ILSI Southeast Asia Region
Welcome to the third issue of our new-look NewsFlash - bringing you monthly news and information on nutrition and food safety issues relevant to our region
Nutrition, Food Safety and Health




Meeting Future Demands: Security and Sustainability


Future food demand in Southeast Asia faces significant challenges due to natural disasters, climate change and population growth, that must be addressed by governments in partnership with the scientific community and food industry. The upcoming 13th ASEAN Food Conference, titled ‘Meeting Future Demands: Security and Sustainability’ is set to reflect and discuss solutions to these challenges through the latest developments in food science and technology. The three-day conference runs from September 9-11, 2013 in Singapore. This biennial event will feature a session by ILSI Southeast Asia Region titled ‘Managing Allergens in the Food Chain’, including:

  • Prevalence of Food Allergies in Southeast Asia, Dr. Bee Wah Lee, National University of Singapore, Singapore

  • Allergen Risk Review - Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labeling (VITAL), Kirsten Grinter, President & Director, Allergen Bureau, Australia

  • Undeclared Food Allergens – An Emerging Concern?, Vipa Surojanametakul, Institute of Food Research and Product Development, Kasetsart University, Thailand

  • The Challenge of Food Allergen Analysis in a Global Market’, Robin Sherlock, DTS Laboratories/FACTA, Australia

For more information on the 13th ASEAN Food Conference, please click here


CIMSANS: Building Integrated Models of Agricultural Production Systems and Nutrition Security

ILSI Research Foundation’s new research center, the Center for Integrated Modeling of Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition Security (CIMSANS), recently held a round-table discussion in Dublin, Ireland, bringing together the public and private sectors to discuss the challenges of modeling overall crop productivity and genetic gain in the face of certain climate change and water availability constraints, and to highlight scientific questions around sustainably meeting future nutrition requirements, including those for micro-nutrients.  CIMSANS, established in September 2012, uses these models to inform decision making on sustainable agriculture priorities in light of rapidly growing global food demand. Presentations from the roundtable discussion are available online through the CIMSANS website.
Molds and Mycotoxins: Threat to Food Security in Southeast Asia
Contamination of food and agricultural commodities by molds and mycotoxins is a major problem around the world, and in particular among the developing countries of Southeast Asia that experience tropical and sub-tropical climates. Post-harvest losses of staple food crops due to mold contamination, as well as livestock losses due to consumption of mycotoxin contaminated animal feed, significantly reduces the availability of food for human consumption and ultimately threatens food security. Furthermore, mycotoxins are known to cause adverse health effects if ingested in excessive quantities and there is also mounting epidemiological evidence linking mycotoxin exposure to negative nutritional outcomes such as growth impairment. Recognizing this important concern, the Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, in conjunction with its 50th anniversary and in collaboration with ILSI Southeast Asia Region, organized the International Conference on Mycological Aspects of Food and Feed Safety from June 27-28, 2013 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The conference addressed a number of key issues related to the scientific understanding and management of fungal and mycotoxin contamination along the food and production chain, which impacts on food and feed safety. Presentations from the conference will be made available shortly on the Center of Excellence on Mycotoxin Studies website.

APEC Targets Greater Use of Biotechnologies to Enhance Food Security
APEC member economies are seeking to widen the availability of agricultural biotechnologies to help ensure adequate food supplies and boost the livelihoods of farmers. Agricultural and biotechnology experts from around the Pacific Rim laid the groundwork for increased regulatory and technical collaboration in support of these objectives during a recent joint meeting between the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology and the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, held in Medan, Indonesia. Participants agreed that biotechnologies can boost production for small, rural farmers and thus play a role in alleviating poverty. Biotechnologies also have the capacity to lessen the impact of agriculture on the environment by limiting the need for pesticides and irrigation, they said. But their increased development and use require a complementary policy environment. Measures that promote increased transparency and understanding of agricultural sector regulation are key agenda focuses. Providing governing bodies with knowledge and tools that support the implementation of best practices, identified through the sharing of experiences in biotechnologies and biogenetic resource management, is another area of emphasis.
To facilitate the safe and responsible use of biotechnologies, several APEC member countries have recently revised or issued new regulations and guidelines pertaining to the use of GE crops, including the Indonesian National Agency for Drug and Food Control Regulation No. HK. on Food Safety Assessment Guidelines for Genetically Engineered Products; and the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Circular No. 08/2013/TT-BTNMT governing the issuances of Biosafety Certificates for genetically modified crops.    

The ASEAN Economic Community and Regional Food Security
The Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, recently published a policy brief summarizing the outcomes of an Expert Group Meeting organized in Manila, Philippine in June 2013, on the challenges and opportunities for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in addressing regional food security. Among one of the key issues identified by the Meeting was the need for harmonization of food safety regulations and standards within ASEAN to allow for freer trade of food among countries in the region, which could ultimately help to lower cost of food and improve food accessibility across the region. Additionally, the Expert Group also recommended the development of sound public-private partnerships within the region throughout the supply chain to contribute to the achievement of ASEAN’s food security goals.


August 20-21

International Symposium of Health Sciences 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Click here for more information  

August 24
2nd International Conference on Biotech and Food Engineering (ICBFE)


September 3
Seminar on Infant and Young Child Nutrition: The First 1000 Days
Manila, Philippines

September 9-11
13th ASEAN Food Conference

September 15
Workshop on Low Grade Inflammation
Granada, Spain (Satellite Symposium to ICN 2013)

September 20
Micronutrient Fortification: Science and Strategies for Public Health Improvement in Asia
Granada, Spain (Parallel Symposium Session at ICN 2013)


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