eNews from the Global Harmonization Initiative

September 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,
It is my pleasure to present GHI Matters again to you. Due to the holiday period and many meetings, we did not manage to have an "August" issue, we are already about two weeks in September.
This issue has many of the summaries of the Working Group meetings that took place in Leiden, in association with the 1st GHI Congress. In he next issue there will be a few more. if you do not find what you expected, do not hesitate to contact the Chairs of the Working Groups.
In the next issue you will find detailed information about the Food Contamination and Traceability Summit that will take place in Erding, Munich, Germany, 26-27 May 2020. You may have looked at the website that has some information already. From now on it will be continually updated.  
Huub Lelieveld 

Following the invitation in "GHI matters" of May 2019, we received several positive responses to volunteer for GHI duties. The  volunteer s will be contacted soon to discuss what, when and how.


Master programme in Hygienic Engineering and Design

Food safety is not just a matter of good quality and proper conditions of storage and transport, but also of maintaining that quality. This requires that food products should be handled and processed in such a way that no contamination takes place and that existing contamination is removed. Often the design of equipment and facilities for handling, processing, packaging and storage of food products does not meet the needs for the food product and as a result, contamination does take place and food spoils too early or even becomes unsafe, this happens all over the world. This is the reasons for the existence of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group ( EHEDG ).
The North-Caucasus Federal University ( NCFU ) is the first institution in the world offering a Master programme in Hygienic Engineering and Design. The programme applies to the fields of food technology and engineering, pharmacy, biotechnology, cosmetics and chemical engineering.
The target group are the graduated students in Mechanical engineering, Food engineering, Food Technology; Biotechnology, Standardization and Certification, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Chemical engineering as well as the specialists from food plants, machinery and engineering enterprises and pharmaceutical companies.
NCFU welcomes applications from those who want to be specialists in this area. Hygienic design and food safety are key requirements globally, meaning graduates of this course will be able to solve many of the problems in the food industry and improve food quality and safety for everyone.
The courses of the programme are given in Russian and if there are enough international students also in English.

More information can be downloaded from NCFU-MCH .
Andrey Bratsikhin
The 1st GHI World Congress on Food Safety and Security , 24-28 March 2019, in Leiden, The Netherlands has brought together leading scientists, researchers and research scholars from academia and industry, prominent decision makers from international organisations, and the public from across the globe to advance the conversation about the vital role of modern science in food legislation and regulation.
Abstracts of the presentations and posters can be downloaded from the GHI Library .

Working Group Food Packaging Materials - 25th. March 2019
Chair: Prof. Alejandro Ariosti (National Institute of Industrial Technology; and Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry - University of Buenos Aires - Argentina)
Number of participants:  11 . F rom from Argentina, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
Summary :
After a brief explanation on the objectives of the Working Group (WG) and a self-introduction by all the participants, Prof. Ariosti presented a brief report on the last activity of the WG, which was the participation of a delegate from EHEDG/GHI in the "Stakeholder Workshop on the Evaluation of Food Contact Materials Legislation in the European Union", organized by the EC DG SANTE, and held on
The final report by the Contractor (ECORYS) is expected by early 2020.
A discussion followed to identify and prioritize subjects of interest for the participants, according to their expertises, in order to know if it would be possible to issue a future GHI position paper on one or more of them.
Conclusions and recommendations:
During the meeting it was not possible to identify any subject to begin to work on. Prof. Ariosti remarked that as several of the participants deal with food microbiology, this could be a subject of interest to study by a sub-group of the WG, as microbiology of food packaging is in practice scarcely or not regulated at all. As a few participants from Europe are following the development of the harmonized EU regulations on food contact materials, Prof. Ariosti suggested that they would also read the final report by the Contractor. He also solicited the participants to send further comments on the issues addressed during the meeting.              
A full report on the meeting will be made downloadable from the   GHI Library.
Alejandro Ariosti
Ambassadors meeting - 26th of March, 2019
Chair: Alina-Ioana Gostin, GHI Ambassador Programme Director
Number of participants: 25
Keywords : #GHI Ambassadors, #regulations, #international
Short summary of discussion:
The meeting started with an introduction of the participants and of their activities as GHI Ambassadors for their country. Main points addressed concerned translation of relevant GHI documents such as the share sheet entitled "Harmonisation: Feeding People, Fueling Innovation" , which can be accessed on the website ( https://www.globalharmonization.net/share-sheets-and-consensus-documents ), the GIAN alert system ( https://www.globalharmonization.net/wg-global-incident-alert-networks ), updates on Ambassador webpages, as well as the major role of Ambassadors in identifying experts/specialists in their country for joining the GHI Working Groups ( https://www.globalharmonization.net/working-groups ), communicating with local officials and participating to local events representing GHI.
At the end of the meeting Prof. Dr. Chin-Kun Wang, GHI Ambassador in Taiwan, invited GHI Ambassadors to attend the International Conference of Food Safety and Health (FSAH 2019, https://www.fsah2019.org/ ) which will be held between 26-28 November 2019 in Taichung, Taiwan.
Conclusions / recommendations:
The Ambassadors are encouraged to send Alina-Ioana Gostin GHI-relevant information to be disseminated via the newsletter, GHI Matters, as well as on the respective Ambassador webpages; the aim is to keep an updated GHI website.
A more detailed report can be found under GHI Library here.
Alina-Ioana Gostin

