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Highlights of International Symposium on Food Safety

Biographies

 

Dr S P Mak, JP

Controller, Centre for Food Safety, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department,
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Biography

        Dr S P Mak graduated with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Medicine in 1975 and joined the Hong Kong Government in 1978. She was sponsored by the Government to attend the Master of Science Programme in Public Health in the National University of Singapore, and other management training including the China Studies Course in Tsinghua University and Advanced Management Programme of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was appointed as Justice of the Peace by the Governor of Hong Kong in 1996. Before taking up the post of Deputy Director Food and Public Health of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in 2001, Dr Mak had worked in different government departments and policy bureau including the former Medical and Health Department, Health and Welfare Branch and the Department of Health. The span of responsibilities ranged from Special Assistant to the then Secretary for Health and Welfare in the formulation of health policies, to public health planning, infectious diseases and food safety control, drug programme management and training of public health professionals. She was elected as Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in the specialty of Community Medicine in 1993, and was the Vice-President of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine 1997-2001, Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. She was conferred, by distinction, Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom in 2004 and Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators in 2006.

        Dr Mak assumed the post of Controller, Centre for Food Safety of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in May 2006.


Dr Claude J S Mosha

Chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Commission

Biography

         Born in February 1952 in Tanzania. Grew and studied in Tanzania for primary and secondary education. Obtained university education in Kenya from 1972 to 1977 and in Tanzania from 1990 to 1993 majoring in Food/Feed Safety and Quality.

        Has been working with the Tanzania Bureau of Standards as Food Standards Officer from 1980 rising to Chief Food Standards Officer and Head of the Agriculture and Food Section 1990 to date.

        Has given several presentations in regional and international forums on food safety and quality management and has also taken up several food safety and quality consultancies and assignments with FAO and UNIDO.

        Has been Africa Region Codex Representative, Codex Vice-chairperson and currently, he is the Codex Chairperson elected in 2005 and 2006.



Ms Gretchen Heimpel Stanton

Senior Counsellor, Agriculture and Commodities Division, World Trade Organization

Biography

         Ms Gretchen Heimpel Stanton is a Senior Counsellor in the Agriculture and Commodities Division of the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She joined the Secretariat of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1985. During the Uruguay Round negotiations, Ms Stanton served as the Chairman of the Working Group that negotiated the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the “SPS Agreement”). She is currently the Secretary of the WTO Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, and responsible for overseeing matters relating to the implementation of the SPS Agreement the WTO. Ms Stanton previously also served as the Secretary of the International Dairy Agreement of the GATT and WTO.

        Ms Stanton has been the Secretary of a number of GATT and WTO dispute settlement panels and assisted others as an expert adviser. These have included disputes relating to Japan's quantitative restrictions on agricultural imports, Canadian restrictions on imports of ice cream and yogurt, US measures on alcoholic beverages, the European Union's restrictions on meat from cattle treated with growth-promoting hormones, Australia's restrictions on imports of salmon, Japan's testing requirements for various fresh fruit products, Japan's restrictions on apple imports, and the European Union's measures on genetically modified products.

        Prior to joining the GATT, Ms Stanton worked for the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C. and in Mexico City. Ms Stanton was born in Mexico and raised in the United States. She received a Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arizona, United States.


Dr Sarah Kahn

Director, International Trade Department,
World Organisation for Animal Health

Biography

        Dr Sarah Kahn is the Director of the OIE International Trade Department, which has responsibility for the production of two important OIE publications, the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and the Aquatic Code, which cover animal health and welfare of terrestrial animals (mammals, birds and bees) and aquatic animals respectively. The Codes, which contain science based standards and guidelines, are important references for World Trade Organisation member countries in regards to international trade in animals and animal products.

        Prior to joining the OIE, Dr Sarah worked in Australia, as International Trade Specialist with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. She has also worked in an official veterinary capacity in Rome, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Dr Sarah graduated in Veterinary Medicine from Melbourne University, Australia in 1978.

        She worked at several locations in urban and rural Australia before accepting a position as Veterinary Counselor with the Australian Embassy in the United States. After her return to Australia in 1993, Dr Sarah obtained a Masters Degree in Science at the University of James Cook, North Queensland. In 2000 Dr Sarah moved to Canada, where she worked for four years as Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. At the end of this period she joined the Animal Health Department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, where she worked on avian influenza and related animal health activities, before coming to the OIE in August 2006.


