ILSI-India Seminars on Food Safety and the Microbiome

ILSI-India organized two seminars in conjunction with its Annual Meeting. The first was given Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Ministry of Health, Government of India. In his lecture entitled “Recent Developments in Food Control System,” Mr. Agarwal noted a change in focus. Previously, concern had been with ensuring end-product quality and safety. Now, he said, more emphasis is being placed on all stages of food production using a risk-based approach. The goal was to prevent adulteration, unintentional and intentional, at every step of a product’s life cycle.

Mr. Agarwal also discussed the importance of building trust with consumers. He described how FSSAI is reaching into communities (e.g., mobile food laboratories) and how it works to keep food safety efforts transparent so consumers remain confident in the food supply.

The second lecture was given by B. Sesikeran, MD, Former Director, National Institute of Nutrition India. Dr. Sesikeran also serves on the ILSI (global entity) Board of Trustees.

In his lecture, Dr. Sesikeran provided a thorough overview of a growing body of literature about the importance of the human microbiome; what he called a “super organ.” He also discussed the findings of studies conducted in India related to the microbiome through the human lifecycle from delivery (vaginal vs. cesarean) and through bacterial transition with aging. Dr. Sesikeran also used Indian case studies to illustrate relationships between the microbiome and health. These covered micronutrient deficiencies; overweight/obesity; diabetes; and inflammatory bowel disorders.

ILSI-India prepared a white paper summary of Mr. Agarwal’s and Dr. Sesikeran’s presentations. The summary also records the useful Q&A sessions from each of the lectures.

Download the summary report here: ILSI-India (large file)

ILSI News | November 2016
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