Working Group Global Incident Alert Networks (GIAN)

 26 March 2019

Chair:   Chin-Kun Wang
Number of participants:  15
Short summary of discussion:
a. What will be included in the WG?
Some discussion about water pollution and some other food fraud problems that   could be included in this WG.
b. The influence on industry and the reputation of GHI should be well thought through. 
c. The whistleblower system could be well established on the GHI website and information about communication with food safety authorities and public health institutes in every country could be provided on our website.
d. Widely invite ambassadors of GHI and related experts to join this WG.
Conclusions / recommendations:
G IAN is focused on hazardous unauthorized materials and microbiological problems in food. The anonymous whistleblower system should be well established as soon as possible.
Chin-Kun Wang
Chaired by Dr. Vishweshwaraiah Prakash from India and Dr. Iuliana Vintila from Romania
The Session focused on Harmonization of Food Laws and Legislations has to slowly align towards harmonization and remove the differences globally and needs a science based approach. In support of this Dr. Joe Regenstein stressed the importance of process driven regulations being more important than product label regulations. He showed this by the example of Halal process in the manufacture of meat which strictly have to follow the religions ethics code and in the end must also be scientifically safe for consumption.
Dr. Iuliana Vintila stressed the need of nutritional legislation's with a focus on what is needed through the Dietary Reference Value (DRV) and the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) at different ages. During the discussion the point was made that some of the nutritional regulations have to be regionally based because of many other factors such as of climate, economical levels, income differences and many disease conditions prevalent in those areas, all influencing proper absorption of nutrients.
Dr. Sezedul Hoque further emphasized the point of the use of formalin as a very generic processing aid. It is illegal and banned but still used to enhance the shelf life of fish. There are now standardized analytical method to detect and prevent this illegal practise happening in the fish chain.
The session ended with many examples by Dr Christelle Bou-Mitri who showed examples of mislabelling and false claims, deluding the consumers. Hence the need of the hour is minimal nutritional labelling rather than a huge table that many cannot read because of the small letters and is also not practical on small packets.
V. Prakash
Working Group Regulatory aspects of reducing post harvest losses
27 March 2019
  1. Theofania Tsironi (WG co-chair; Greece)
  2. Ben Oloo (Kenya)
  3. Joe Mac Regenstein (USA)
  4. Gerhard Schleining (Austria) 
The participants exchanges ideas about the activities that should be considered in order to fulfil the aims and objectives of the WG. A working document including the proposed actions will be prepared and distributed to the WG members, in order to give their points/comments/updates. The WG members will be asked to indicate:
  • Potential activities
  • Benefits of the proposed activities 
It was agreed that the GHI WG working group on postharvest losses and ISEKI-Food SIGs will join forces and work together, based on their similar objectives and scopes.
More information will be included in an extended report, which will be accessible in the   GHI Library webpage.
Theofania Tsironi
Working Group Food safety in relation to religious dietary laws
27 March 2019
Chair: Isabella van Rijn
Atef Idriss (Lebanon)                                                                                                                   
Ismail Odetokun (Nigeria)
Joe Regenstein (USA)
Quamrul Hasan (Japan)
The main goal of the meeting was to define how to move forward. It had been decided to start writing the white paper separately and then combine what has been written. This draft will be discussed during the next WG meeting.  
One of the important topics to be covered is ritual slaughtering and how to guide this from a religious point of view taking Food Safety into account.
Furthermore it was decided that the white paper should not include just a set of requirements but has to contain a guideline on how to govern religious dietary law.
Isabella van Rijn

Working Group Nutrition - 27 March 2019
A preliminary Report regarding in-session reflections and perspectives
As Co-Chair of the  GHI Nutrition Working Group , I had the honour to chair and open the meeting. Beside our great Director of the GHI Ambassador Programme, Alina Gostin-Ardelean and my dear Co-Chair colleague, Dr. Vishweswaraiah Prakash, the side meeting of the GHI Nutrition Working Group was attended by 12 from all over the world, including representatives from the World Health Organization, Food Magazines and Research Institutes.
The objective proposed by the chairs for this meeting were to establish a consensus within GHI Nutrition Working Group regarding potential future objectives and responsibilities in developing a Global Nutrition Policy Agreement regarding the following harmonization issues:  
  1. Dietary Reference Value/Reference Dietary Intake (Nutrients & Energy)
  2. Nutrition & Claims Labelling
  3. Nutrition Regulations & Standards for Public Services
  4. Nutrition Education & Training Standards
  5. Nutrition & Claims Advertising 
The matter of interest arising after more than one hour of reflections and discussion, are regarding the global food standard programmes and were pointed in our future agenda of global nutrition harmonization.
The Chairs agreed to establish periodic meetings of the Nutrition Working Group and also to organise again meetings during the 2nd GHI World Congress on Food Safety and Security in 2020.
A full-report of the Nutrition WG side meeting will be uploaded to the GHI Library in December 2019.
Iuliana Vintila