Professor Chen Junshi

Member, Chinese Academy of Engineering and
Research Professor, National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety,
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention,
The People's Republic of China

Biography

        Professor Chen Junshi is the Head of Expert Advisory Committee on Food Safety, Chinese Ministry of Health; Chair of the National Food Hygiene Standards Committee, Chinese Ministry of Health; Member of WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Food Safety; Member of FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and Food Contaminants (JECFA); Adjunct Professor, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, USA and the Chinese University of Hong Kong; President of Asian Society of Toxicology; and Honorary President of Chinese Society of Toxicology Society.

        Professor Chen Junshi was graduated from the Beijing Medical College in 1956 and engaged in nutrition and food safety research for more than 40 years at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the former Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine), Beijing. In 1964-68, he did a postgraduate training in Pharmacology in the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. In 1980-1981, he had advanced training in nutrition and food toxicology as visiting scholar in Department of Toxicology, Albany Medical University, USA and Department of Nutrition, Cornell University, USA.

        Professor Chen Junshi has conducted large epidemiologic studies on selenium and Keshan disease, diet, nutrition and chronic diseases, and total diet study in China, the protective effects of tea on cancer. He has received several science and technology awards from Ministry of Health.

        Professor Chen has published more than 120 articles in peer reviewed journals and nine books.


Dr Gerald G Moy

Global Environment Monitoring System/Food Manager,
Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases,
World Health Organization

Biography

        Within the WHO Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases, Dr Moy is responsible for the exposure assessment and risk characterization of chemicals in food. In this capacity, Dr Moy is the Manager of the WHO GEMS/Food Programme,* which maintains a global database on chemical contaminants in food and the diet. In regard to exposure assessment, GEMS/Food has developed Consumption Cluster Diets, which are used by national and international risk assessment bodies, such as JECFA and JMPR. GEMS/Food also develops and applies methodologies for assessing exposure to chemicals in food, particularly total diet studies.

         GEMS/Food works closely with the Codex Alimentarius Commission in considering risk management options. He is also responsible for coordination of the WHO Global Survey of Human Milk for Persistent Organic Pollutants in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme. Dr Moy recently served as the Project Coordinator for an Asian Development Bank project with the State Food and Drug Administration of China to strengthen food safety efforts in the PRC. He is also leading WHO efforts to establish an emergency network for responding to food safety incidents of international public health significance (INFOSAN Emergency).

         He is also the lead for WHO's Healthy Food Markets initiative. He has worked closely with consumer organizations, particularly in the convening of the Safe Food International Conference in Geneva in 2005. Dr Moy is the author of numerous articles and publications on a variety of food safety topics. In September 2006, he was inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology.


Ms Janis Baines

Evaluation Coordinator, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Biography

         Ms Janis Baines holds a Bachelor of Chemistry (Oxford University, UK) and a Postgraduate Master in Human Nutrition (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK). She is currently the Acting Manager of the Modelling, Evaluation and Surveillance Section at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and is responsible for overseeing the development of stakeholder research on food standards issues, coordinating food surveillance activities with New Zealand and the States and Territories, overseeing the National Food Composition Program and dietary modelling activities that provide dietary exposure estimates for food chemicals as part of the FSANZ risk assessment process.


Professor Dean O Cliver

Food Safety Laboratory and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for
Food Virology, University of California, Davis, USA

Biography

         Born in 1935; B.Sc. 1956 and M.Sc. 1957 from Purdue University and Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1960. Thesis studies involved the physiology of milk secretion and the intestinal viruses of dairy cattle. Converted to the study of human viruses during a year at the U.S. Army Biological Laboratories, Fort Detrick , Maryland . Joined the Food Research Institute (then at the University of Chicago ) in 1962 to initiate its food virology studies. Moved with the Institute to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966. Conducted research on virus transmission through food and water and coordinated the microbiological activities of the UW interdisciplinary research program on on-site wastewater disposal. Moved in June, 1995 to the Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, where he does research and teaching regarding food safety, serves on the editorial boards of three journals, and continues as a Food Science Communicator for the Institute of Food Technologists and Head of the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center for Food Virology. He has over 200 scientific publications, 100 in refereed journals. He has served as an advisor to the US Food and Drug Administration, US Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and various state agencies. The second edition of his book, FoodborneDiseases (co-edited by H P Riemann) was published in 2002 by Academic Press, London . The first edition was re-published in Arabic translation in 2000. A third edition of another book, Foodborne Infections and Intoxications (co-edited by H P Riemann) was published early in 2006 by Academic Press, London .


