Monique Eloit, Director-General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), highlighted the relationship between animal health and food security. She stressed the importance of international standards as a common language for the various players in trade and the food chain and said that the OIE was committed to implementing these standards, such as the IPPC standards of the OIE and Codex Alimentarius, which are recognised by the WTO agreement on health and plant health measures. “These standards … contribute to the health of our animals, plants or food security, including fair, safe and fair trade,” she said. Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), drew listeners` attention to the health dimension of the conversation. He stressed the need to harmonize food security policy and food legislation across sectors and borders to protect consumer health and facilitate fair practices in food trade. “Food security transcends national borders. Food produced today in one country can be on the other side of the planet in 24 hours and go to shops, restaurants and houses… There should be no food security for the rich and another for the poor.
The health of all people, wherever they live and what they eat, must be protected in the same way,” he said. The GATT agreement allows WTO members to apply exemptions to the free movement of goods to protect human, animal or plant life or health, provided they do not use these exemptions as disguised protectionism. The interaction between trade and health objectives has become of paramount importance to China since its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The desire to improve access to foreign markets has clearly had an impact on China`s food security policy and has given significant impetus to far-reaching reforms. The WTO Agreement on Health and Plant Health Measures (SPS), to which China is now bound as a member of the WTO, establishes a model for regulating best practices to which national food safety rules must be in line. Its disciplines in the area of regulatory autonomy in food security, while posing great challenges to China, have the potential to promote the rationality of such regulation and to avoid food safety rules based on unfounded fears or a response to protectionist pressures from the local food industry. Given the possibility for other WTO members to challenge their food security measures due to non-compliance with WTO rules, There is a strong incentive for China to improve compliance with this regulatory model, which benefits not only exporters, but especially its citizens. DG Azavédo cited WTO agreements and programmes, such as the Plant Health and Protection Agreement, the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement and the Ease of Standardization and Trade Development, as an important contribution from the multilateral trading system to ensure the supply of safe food. “Technological advances are revolutionizing the way we act.
And this has an impact on how food security measures are designed and implemented,” said DG Azavédo in her opening address to the Forum. To that end, he called on all organizations to “cooperate to help build the necessary capacity and capacity.” From the perspective of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Director-General Graziano da Silva stressed the central role that trade rules and regulations play in the food supply chain, especially when new health problems, such as obesity, become a global challenge. “International trade and the high consumption of ultra-processed foods are a major concern that needs to be addressed appropriately, as obesity is a public health problem and not just a consequence of independent decisions