Working Group Ethics in food safety practices
26 March 2019
The GHI congress  gave us a great opportunity to present insight and progress and meet each other. There will not be official congress proceedings, but my own presentation is available from:
From our WG we have also seen presentations from Yasmine Motarjemi (Whistle-Blowing) and Rui Costa (Teaching Food Ethics).
In the WG meeting afterwards (present: Yasmine, Atef Idriss, Andy (An-I Yeh), Rui and me) there were mostly comments about Whistle-Blowing (WB). 
Andy mentioned that in Taiwan the responsibility for any problem or wrong-doing in a company always finally lies with the CEO and that authorities are required to respond within 3 months in WB cases. Furthermore, he mentioned that WB may actually get rewarded for their actions.

Atef advised for WBs to always go through the courts/appeals system and to bring in international experts to support technical fact finding and evaluation.

Yasmine remarked that in her case the court did not take the Food Safety element into account - so the fundamental reason for WB was ignored. She advocated taking up a standard procedure for follow-up of an internal Food Safety alert into a company's WB procedure.

Bernd mentioned that the new official controls regulation on agriculture and food in the EU now holds provisions requiring member states to have systems to deal with information from whistle blowers and to protect them from harm.
Peter Overbosch

Working Group Food Microbiology - 25th. March 2019
Chair: Prof. Dr. Stanley Brul (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam)
Number of participants: 20 (from Africa, Asia and Europe)
The Working Group met to discuss the ongoing projects around safety risks, associated with pathogens in the food chain and the current status of hazard characterization.
The meeting session started with a general overview and a round table introduction by the participants.

The key topics under the spotlight were:
1. AMR focusing on Antibiotics Resistance in the Food Chain
2. Management of Food Safety in the Chain

As the occurrence of microbial hazards in food industry is a focus point of the WG, a high-level description of the state-of-the-art, bringing forward cases of outbreaks, reviewing the advancements in the area and lastly providing opinions about the better and more holistic implementation of knowledge in order to better protect consumers and prevent food waste were addressed. The new systems approaches under development in (Food)Microbiology in general, taking benefit from the revolution that took place in the genome analysis and functional characterisation of environmental niches are open to be used to benefit the control of AMR. The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and others belonging to the European Food Safety Authority, have ongoing programs in the area. The chair discussed in his presentation how PhD studies on the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance development help providing relevant insights in the mechanisms and risks involved and are being used in ironing out of policy and advices by officers of the Dutch authority.
Additionally, ongoing educational programs in Food Technology/Food microbiology related to Instructions in Food Quality Management, Food Safety Management and Food Technology to raise awareness, trigger dialogue and facilitate the dissemination of accurate scientific knowledge were discussed. A case study entailed an extensive discussion on best practices in the Western World that could be shared with others facilitated by strengthened bonds between researchers. The chair drew examples from a site visit of the Wageningen University Life Science & Environment programs (28 BSc/MSc courses) among which were also all Food programs. Best practices were shared and the attendants of many of the non-Western countries were stimulated to take own initiatives and start implementation of risk-assessment practices where they felt these were necessary. Members from Wageningen University and Industry offered to join the efforts and be ready to consult whenever they would be asked to do so.  
All members joined in an open discussion to widen the spectrum of attention areas and brainstorm about the generation of specific sub-groups and the preparation of publications for those aspects in peer reviewed and popular scientific journals. A full report of the meeting including a list of participants and interested parties will be downloadable later from the website.
Before the closure the date for the next WG meeting was discussed. However no final consensus was reached other than that this will be set in conjunction with the secretariat of GHI and the items of the agenda will be previously discussed and a final agenda distributed. To come to a full appreciation of the interested parties in the Food Microbiology Working group all those present where stimulated to send their names and email addresses. Here follow-up is ongoing.

Stanley Brul
New book
Recently Timothy D. Lytton published
Outbreak: Foodborne Illness and the Struggle for Food Safety
Foodborne illness is a big problem. By washing chicken breasts you are likely to spread Salmonella to other foods nearby. Even salad greens can become biohazards when toxic strains of E. coli inhabit the water used to irrigate crops. All told, contaminated food causes 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year in the United States only.
The book is available from Amazon.com and the University of Chicago Press . You will receive a 20% discount with the following promo code: UCPNEW.
Our Ambassador in Sri Lanka, together with a several colleagues wrote a review about the fight against diabetes.
Traditional Herbal Medicines for Diabetes Used in Europe and Asia: Remedies From Croatia and Sri Lanka
by Ines Banjari, PhD; Andreja Misir, MSc; Martina Pavlić, MSc; Pavithra N. Herath, MSc; Viduranga Y. Waisundara, PhD
Alternative means of combating diabetes have been the focus of research in recent years and this book reviews the results of that research. The book provides a plethora of scientific evidence on the antidiabetic potency of herbs that could be alternative therapies for diabetes.
The review can be downloaded from the GHI Library.
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.