Biotechnology||Mr. Kazuo Onitake||Head of Unit, Safety Policy Service, Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union||Mr. Hiroshi Kadoma||Counselor, Japanese Food Industry Association||Closing remarks||Prof. Kazunari Satonuma ||Kyoto University|
Outline of the symposium
On the 24th of September, 2013, an International Symposium in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, entitled "The Role of International Food Standards in Japan - Food Safety in a Global World", was held in the Koshiba Hall, of the University of Tokyo.
The objective of this symposium was to explore the achievements of and the challenges facing the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international food standards setting body jointly established by FAO and WHO, and the evolving roles of global food standards. By bringing together leading experts in this field, it reviewed Codex's activities over the past 50 years. More specifically, the symposium aimed at analyzing the changing landscape surrounding the food safety environment, identifying key issues (existing, emerging and potential) and endeavouring to strategically analyse the appropriate policy response. With the recent debate concerning the Japanese decision to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations public concern about international trade and international food safety standards is heightened. Certainly, it was a great occasion to reconsider the importance of the role of global standards and the Codex Alimentarius Commission and to share the discussion among the public at large.
The symposium was chaired by Ms. Makiko Matsuo (of the University of Tokyo). It was composed of two parts.
In the first part of the symposium, two keynote lectures were given by distinguished speakers who had made contributions to the Codex reform in response to the independent evaluation of Codex conducted in 2002 and who are still active in this field.
Dr. Stuart Slorach, the former Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (2003-2005), presented a comprehensive description of Codex - its role and mandate, the organizational structure, its relation with other international organizations and the standards and guidelines development procedure. He introduced the recently adopted Strategic Plan for 2014-2019 and also identified possible future challenges for consideration.
Dr. Kazuaki Miyagishima, the Director, Food Safety and Zoonoses, WHO, and former Head of the Codex Alimentarius Secretariat, recalled the background to the Codex reform and the 42 recommendations given in the Codex Evaluation Report. He put the Codex reform into perspective by rating the implementation status of these recommendations and discussed the remaining challenges for future consideration.
These two keynote lectures summarised the achievements and the prospect of future directions and served as a basis for further discussion in the second part of the symposium.
The second part of the symposium commenced with a presentation by Mr. Kenji Asakura, Director of the Plant Products Safety Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). He described how Japan’s participation in Codex activities has developed over the past ten years with its growing recognition of the importance of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Introducing the case of its contribution at the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods, Mr. Asakura described how Japan had developed strategies for statistical data gathering based on risk analysis principles and how it had put efforts into training officials.
In the subsequent panel discussion, the presenters were joined by Dr. Hiroshi Yoshikura, a former Vice Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the former Chairman of the Codex Task Force on Food Derived from Modern Biotechnology; Mr. Hiroshi Kadoma, Counselor of the Japanese Food Industry Association; and Mr. Kazuo Onitake, the Head of Unit, Safety Policy Service, Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Hajime Toyofuku, of the Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Yamaguchi University. There was a lively discussion amongst the panelists and also with the floor. The symposium allowed us to draw lessons and consider implications for Japan's future role in this field.
The event was organized by the Policy Alternatives Research Institute of the University of Tokyo and the Health and Labour Science Research Grants from the Japanese Government, Research Group on Food Safety, Research on the development of process analysis to enhance effectiveness of international food standards, with official support from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries.
※This event is reported on the Codex website as Contribution from Japan.