Dr Herman B W M Koëter

Deputy Executive Director,
European Food Safety Authority

Biography

        Dr Herman B W M Koëter, who is Dutch, is the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Science of the newly established European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy. He is leading EFSA's scientific risk assessment work, the output of which forms much of the scientific basis of EU food safety decisions. His mission is to develop and maintain a coherent European network of national food safety agencies and national experts who, together with EFSA develop European opinions of the highest scientific quality on food and feed safety, including animal health and welfare issues. Dr Koëter currently manages a scientific and administrative support staff of approximately 150 experts which will grow in coming years to about 250.

        Dr Koëter started his professional career as a junior scientist in 1967 at the TNO Toxicology and Nutrition Institute, Zeist, the Netherlands and was appointed as Group Leader in 1969. Upon invitation, he spent a sabbatical year (1980-1981) as Research Fellow at the Medical School of the University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., US where he did research on the adverse effects of anesthetics on pre- and postnatal development in rodents. A major part of his scientific work has been on the development of functional testing in animals. Returning to TNO, he was appointed as the Head of Reproduction Toxicology in 1981 and from 1986 to 1991, Associate Head of the Department of Biological Toxicology, a group of 90 research-staff.

        Before joining the European Food Safety Authority, Dr Koëter was the Principal Administrator at the Paris based OECD Environment, Health and Safety Division since November 1991. There he was responsible for the following Programmes: (i) the OECD Test Guidelines Programme, (ii) the Programme on Harmonisation of Classification and Labelling of Chemical Substances, (iii) the OECD Special Activity on Endocrine Disrupters, and (iv) OECD's Special Activity on Animal Welfare Policies. Dr Koëter was also the senior adviser for OECD on human health hazard and risk assessment policies.

         Dr Koëter holds an M.Sc. in Biology and Experimental Pathology and took his Doctoral Degree in Biological Toxicology summa cum laude from Utrecht State University , Utrecht , the Netherlands with majors in reproductive toxicology and functional development. He is an Internationally Board-Certified Toxicologist.

        Providing scientific opinions, guidance and advice in response to questions formally posedto the Authority or at the Authority's own initiative (self-tasking). It is expected that the number of questions submitted to the Authority will, again, increase in 2007. Together, the nine Scientific Expert Panels and the Scientific Committee will be requested to provide scientific opinions on probably more than 200 questions from the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States . EFSA expects to reach a total of 350 opinions by the end of 2006.

         He has published more than one hundred papers in the scientific literature on toxicology issues, risk assessment and animal welfare policies. With respect to the latter Dr Koëter has published several papers on validation and new approaches in regulatory risk assessment.

 


Dr Danilo Lo Fo Wong

Senior Research Epidemiologist, Danish Zoonosis Centre,
Department of Microbiology and Risk Assessment,
Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research , Denmark

Biography

         Dr Danilo Lo Fo Wong holds an M.Sc. in Biology from the Wageningen Agricultural University , Wageningen, The Netherlands, and a Ph.D. in Veterinary Epidemiology from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University , Copenhagen , Denmark . He is a Senior Research Epidemiologist at the Danish Zoonosis Centre, Department of Microbiology and Risk Assessment, Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research. The main focus of his work involves international collaboration on surveillance of foodborne disease and foodborne pathogens, microbial risk assessment and antimicrobial resistance in bacteria of animal origin. He has research and teaching expertise in epidemiology, surveillance and control programmes for foodborne pathogens and disease, the planning and performing risk factor studies, case-control studies, cohort studies, outbreak investigations and quantitative risk assessment. He is a speaker and trainer at national and international meetings, workshops and training courses. He is the Project Manager of the Zoonosis Collaboration Centre (ZCC) for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), a steering committee member of World Health Organization Global Salm-Surv (WHO GSS: a global network for surveillance, detection and response of foodborne and other enteric diseases) and a member of the Management Board of TRAINAU (Risk Assessment In Non-human Antimicrobial Usage – EC Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training Programme).


