The World Health Organization (WHO) has called upon nations, policy makers, farmers, food handlers, families and individuals to make food safety a priority. An estimated 7,00,000 children die of diarrhea in south-east Asia zone, which includes India, every year.
Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia said that bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemicals and other contaminants in our food can cause over 200 diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancer. "New and emerging threats such as climate change and its impact on food production, emerging biological and environmental contamination, new technologies, new food-borne infections and diseases and antimicrobial resistance through food chain, all pose challenges to the safety of our food," she said.
She also said that these existing and emerging threats call for urgent action. "Countries must put in place comprehensive food safety policies matched by legislation and robust food safety strategies, and they must be stringently implemented across the food chain. This requires a trained workforce and an informed and empowered consumer," she added.