Taiwan Association for Food Protection (TAFP) is the 48th international branch of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). TAFP opened the annual...
Taiwan Association for Food Protection (TAFP) is the 48th international branch of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). TAFP opened the annual meeting with a greeting speech by Ms. Fwu-Chyn Hsueh, a senior researcher of Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA), Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan.
Regarding the Dietary Supplement Forum, TAFP invited Ms. Pei-Ju Chou, the Session Chief of Food Safety Division, TFDA, to give a 30-min speech with a 10-min Q&A Session on “The regulations of Health Food in Taiwan”. Two additional speakers, which are Mr. Hiroaki Hamano, Advisor, ILSI Japan, and Mr. Daniel Tracy, Regular Manager, Global Regulatory Affairs, NU SKIN International, Inc., also presented regulatory frameworks of Japan and the US, respectively.
This topic was moderated by Tsung-Yu Tsai, Ph.D. and Yi-Chen Lo, Ph.D. and featured three presentations.
Martina Newell-McGloughlin, Sc.D., Director, UC Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program (UCBREP), USA gave a presentation entitled, “Global Development of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Food Supply.” Dr. Newell-McGloughlin discussed food supply challenges faced by the growing global population, and stated that in the coming decades, food and agricultural production systems must be significantly enhanced in terms of both production and safety in order to respond to a number of transformative global changes in addition to a growing population. She noted that new and innovative techniques will be required to ensure an ample supply of economically and physically accessible nutritious food. Dr. Newell-McGloughlin pointed to the successes of agricultural biotechnology in assisting farmers around the world to improve productivity and grow crops in more ecologically healthy fields while simultaneously allowing more efficient use of resources.
Wayne Parrott, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Crop Science College of Agricultural & Environmental Science, University of Georgia, USA discussed recent developments in the biosafety and food safety of genetically modified (GMO) foods, and noted that safety assessments of GMO foods are predicated on the assumption that safety issues associated with GMO foods will arise from compositional differences between GMO and non-GMO foods, such as the presence of a transgene. Dr. Parrott noted that the safety assessments for these transgenes are well-established and based on strict standards of assessing toxicological, allergenicity, and nutritional equivalency. Dr. Parrott stated that, though unusual, occasionally unintended changes can be caused by the presence of the transgene.
Chih-Li Sun, Ph.D., Director, Biotechnology Industry Study Center, Taiwan Institute of Economics, Taiwan discussed perception and acceptability of genetically modified food to Taiwanese customers. Dr. Sun shared the results of a consumer survey investigating consumer opinion of genetic modification and genetically modified foods, perception of genetically modified foods, and consumers purchasing behavior regarding genetically modified foods. The survey indicated that Taiwanese consumers do not regard genetically modified foods as an important food safety issue, as is the case in Australia and the United States. Dr. Sun also noted that when compared to the research results from 2007, consumer support of genetically modified food has generally decreased, as it has in Europe. More than half of study participants stated that the GMO regulations in Japan and Europe should the basis for GMO regulatory policies developed by the government of Taiwan.
This topic was moderated by Hui-Yu Sheu, M.S., R.D. and Angela H. Lu, Ph.D., R.D and featured three lectures.
Elizabeth Dunford, Ph.D., Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia discussed challenges and opportunities in monitoring changes in the global food supply. In 2010 The Food Monitoring Group established a global branded food composition database to track the nutritional content of foods and make comparisons between countries, food companies and over time in an effort to observe whether companies were adhering to their reformulation commitments. Dr. Dunford shared lessons learned from establishing this database and discussed challenges and opportunities arising from ongoing change in the global food supply. Dr. Dunford noted that data from Australia and the United Kingdom were used to define baseline levels of sodium in major food categories to enable monitoring of changes over time. Comparisons of sodium levels between years exposed the limited progress with sodium reduction in Australia and New Zealand, with data presented at the individual company level.
Wen-Han Pan, Ph.D., Researcher, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan gave a lecture entitled, “Product Reformulation Embracing Whole Foods and Cultural Needs for Better Health.” Dr. Pan discussed the prevalence of processed foods in the modern diet, and the health-related reasons why processed food products may be reformulated to include higher amounts of whole foods. Dr. Pan shared options for enriching ingredient lists further with the benefits of increased amounts of whole foods, including nuts, seeds, whole grain products, low-fat dairy products, and dairy products supplemented with calcium, fiber, vitamin D, and probiotics.
Rutger Schilpzand, Executive Secretary, Choices International Foundation, Belgium discussed product reformulation driven by front-of-pack logo systems. Mr. Schilpzand shared experiences from the implementation of a front-of-pack logo used in several European countries. The implementation of this logo led to product reformulation in some sectors, and as such has had a positive impact on consumer health and consumer knowledge. Due to its positive effect, this front-of-pack logo has been implemented in several countries and is also being used as a model for the development of national logo systems in others. Mr. Schilpzand cited a study done at VU University of Amsterdam Kroonenburg that found the logo system to have been a strong driver for product reformulation.