eNews from the Global Harmonization Initiative

July 2019

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Dr. h.c. Huub Lelieveld

Mr. Larry Keener, CFS

Dr. Sangsuk Oh

Dr. Gerhard Schleining

Dr. Vishweshwaraiah Prakash

Dr. Bernd van der Meulen

Dr. Joe Mac. Regenstein

Adriana Sterian, MSc.


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Dr. h.c. Huub Lelieveld
President, Netherlands

Mr. Larry Keener,
Vice-President, USA

Dr. Gerhard Schleining
Treasurer, Austria

Mag. Michaela Pichler
Supervisory Board, Austria

Nathalie Persson-Andrianasitera
Global Councillor, Sweden

Ms. Adriana Sterian, MSc.
General Secretary, Netherlands

Dr. Sangsuk Oh
Member-at-Large, Korea

Dr. Bernd van der Meulen
Member-at-Large, Netherlands

Dr. Joe Mac. Regenstein
Member-at-Large, USA

Dr. Alina-Ioana Gostin
Ambassador Programme Director, UK
Ms. Adriana Sterian, MSc.
Communications Dir.,Netherlands

Ms. Ana Sanhueza Martín, MSc.
Membership Director, Spain

Ms. Nicole Coutrelis
Regulatory Advisor, France

Dr. Bernd van der Meulen
Legal Advisor - Food, Netherlands

Dr. Sian Astley
Editorial Advisor, UK

Mr. Grigor Badalyan
Newsletter Publisher, Germany

Dr. Aine Regan
Social Media Advisor, Ireland

Mr. Gunter Greil
Webmaster, Austria


Ms. Michaela Pichler (Chair) 
ICC, Vienna, Austria 
Dr. Michael Murkovic
EuCheMS Food Chemistry Division, Graz, Austria
Dr. Pablo Juliano
CSIRO, Werribee, Australia
Dr. V. Balasubramaniam
The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Dr. Pingfan Rao
Fuzhou University and Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology, Fujian, China
Dr. Jaap Hanekamp
Roosevelt Academy, Tilburg,  
The Netherlands
Dr. Sian Astley
EuroFIR, Brussels, Belgium
Dr. Maria Tapia
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela
Dr. Kwang-Ok Kim
Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea

Dr. Vladimir Kakurinov

Dr. Pablo Juliano



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President's message

Dear GHI Members and Subscribers to GHI Matters,
This time I start with an apology, because I made some promises and I did not keep them: Publishing the opening lectures of the 1st GHI Congress and reports on the side meetings during the congress. It is the intention to publish these items in the next issue.
In the past few months many times I received questions from GHI members asking me about information that had been published in the recent issues of GHI Matters. I like to emphasise that the newsletter contains only relevant information, including important message and that we refrain from publishing any other information. I therefore invite you, readers, to really pay attention to the contents of the newsletters. This issue for instance covers GHI related events for which you may want to reserve the dates and to which you may want to contribute. There are several announcements of publications, including an EFSA report on a consumer survey about perceptions of food safety, based of replies from 28,000 consumers living in the EU. There are also requests for authoring book chapters.
Enjoy reading the newsletter and know that your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Huub Lelieveld, 9 July 2019. 

  Changes in the GHI Board

In 2012 Irena Soljic accepted the function as assistant to the then General Secretary (GS) of GHI, Lilia Ahrné. When Lilia got elected President of the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), being GS of GHI at the same time became too much and Lilia stepped down. The Board then, in 2014, unanimously appointed Irena as Acting GS and nominated her as candidate GS for election by the General Assembly in 2015 when she was formally elected GS. Irena has been very active for GHI for 7 years despite her duties as a teacher at the University of Ghent and her PhD work. In 2018 she started her own company that has no relation to food science and she asked to be relieved as GS when we would have found a capable successor.
That capable successor has been found in the person of Adriana Sterian, who's appointed has been confirmed by the Board in the Leadership meeting of 8 May 2019. Earlier Adriana had accepted the position as Communications Director, a function that she will continue to fulfil until we have found a successor for that position. Adriana is Romanian but lecturer Food & Dairy at the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in Velp, The Netherlands.
The Board is grateful to Irena for her contributions to GHI and pleased that she will remain available to assist the new GS when needed. The Board warmly welcomes Adriana to the Board and looks forward to a fruitful cooperation.

