The consultative body called "Asia-Pacific Food Regulatory Authority Summit (APFRAS)" was launched to respond to rapidly changing food environments and issues in the Asia-Pacific region, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said on May 26. South Korea will lead the group for three years and carry out projects such as reducing the non-tariff barrier among APFRAS members. The international body consists of eight countries -- South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, and Singapore.
Food and Drug Safety Minister Oh Yu-Kyoung was appointed as the chairwoman. The minister will be in charge of setup up secretariats, operation of task groups, and communication with seven nations. "As I was elected as the chairperson, I will try my best to detect new food safety issues quickly and for South Korea to play a leading role in upgrading the food safety environments of APFRAS countries," Oh said, adding that she would put efforts into including more nations in APFRAS.
Task groups will analyze regulation environments in the Asia-Pacific region and discuss methods to digitalize food management systems. The global body will hold an official discussion every year and the following year's meeting will take place in Seoul.
The first conference held in eastern Seoul was attended by about 250 people including officials from food regulatory agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CODEX).
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