Objectives of the consultation
Food control to assure the safety and nutritional value of food provides consumer protection and stimulates food industry and trade. While most developed countries have steadily increased consumer involvement in food control, the method and the degree of integration differs among countries. In developing countries, activities that integrate the interest of consumers into food control activities are relatively new and there is a need to identify issues and develop appropriate methods to address them.
This consultation sought to provide guidance and assistance to countries in the early stages of integrating consumer interests in their overall food control systems, as well as to improve this process in countries that already have initiatives in this regard. The experts aimed to adopt workable recommendations, simple in form and inexpensive to implement, which could be accepted and initiated by countries with limited resources.
Their objectives were: to assess the current status of the integration of consumer interests in food control activities; to identify barriers to effective integration and make recommendations to overcome them; to identify common issues of concern to consumers regarding food quality and safety and recommend appropriate remedies; and to determine the current needs in consumer education, access to information and consumer redress and recommend methods to enhance these programmes to further the effectiveness of consumer involvement in food control.
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