GHI is endorsing the Conference on Innovations and Food Packaging to be held in Munich, Germany, from 8 to 10 October 2019. Innovations in Food Packaging, Shelf Life and Food Safety is a platform for packaging and food safety professionals, students and policy makers to discuss advancements and innovations in food packaging and food safety, addressing emerging food packaging issues such as recycling, product safety, biomaterials and nanotechnology, biosensors, food spoilage and shelf life and reducing food losses in the food chain. The event will also provide opportunities to network and collaborate with the attendees across food sectors.

During the Fi Europe exhibition in Paris GHI will be involved in the the Fi Europe conference by giving presentations on "Debunking misinformation about food" and "Preventing food safety incidents resulting from food crimes".

The 33rd EFFoST International Conference "Sustainable Food Systems - Performing by Connecting" will be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, from 12-14 November 2019. As usual, GHI will organise a dedicated session and a GHI meeting. Details will follow in the next issue of GHI Matters.

In 2020, in cooperation with Acad Indus International Conventions, GHI will organise a summit on food contamination and traceability. At least from a food point of view, the world has turned into one global village, where every type of food is available, if you can afford it. Food can be transported from any place on earth to any other place. As consumers should not be exposed to unhealthy contamination, be it physical, chemical or microbial, it is important to have adequate measures to prevent contamination, to detect contamination and to identify the source of contamination. Because of the enormous quantity of food moving across borders (approx. 1.5x10^12 kg in 2016), it is hard to have adequate control and to know the sources of food that has been imported. This makes food fraud lucrative, to trade low-value food or food that is not fit for consumption that has been made to look good. Often food is found that is unhealthy and causes diseases, even often deadly. The conference will discuss how food crimes may be reported in an early stage, may be prevented, how the illness causing agents can be detected fast and accurately and possibilities to rapidly trace the source of the food and the contamination. Novel and potential future methods of analysis of contamination will be discussed and how to ensure that such methods can be applied globally, independent of the economical strengths of countries.  
The plan is to organise the 2nd GHI World Congress on Food Safety and Security in March 2021. Although we have received several offers to host the second GHI Congress, we invite everybody interested in hosting the Congress to submit a proposal. The proposal needs to take into account that GHI is a global organisation and therefore address possibilities for participation of scientists from all over the world. A document listing the requirements for proposals can be downloaded from the congress website . Proposals should be submitted before 15 August 2019.

Invitation of authors

The book series "Nutrition and health aspects of traditional and ethnic foods" is progressing. As announced, the first volume of the series, about the Nordic Countries, has been published in September last year and volume 2 about Western Europe and volume 3 about Eastern Europe will be published this year. Several other volumes are in preparation. The editors the volume "Nutrition and health aspects of traditional and ethnic foods in the Balkans" are looking for authors for the following chapters:
Chapter 7. Food, nutrition and health in Croatia
Chapter 8. Food, nutrition and health in Greece
Chapter 12. Food, nutrition and health in Serbia
Chapter 13. Food, nutrition and health in Slovenia
Chapter 17. Common nutrition and health issues
Chapter 18. Common regulatory issues and proposals to harmonize regulations
Chapter 19. Future outlook.
If you are interested in contribution to the book, writing or co-writing a chapter, please contact the Lead Editor, Alina Gostin .

Call for Chapters Proposals - Nutritional Value of Amaranth
Amaranth is a group of more than 60 different species of grains that have been historically cultivated as a staple food by ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Aztecs. These grains are classified as a pseudo-cereal, because they are technically not cereal grains like wheat or oats, but they share comparable sets of nutrients and are used in similar ways. Dr. Viduranga Waisundara (GHI Ambassador for Sri Lanka) is editing the book 'Nutritional Value of Amaranth' to be published by InTech Open, Croatia. It is scheduled for publication in November 2019. There are opportunities for chapter proposals to be submitted for this book. Details about formats, deadlines for submission and publication dates are available via this link .

10th International Congress "Flour-Bread '19"
The 10th International Congress "Flour-Bread '19" and the 12th Croatian Congress of Cereal Technologists "Brasno-Kruh '19." was held from 11 to 14 June in Hotel Osijek, Osijek, Croatia. The Congress was organised under the leadership of prof. Ivica Strelec by the Faculty of Food Technology Osijek, the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC), the Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food (HAPIH), the ISEKI Food Association, and the Global Harmonization Initiative.
Honourable Committee Member and GHI Ambassador in Croatia, Prof. Vlasta Pilizota, organised a General GHI meeting during the Congress. The Congress was a great success as can be concluded from the  downloadable report . GHI was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for long-term support.

