The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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World Food Day 2015 – 805 million people suffering from hunger

Helena Grech Friday, 16 October 2015, 11:01 Last update: about 9 years ago

European Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis has put a spotlight on the extensive levels of food waste in the light of 805 million people suffering from hunger around the world.

World Food Day is a day where awareness is raised about the staggering levels of hunger being experienced by millions of people globally.

“From a humanitarian point of view, my heart goes out to them,” said Commissioner Andriukaitis.

Developed countries are currently producing more food than is being consumed, however unhealthy types of foods are being mass produced and unacceptable levels are being wasted every day.

During a press briefing ahead of the ‘Strengthening global food and nutrition security through research and innovation’ conference at the Milan Expo 2015, Commissioner Andriukaitis revealed the implementation of guidelines on food waste prevention that will be presented to EU member states by the end of December.

The formation of new measures are a result of extensive scientific research, said Commissioner Andriukaitis. The idea is to have useful and meaningful policy that stems from scientifically based evidence, he added.

Turning to the biggest challenge in the fight against food wastage, “inter-sectorial cooperation is the key issue,” he said.

“Nobody likes to be coordinated, however coordination is enshrined in our treaties,” said Commissioner Andriukaitis.

In addition to new measures on food wastage, the Commission is seeking to simplify the issues surrounding food donation, foster innovation on food recycling and present a set of best-practice measures in member states’ governing of their local food markets.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

One of the most prominent critiques of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the USA is the compromising of strong European food standards.

“We [Europe] have our own standards, they will not change,” said Commissioner Andriukaitis. The USA is worried about European food exports, he added. He said this with reference to Europe’s strong food standards, and the belief that upon opening the markets between the two, many American citizens will choose European food products, because of the high quality.

He failed to discuss however, the flooding of European markets with American foods, which do not have the same standards, and some of which are produced using genetically-modified organisms. In addition to this, American regulations do not require GMO food products to be labelled as such.

Commissioner Andriukaitis went on to say the belief that “GMO is bad for human health is a lie. Evaluation shows that this belief is a lie.”

“We cannot produce the world’s food supply with the old technology that many are using,” he added.

He concluded by saying “by 2050, there will be approximately 9 billion people in the world, and it is estimated that 2 billion of them will be suffering from under-nutrition. Through scientific research and innovation, food will be more accessible to those 2 billion people.”

Helena Grech is reporting from Milan


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