In this issue of Hot Source, food supply, security and sustainability comes to the fore with the publication of new principles for Responsible Investment Agriculture and Food Systems, by the Committee on World Food Safety (CFS) under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO).

The Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems promote responsible investment in agriculture and food systems that contribute to increased food production and improved sustainability, both economic and environmental. We look at the implications for the food industry and its supply chain.

In food safety, we look at the prevalence of foodborne illness outbreaks, focusing on recent data released by the Bundesinstit ut für Risikobewertung (BfR), Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. Although outbreaks dropped in 2013 the BfR report still identifies food handling, preparation and cooking as serious issues for consumer health. Our food experts explore the reports findings in detail.

In the United States, GMO labelling tops the agenda again. Federal law requires the labelling of GMO derived products, in certain circumstances, but unwanted events have strained consumer confidence and increased the perception that nothing is being done to protect them. We explore the US Food & Drugs Administration’s voluntary labelling guidance and developments at state level.

Increasing globalisation extends the requirement for growers and exporters in developing markets to look for better and more effective testing services to ensure products meet global safety standards. In Kenya, a thriving export market, the industry has celebrated the opening of a new SGS owned and operated Pesticides Maximum Residues Limits (MRL) testing laboratory in Mombasa. Find out more about its capabilities in this issue.

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SGS Agriculture and Food Team