Newswise — WASHINGTON D.C. --- To offer solutions to pressing food fraud issues, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) today submitted written and oral comments to the Presidential Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud (NOAA-NMFS-0214-0090).
IUU fishing is a significant global problem jeopardizing ecosystems, food security, and livelihoods around the world. It is also often associated with other serious problems such as drug trafficking, human slavery and organized crime. Mislabeling and economically motivated fraud is a growing concern of the industry, governments, and consumers. The GFTC comments focused on the need for commercial transparency in the seafood supply chain and that industry and governments must collaborate to eliminate the causes and incentives that drive IUU, fraud and other ‘bad’ behavior, and find ways to reinforce ‘good’ behavior.
Managing Director of the Global Food Traceability Center, Brian Sterling, outlined four key points in his presentation to the Task Force.
• Illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing and seafood fraud are problems that can be addressed through the implementation of whole-chain traceability.
• Traceability is a proven tool in other industries and food sectors, and it can be more broadly applied in the seafood industry.
• Seafood traceability can deliver public good and commercial benefits if industry, government and other stakeholders commit to collaboratively seeking solutions.
• The GFTC wishes to help with a concerted public-private partnership effort, in order to solve the problems of IUU fishing and seafood fraud.
IFT has participated in and led the discussion on food traceability for nearly a decade. In September 2013, IFT launched the Global Food Traceability Center, a science-based, not-for-profit public-private partnership. The GFTC brings together key stakeholders in the food system to collaborate on traceability solutions and serves as an authoritative source about food traceability. It assists companies and government agencies to better understand the nature of food traceability requirements, to improve responsiveness and reliability in the event of food-related emergencies, and to increase the value and commercial benefits of food traceability.
For more information on the Global Food Traceability Center, please visit http://www.ift.org/gftc.aspx
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.
About the Global Food Traceability Center
The GFTC is a public-private partnership program within IFT that was created for the express purpose of being the global resource and authoritative voice on food traceability. Its mission is to serve all parts of the food system (from farm to fork) by providing applied research, objective advice, and practical expertise about data collaboration and food product traceability for the purposes of business benefit and public good. For more information, please visit globalfoodtraceability.org