GSO participates in the 6th Oman International Conference on Food Safety
The GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) participated in the Sixth Oman International Conference on Food Safety and Quality, which was held in the Sultanate of Oman, under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Qais bin Muhammad Al-Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion of the Sultanate of Oman, and in the presence of a number of their Excellencies, representatives of regional and international organizations and officials from the Ministry, and a number of specialists, experts and representatives from various relevant government agencies and private sector institutions working in the field of food processing. This event comes as part of the activities of this year’s Food Safety Week.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources in the Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Center for Food Safety and Quality, and the International Association for Food Regulatory Science, during 12-14 June 2023, with support and contribution of GSO, the Arab Organization for Industrial Development, Standardization and Mining, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (AIDSMO). The Codex Alimentarius Office of the United States Department of Agriculture (US CODEX) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The conference shed light on five main themes of food safety and quality and their role in enhancing sustainability in the economic sector, food risk management to achieve food security, artificial intelligence, and modern technologies for food safety, as well as the enablers of an advanced and effective food safety system, and contemporary challenges in the field of food safety and quality, and nutrition. It was attended by 60 experts and specialists from outside and inside the Sultanate of Oman, and 390 participants from various sectors.
In his speech at the opening ceremony of the conference, His Excellency Mr. Saud bin Nasser Al-Khusaibi, President of GSO, stressed that, “The organization of this conference represents an excellent opportunity for experts, specialists, stakeholders, and partners from all sectors to exchange knowledge on global, regional and national experiences and practices on global developments in the field of food safety and quality.
He added that “we look forward to coming up with important recommendations to harmonize national, regional and international legislation and requirements to facilitate the smooth flow of trade, and enhancing food safety, nutrition and food security, transparency enhancement with regard to food control legislation, in addition to keeping abreast with modern technologies, increasing capacity building programs for specialists, auditors and inspectors in the legislative and control authorities to constantly keeping in touch with latest developments in this area”.
His Excellency also affirmed that GSO in cooperation with member states, is keen to enhance cooperation and active participation and engagement in the work of Codex Alimentarius Commission, in a way that contributes to the implementation of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). GSO works effectively with Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) to enhance cooperation and coordination in the field of food products legislation and standards to ensure their safety and quality. GSO has adopted more than 100 international standards issued by Codex and places the food sector on top of its priorities and technical plans owing to its vital importance to the health and safety of the consumer.
On this level, GSO has issued 1963 unified Gulf standards and technical regulations in the food and agricultural sector. A principal Gulf standards technical committee was formed to deal with the standards of food and agricultural products and with four sub-committees affiliated to it. Another principal technical committee for Halal standards and services was also formed. Formation of other committees and working groups is also underway.
The opening session comprised several speeches by representatives of all participating organizations. The conference tackled over a period of three days, at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center, 45 scientific working papers, holding of a discussion session and a mini-symposium. The number of the working papers from inside the Sultanate of Oman amounted to 24 working papers, whereas those from outside amounted to 21 papers.
Alongside the Conference, a specialized exhibition on food safety and quality was organized, in which 29 participants from government agencies specialized in food safety and quality. Relevant private sector companies and institutions have also taken part. The exhibition also contained an innovations pavilion dedicated to display innovations by university students.