Ms Judi Lee

Principal Advisor (Risk Management) and
Acting Assistant Director (Technical Standards and Systems),
New Zealand Food Safety Authority

Biography

         Ms Judi Lee graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Science in 1976, followed by post-graduate studies in Veterinary Public Health (1985), and HACCP 2003. Ms Judi has worked in many areas of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) over the past 30 years.This includes veterinary work in the field and within the meat industry; compliance auditing of meat and seafood programmes; programme development work for MAF across all food groups and currently within the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. Work within the Authority has included managing the team responsible for developing new standards for not only New Zealand produced but also imported food. There has also been a key role in providing generic material for food industry to use, including development of implementation tools such as generic HACCP applications, risk management models, templates and Codes of Practice.

         In her current position as the Principal Advisor (Risk Management) to the New Zealand Standards Group within the Authority, Ms Judi is responsible for the provision of risk management advice for food standards, coordinating the risk assessment/risk management interface with the Science Group, leading the development of specific risk-based standards and providing/coordinating input into the international standards setting processes including international HACCP activities and through Codex Committees, particularly those for food hygiene and meat hygiene.


Mr John Salminen

Chief, Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division,
Food Directorate, Health Canada

Biography

         Mr John Salminen is the Chief of the Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division in the Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Health Canada . This Division's staff of thirty scientists is responsible for the evaluation of submissions relating to direct food additives, novel foods, food packaging materials and processing aids to enable the use of these substances in Canada in accordance with the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations. The Division also carries out risk assessments of man-made chemical contaminants and natural toxicants in foods and provides advice regarding possible strategies to mitigate potential health risks associated with the presence of these substances in the food supply. Prior to his appointment to the position of Chief of this Division, Mr Salminen has held various positions in the Bureau of Chemical Safety totaling more than thirty years of experience in the areas of pre-market evaluation and health risk assessment of chemicals. Mr Salminen has also held positions in the quality control department of a major food-processing firm in Canada .

         Mr Salminen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Science specializing in chemical engineering and has participated in a number of international initiatives. For example, he has led the Canadian delegation to the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants for the past seven years.


Mr Nick Tomlinson

Head, Chemical Safety Division,
United Kingdom Food Standards Agency

Biography

         Mr Nick Tomlinson heads the Chemical Safety Division in the UK Food Standards Agency. Within the Agency Mr Nick is responsible for ensuring that chemical contaminants in food do not compromise food safety. Over the past year Mr Nick has been responsible for organizing the work of the UK 's food incident task force. His main challenge over the next four years is working with the food industry to deliver the Agency's strategic plan target on food incident prevention.

         Mr Nick is working with a number of countries to develop mechanisms for identifying emerging food chemical safety issues of concern. Mr Nick is also a member of the WHO/FAO INFOSAN advisory board.

         In his previous post Mr Nick was the Head of the Novel Foods Division in the Food Standards Agency. In this post he was closely involved in the development of the Codex principles and accompanying guidelines on the safety assessment of foods derived from GM plants and microorganisms. Mr Nick was also involved in the organisation of two UK/OECD international conferences on biotechnology (Edinburgh 2000, Bangkok 2001).

         Previously Mr Nick was involved in the safety assessment of pesticides in the UK where he headed the toxicology section of the UK Pesticides Safety Directorate. Prior to that Mr Nick worked for the UK Health and Safety Executive.



Professor Lynn J Frewer

Department of Social Science,
Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Biography

