Rinsing fresh fish in Accra, Ghana

Rinsing fresh fish in Accra, Ghana. Food safety systems need to be tailored to fit the contexts of different countries (photo credit: ILRI/Kennedy Bomfeh).


Every year, The Chicago Council convenes the Global Food Security Symposium to discuss the progress of the United States government and the international community on addressing global food and nutrition security. This year’s symposium, scheduled for 16 April in Washington DC, will address food systems for improved health.

In the 10-week period leading up the 2015 Global Food Security Symposium, the Chicago Council ran an online campaign, Healthy Food for a Healthy World, with one blog post being published each week to create awareness on the role of agriculture in improving global health and nutrition.

John McDermott, director of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, and Delia Grace, leader of the Food Safety and Zoonoses program of the International Livestock Research Institute, contributed to the awareness campaign through a guest commentary titled Healthy Foods Must Be Nutritious, Safe and Fair.

In their commentary, they argue that to provide nutritious, safe and fair food to all, food safety systems must be tailored for different national and sub-national contexts.

“In an increasingly globalized world, there are dramatic differences in food systems. Policymakers and the public often assume that one universal system should apply everywhere. But what is good for the rich may be bad for the poor and vice versa.”

They also put forward three key lessons for adapting food safety systems, namely, aligning incentives with policy objectives, adopting risk-based approaches to food safety and developing capacity in food safety governance and practice.

To take part in the online discussions, follow @GlobalAgDev on Twitter, join the discussions using #GlobalAg or tune in to the live stream of the event on 16 April.