BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT
Risk assessment is a systematic, scientific process in which the factors that cause health hazards in foods are identified and the risks they pose are estimated so that appropriate risk management measures may be taken to prevent or minimize such hazard. Risk Assessment consist of several sequential steps including hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization. Many factors can cause health hazards in food, agricultural, and fishery products such as microorganisms (pathogenic bacteria) and chemical substances intentionally or unintentionally introduced in food (residues of pesticides, and veterinary drugs, and contaminants: food additives).
These organisms and chemical substances must be controlled appropriately during the food production process and crop growth so that they do not cause adverse health effects. Methods to control these hazardous factors in the production process have been well established and disseminated internationally in Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), and ISO 22000. Furthermore, Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of pesticides, veterinary drugs and contaminants have been established by international bodies like Codex Alimentarius Commission and under many national food safety laws.
Process management tools like GAP, HACCP, among others and MRLs are risk management measures are increasingly required to be based on scientific risk assessment. Since the inception of the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement that took effect in 1995, food safety measures of national governments must be based on risk assessment.
Therefore, to ensure a safe food supply and comply with the requirements of international regulations and other national governments, appropriate risk assessment based on science and risk management derived from such sound risk assessment are indispensable for food safety policy makers and operators in the food, agriculture and fishery sectors.
a. To acquaint the participant’s with the basic concepts, tools, and techniques used in risk assessment for specific hazards related to food, agricultural, and fishery products.
b. To enhance understanding of the framework for risk management measures Based on risk assessment; and
c. To familiarize participants with the current trends in risk assessment and risk management of food, agricultural, and fishery products.
OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION
The training course would be very valuable with my duties as a Food-Drug Regulation Officer of the Philippine FDA. Primarily, the training would provide me with additional skills and knowledge in carrying out our mandate in ensuring the safety, purity and quality of all health products being manufactured, imported and distributed in the Philippine market as well as health products being exported by the Philippines.
Relative to the signing of FDA Act of 2009, the Philippine FDA stressed the importance of having quality and safe food products in the supply chain through compliance to regulations and guidelines. In order to achieve this objective, it would require skilled and trained FDA enforcers that would implement such regulations. Other expectations would be the development of preventive type of risk-based food control system or similar measures in the Philippines in parallel with other countries.
PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS
Total number of participants is twenty four (24). Eighteen (18) from overseas: 1 – Bangladesh, 2 – Cambodia, 1 – Islamic Rep. of Iran, 1 – India, 2 – Indonesia, 1 – Lao PDR, 2- Nepal, 1 – Pakistan, 1 – Philippines, 2- Sri Lanka, 3 – Thailand, 1 – Vietnam; and six (6) from local (Malaysia). No other Filipino participant from other agencies/organizations.
SCOPE, CONTENT, METHODOLOGY
Lectures on Risk Assessment and Management of Microorganisms (2 days), Pesticide Residues (3 days) and Veterinary Drugs (1 day)
Practical exercises were done by the participants under the Risk Assessment and Management of Pesticide Residues for the following: Relevant Impurities, Good Agricultural Practices Information, Label Interpretation, Evaluation of Data from Supervised Residue Trials-estimation of maximum residue levels, Trade Risk, Evaluation of Food Processing Data, and Dietary Intake Calculations.
These exercises given by Dr. Hamilton gave us more wide understanding on evaluating and calculating data in relation to relevant impurities determination, maximum acceptable levels of impurities, GAP Good Agricultural Practices Information, Label Interpretation, Evaluation of Data from Supervised Residue.
Trials-estimation of maximum residue levels, Trade Risk, Evaluation of Food Processing Data, and Dietary Intake Calculations.
As concluded, MRLs, STMRs and ARfd established are based on scientific studies.
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
The topics under Risk Assessment and Management of Microorganisms and Pesticide Residues were clearly discussed except for veterinary residues. Topics are very helpful in developing risk assessment based on science in order to comply with the requirements of international regulations and national governments. Objectives of the course were achieved by giving examples and exercises in order to expound more on the topics which most of the participants are not familiar with.
RECOMMENDATION AND ACTION STEPS
A longer training period should be allotted if there are extensive topics to cover. To conduct an echo seminar to technical people in coordination with Policy Planning and Advocacy Division of FDA.
MARIA ROWENA UBALDE
Food-Drug Regulations Officer
Food and Drug Administration