Publications of potential interest to GHI members
- 1-
Why don't we have more global harmonization in food regulation?

GHI Board Member and Legal Advisor - Food, Bernd van der Meulen, wrote an essay for New Food Magazine setting out different models and approaches applied in food regulation and suggesting some interpretations and explanations. Global differences in the manner and content of the regulation of food safety and other food-related issues stem from a wide variety of sources including history, culture, fear, protectionism and politics. Obviously, these categories - if categories they are - are overlapping rather than mutually exclusive.
How to regulate food related issues? Some countries including China and the Russian Federation do it product by product. Their systems are based on product standards. Other countries such as the EU and to some extent the USA follow a more horizontal approach regulating general issues and leaving the composition of products to businesses.
Most systems accept conventional foods on the market assuming on the basis of experience that they are safe. Wider or more narrow categories of non-conventional foods can only be placed on the market after authorization based on scientific risk assessment. In the USA  and the EU  this applies to food additives.  In the EU it also applies to food additives. T he concept of food additives , however,  has been defined much more narrowly in the EU than in the USA, but on the other hand the EU applies authorisation requirements to other non-conventional foods such as genetically modified organisms and (other) novel foods.
In some countries, enforcement is focused more on resolving food safety problems. In other countries it focusses on deterring infringements. In some countries, sanctions are limited to moderate administrative fines. In China capital punishment exists in food law.
Important factors contributing to what harmonization exists in food legislation are the WTO Agreement on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and the Codex Alimentarius.
The essay was published in New Food of December 2017 . It caught attention resulting in translations in magazines in Turkish and Dutch . The articles can also be downloaded from the GHI Library .
- 2 -
Eurobarometer 91.3: EFSA Report on food safety in the EU
On 7 June 2019, on the occasion of the first World Food Safety Day, EFSA published "Eurobarometer 91.3: Report on food safety in the EU". Because the last Eurobarometer was in 2010, this new survey marks an important and long-awaited update in understanding consumer perceptions around food safety. It has been a very large survey, sampling in all 28 EU Member States with approx. 28,000 respondents. The "Key findings" in the report provide an at-a-glance view. Later this year an in-depth analysis of the results will be published. The detailed announcement and the report and factsheets can be freely downloaded from the EFSA website.
For more information and questions, the EFSA Campaigns Team may be contacted.

Conferences & Meetings  

GHI regularly makes presentations and holds general and working group meetings in conjunction with scientific and food industry conferences around the globe.

Please check
our website for details and links, or   contact us via email to submit listings.

This is an announcement of the ISEKI-Food Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus. Just to make sure you will have it booked in your agenda.
More information about ISEKI meetings and other activities can be found on https://www.iseki-food.net
"Nutrition and health aspects of traditional and ethnic foods in Nordic Countries"

Edited by Veslemøy Andersen, Eirin Bar And Gun Wirtanen, is the first volume of the series of 26 books a bout the topic, covering the entire globe. This volume discusses the nutrition and health aspects of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland as well as Sápmi, also known as Lapland. It is published by Elsevier/Academic Press 2018. ISBN: 978-0-12-809456-3 (eBook) and 9780128094167 (print). Note that, as with all food science books published by Elsevier, using the code GHI30 gives you a 30% discount.

Copies of the first two GHI's books are still available:  

Ensuring Global Food Safety  - Exploring Global Harmonization.
Elsevi er/Academic Press, 2009.

ISBN: 9780123748454 (print) 9780080889306 (eBook)

Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods. 
Elsevier/Academic Press, 2015.

9780128006054 (print) 9780128006207 (eBook) 


Founded in 2004 as a joint activity of the US-based Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) International Division and the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), the Global Harmonization Initiative (GHI) is a network of scientific organizations and individual scientists working together to promote harmonization of global food safety regulations and legislation. For more information, please visit our website at

GHI has legal non-profit entity status and its charter and constitution are registered in Vienna, Austria as the GHI-Association (ZVR453446383).

GHI is an initiative of the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), which is the European part of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) and the International Division of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). GHI is supported by the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) and many other organizations.