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All foods are not necessarily safe, despite the human inclination to believe they are. Plants often contain different alkaloids such as solanine, a well-known toxic substance contained in the green tubers or buds of potatoes. Inappropriate consumption of these plants causes plant poisoning due to these alkaloids. Cassava, an important crop in the tropics, is another example of a toxic plant because it contains a cyanogenic glycoside as a component, and is highly hazardous if someone eats it without pretreatment. Human beings have been contriving to make these toxic crops edible for survival throughout our long history. Our long ­fight against pathogenic bacteria that cause serious foodborne diseases is one of control for our very survival.

 

Food Safety Commission of Japan (FSCJ) is a risk assessment organization for science-based assessment of food safety risks to human health. A serious need exists for science-based assessment of the effects of food on human health, especially when human society faces food safety issues of a new kind that are uncontrollable through prior experience. The BSE crisis was one such issue. Surge of the food trade, including both expanded volume and variety of foods, along with the increased number of trading countries is thought to be one such new situation. Beside these, risk assessment was certainly required for establishing the common rules for use of pesticides. The standard for use of additives has been demanded to be established through risk assessments. Pesticides and additives are largely used for ensuring food productivity or ensuring food of a certain quality. This is the aim of genetically modi­fied foods as well.

 

Humans eat food to survive, but we also eat for sensuous enjoyment. Because of the latter, human beings have been trying to eat what we were not eating before, eating things in new ways. This human approach sometimes causes food safety issues we have not experienced before. Anisakiasis, parasitic infection, is caused by the consumption of raw seafood. Apparently, recent incidence of this foodborne disease is a result from people’s new preference for eating food raw, which were not eaten raw before. FSCJ also conducts risk assessment of such kind.

 

FSCJ, however, is responsible not solely for assessment of food safety risks; it is also responsible for “risk communication” through which the information on risk assessments is to be provided correctly in an easy-to-understand manner. Through risk communication, FSCJ should provide people with the knowledge and wisdom of consuming food safely.

 

FSCJ needs to listen to consumer’s questions and opinions about food safety and about risk assessments through communication. Building mutual understanding among stakeholders, FSCJ has to make the healthy and enjoyable dietary life of the nation based on its own decisions. In addition, FSCJ is requested to provide the relevant information to the world. It is particularly important to provide the information to Asian countries, because these countries are actively involved in the food trading of our country. Moreover, communication among risk assessment organizations of each country, and international bodies, collaboration or exchange of food safety information are necessary for establishing food safety worldwide. Fortunately, FSCJ is successfully publishing an on-line journal, “Food Safety,” which was founded as the of­ficial journal commemorative for the 10th anniversary of FSCJ. I believe FSCJ should promote the transmission of information on its activities to the world by means of this on-line journal.

Chairperson Hiroshi SATOH

Chairperson         

Hiroshi SATOH     

 

> Role of the Food Safety Commission

> Organizational Structure

> Commissioners (Updated on 7 January 2017)

> International Collaboration

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Food Safety Commission Secretariat

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Postal Mailing Address:
 Akasaka Park Bld. 22nd F. Akasaka 5-2-20,
 Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6122, JAPAN
Phone: +81-3-6234-1166
Fax: +81-3-3584-7390

〒107-6122 東京都港区赤坂 5-2-20 赤坂パークビル22階 TEL 03-6234-1166 FAX 03-3584-7390
食品安全委員会事務所所在地図(別ウインドウで開きます)