Pediatric News

In 2020, the EPA-UNEPSA working group on nutrition has joined forces with a consortium of European research centers, coordinated by the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAe), to develop a research program called safe food for infants (SAFFI), supported by the European Union. This EU-funded project covers the infant food chain from primary production, towards consumer use, and aims at improving risk-based food safety management of biohazards. To achieve these goals the consortium is developing procedures to enhance top-down and bottom-up hazard control by combining management options within the frame of the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. In view of the food safety challenges in monitoring and detecting contamination in food supplies, whether by accident or fraud, the consortium is developing new decision support systems to enhance safety controls along the food chain.

Focusing on the potential risks raised by the major international channels of infant food trade, the program is also establishing educational and knowledge transfer activities to foster harmonisation of good practices. Global collaboration in the area of food safety and control is of great strategic importance, and the EU program includes the cooperation with the public health authorities of governments around the world.

Due to increasing populations and global threats, the integrity and safety of global food chains has never been more at risk. In many countries, simply getting enough to eat can be an issue, with poor quality food often contaminated with hazardous agents, while in developed countries pressure to deliver cheap, affordable food may affect quality and safety. These conditions penalize particularly children throughout their developmental years.

The fate of nations is determined by what they are given to eat, and pediatricians are on the front line to contain the risks of food hazards. They can play a key role in accomplishing this task if they will actively cooperate and integrate their efforts with governments and local, state, federal, and global public health institutions and agencies, to ensure that infants and children have access to good and safe food. EPA-UNEPSA is in the first line to support healthcare professional in their efforts to protect children, provide them with safe food and promote good nutrition standards.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861917