A new French Food Chain Health Monitoring platform was launched at the end of July 2018. Its 14 founding organizational members signed an outline agreement embodying their desire to collectively strengthen health monitoring of the food supply chain. The French ministries of agriculture, health and consumer protection, French scientific organizations, technical institutes, professional organizations, and analytical laboratories all signed on to the platform, and have committed to strengthening the consistency of health actions throughout the entire food supply chain in order to improve efficiency and strengthen consumer health and safety.
The creation of the platform meets societal expectations in the area of food safety. National legislation, work done by the food safety section of the French Food Observatory and debates held during the Estates-General of Food served as the foundation for this platform. The signature of this outline agreement, which is the result of a strong mobilization of actors, is part of an agreement between the French Ministry of Agriculture, France’s leading national agricultural research institute, INRA, and ANSES, France’s food, environmental and workplace safety agency, that dates to March of this year, which aimed to strengthen the monitoring of plant health, animal health and food safety.
The implementation of the platform will help to develop a more integrated monitoring system, in which all professional actors from different links in the food supply chain can be involved. Through its steering committee, its coordination team and its cross-sectional working groups, the platform will work in close collaboration with already existing animal and plant health platforms.
In the matter of food safety, the integrated approach called “One health” (taking into account human, animal and environmental health all at once) is largely encouraged by health authorities at the national, European and international levels. Biological contaminants do not recognize international borders and can pass from one location to the next regardless of boundaries. Through implementing concerted actions between all partners, the platform’s objective is to optimize health-monitoring tools put in place all along the length of the food supply chain.