Some 300 food safety experts from 120 countries gathered in Morocco last week for an international conference.
Many countries are reporting significant increases in food-borne diseases, which suggests that food safety systems are not keeping up with changes in microbiological and chemical hazards.
The participants at the Marrakesh meeting are expected to discuss their successes and mistakes in fighting foodborne disease. The World Health Organization said that more than two million people, mainly children, died each year from diarrhea caused by contaminated food or water.
Even in developed countries an estimated one third of the population experienced food-borne disease each year.
On Friday the European Union's Veterinary Committee recommended that the EU suspend imports of some meats and seafood from China. The recommendation followed the discovery of potent antibiotic drug residues, a potential health risk to humans, in shrimps and prawns imported from China.
Germany on Friday barred a consignment of animal feed from entering the food chain, citing lingering concern that it might contain chloramphenicol an antibiotic used only to treat such life-threatening diseases as anthrax and typhoid because of the risk of it causing a potentially lethal form of anemia. The chloramphenicol was originally found in a batch of shrimps imported to the Netherlands from China that was mixed by mistake into animal feed.
Most countries have banned chloramphenicol for use in food production, urging all nations to remove it from the food chain.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international body on food standards, says a maximum residue limit could not be established and so the antibiotic should not be used in food production.
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