USP Joins with China Ministry of Agriculture to Discuss Food Fraud

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Leaders and experts from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) laboratories in Shanghai, China, recently joined a delegation of scientists from the China’s Ministry of Agriculture at a workshop to highlight efforts related to risk assessment and food quality.

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The integrity of our food is a universal concern and we are pleased to have the opportunity to discuss USP’s ideas for addressing food fraud and food integrity and strengthening collaborative efforts to advance this important work.

“The integrity of our food is a universal concern and we are pleased to have the opportunity to discuss USP’s ideas for addressing food fraud and food integrity and strengthening collaborative efforts to advance this important work.”– Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D, USP chief executive officer

Leaders and experts from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) laboratories in Shanghai, China, recently joined a delegation of scientists from the China’s Ministry of Agriculture at a workshop to highlight efforts related to risk assessment and food quality – including USP’s latest efforts to help identify and address food fraud. USP joined efforts with workshop speakers to cover all aspects from a formal risk assessment of foods to protective measures to help combat food fraud.

“USP’s new Guidance on Food Fraud Mitigation was of special interest during the workshop. The tool is intended to assist manufacturers and regulators in identifying food ingredients that are most vulnerable to fraud in order to effectively prevent and combat economically-motivated adulteration,” said Wei Zhu, USP-China director of food chemicals.

Members of the China delegation expressed a strong interest in working with USP to explore possible applications of this vulnerability assessment tool to agricultural products. More than 30 officials and senior scientists from 16 different quality and safety risk assessment laboratories at the China Ministry of Agriculture participated in the workshop, which covered topics ranging from the formal risk assessment of foods to protective measures intended to combat food fraud. They also engaged in vigorous discussion about risk assessment and USP’s public standards for food ingredients, food integrity and food fraud prevention.

“We are pleased to engage in such positive conversations with the Ministry of Agriculture and look forward to future collaboration on topics of shared interest,” said K.V. Surendranath, Ph.D., USP senior vice president for international site operations and interim general manager for USP-China.

The workshop further detailed the concept and framework of quality standards featured in USP’s Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), which has been translated into Mandarin in collaboration with China’s National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment. Participants also discussed topics such as USP’s ongoing standard-setting activities for skim milk powder, olive oil and other complex food ingredients, along with food safety training.

This latest workshop on food-related concerns in China follows a USP presentation in November at the China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo, in Shanghai, which highlighted USP’s food fraud mitigation tool along with the USP Food Fraud Database – a public database featuring more than 2,100 records of food fraud reports based on scholarly articles, media reports and other publicly available records.

USP has a long history of collaboration with China, including memoranda of understanding and other agreements with top institutions such as China’s National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) and the Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission, bringing together international standards-setting experience and China’s scientific capabilities. To develop publicly available and quality standards such as the FCC, USP draws on the knowledge and expertise of nearly 900 scientists and other volunteer experts from the U.S. and around the world in the areas of medicines, dietary supplements and food ingredients. China has the second-largest number of international expert volunteers at USP.

In 2007, USP opened the USP-China site in the Free Zone Trade in Shanghai, solidifying its global commitment towards improving the quality of medicines, dietary supplements and food ingredients.

For more information, contact mediarelations(at)usp(dot)org.

USP – Global Expertise, Trusted Standards, Improved Health

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a global health organization that improves lives through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP’s standards are used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org.

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Nils Hagen-Frederiksen
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