         Professor Lynn J Frewer is the Professor of the Food Safety and Consumer Behaviour at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands . Previously Professor Lynn was the Head of the Consumer Science at IFR in the UK . She completed a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology at the University of Leeds (1986), an M.Sc. in Ergonomics at University College London (1983), and a B.Sc. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Bristol (1982), all in the UK . Professor Lynn's research interests are focused on all aspects of food safety and consumer behaviour, with a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary research collaborations which span the social and natural sciences. Recent research activities have developed understanding and knowledge about the determinants of public responses to food and agriculture, including those related to risk, safety and potential benefits associated with food science and technology. Specific activities include research into societal attitudes towards emerging technologies, investigating the impact of traceability on consumer attitudes to food safety, evaluating the effectiveness of risk-benefit communications and health interventions, and developing methodologies to effectively consult stakeholder and the public about different food and agricultural policy issues. Recent research has also focused on understanding consumer and societal issues associated with food allergy, emerging food risks, and domestic food hygiene practices. Professor Lynn has been involved in many national and international consultations and advisory workshops examining the relationship between public policy and agri-food risk issues (for example, sponsored by the European commission, Dutch and British national governments, US NAS, OECD, WHO and FAO). Professor Lynn has published over 90 refereed Journal articles, 25 book chapters, and numerous conference proceedings. She has also edited three books in the area of risk perception and communication, and food choice (http://www.mcb.wur.nl/UK/Staff/Faculty/Frewer).


Dr Julie S Downs

Director, Center for Risk Perception and Communication,
Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University , USA

Biography

         Dr Julie S Downs is the Director of the Center for Risk Perception and Communication in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University . Dr Downs received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Princeton University , and her B.A. in Psychology from University of California , Berkeley . She has given invited addresses to a number of distinguished audiences, including the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine , the United Kingdom 's Health and Safety Executive, and numerous academic audiences. Her research has been published in psychological, public policy and medical journals.

         Dr Downs studies how social influences affect decision-making, and how people can make better decisions by understanding the nature of these influences. Many people expect to contend with direct forms of influence, such as peer pressure, but far more ubiquitous and powerful are indirect influences. These include normative group influences (doing what is expected of you according to your group status or group norms), expectancy effects (behaving in accordance with what you expect, such as with alcohol use), and lack of awareness of decision opportunities.

         One goal of this type of research is to implement interventions aimed at helping people make better decisions in the face of often unseen social influences. In previous research on sexual decision-making among adolescent girls, Dr Downs and colleagues developed an interactive video DVD intervention to improve decisions in potentially risky sexual contexts. In a randomized clinical longitudinal trial, they found beneficial behavioral and biological outcomes of the intervention compared to stringent controls. Other research topics include childhood vaccination, cancer prevention, screening and treatment decisions, violence in schools, decisions associated with diabetes, susceptibility to e-mail scams, and the role of stigma in decisions.



Professor Patrick Wall

Associate Professor of Public Health,
University College Dublin School of Public Health and Population Science and
Chairman, European Food Safety Authority

Biography

         Professor Patrick Wall is the Associate Professor of Public Health in the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Public Health and Population Science where his teaching and research interests include foodborne diseases, lifestyle related diseases and health damaging consumer behaviour. He was previously the Adjunct Professor of Food Safety in the UCD Centre for Food Safety. Before that he was the first Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland where he contributed to the setting up of a science based Consumer Protection Agency created in the aftermath of BSE to: (1) perform risk assessments, (2) co-ordinate the national food safety inspectorate, (3) get all sectors of the food industry to take responsibility for food safety and (4) communicate risks and how to manage them to all the stakeholders along the food chain and to consumers. Prior to that he worked as a doctor in the UK National Health Service based in the Public Health Laboratory Service's Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre where he was in charge of the surveillance, and investigation of outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease.

      He graduated in Veterinary in UCD and Medicine in RCSI. He has an M.Sc. in Infectious Diseases from the University of London and an M.B.A. from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. He is a Member of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in Ireland and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine in the UK .

      He is the Chairman of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which is the keystone of European Union's risk assessment regarding food and feed safety. In close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks for policy makers and risk managers.


Dr Julian Lai

Associate Professor and Associate Head,
Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong,
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Biography

         Dr Julian Lai obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in the area of Psychoneuroimmunology from the University of Hong Kong. He joined the City University of Hong Kong as a lecturer in psychology in 1993. His research interest has become diversified since then. In addition to research on the psychophysiology of positive psychological conditions such as optimism and positive emotions, he is also engaged in research in other areas including personality and social psychology, health psychology, environmental psychology, and risk analysis. His major publications appear primarily in international refereed journals in psychology. He is a past President of the Hong Kong Psychological Society (2004-2005), and currently the Associate Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Applied Social Studies of the City University of Hong Kong.

 

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