The ILSI Europe Emerging Microbiological Issues Task Force identified water as an emerging global issue. In 2010, they initiated a new activity on 'Water and Sanitation Perspectives' in collaboration with eight other ILSI branches (India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, North Andean, South Africa, South Andean, South-East Asia Region) and with the technical support of WHO and FAO. An Advisory Group was formed with representatives from ILSI Branches as well as stakeholders (WHO, FAO, International Water Association, International Water Management Institute etc.).
The activity initially focused on "The quality of water used in the production of fresh produce". This issue was identified in Europe, Asia and South Africa and will be further linked with the following issues, which were identified in other regions (Asia, Africa etc.):
- The monitoring of water quality in relation to types of waterborne contaminants and their route of entry into the water systems, etc.
- To apply the risk assessment model to use of water in agricultural produce
- To implement WHO guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and grey water in agriculture and aquaculture, checking for global quality standards with the possibility to complement the WHO guidelines and make them more accessible.
For the first time, the ILSI branches are collaborating on a topic related to the area of Water and Sanitation. The proposed study will try as far as possible to include all aspects of water, which have an impact on food safety and/or public health. A kick-off meeting was organised on 29-30th March in Brussels, Belgium.
Please click here for the agenda
Microbial Health Risk Related to Irrigation of Fresh Produce using Wastewater, Prof. Gertjan Medema, KWR Watercycle research Institute, NL.
General objectives, expected impact, focus on international collaboration, climate change and aspects of food sovereignty, Prof. Mieke Uyttendaele, Ghent University, BE.
Problems of water (sources/quality) in fresh produce in EU, Dr. Liesbeth Jacxsens, Ghent University, BE.
Veg-I-Trade: WP 5 and water treatment, Dr. Imca Sampers, Howest, BE.
FAO-Wastewater Use in Agriculture, FAO Land and Water Division, IT.