IOFI-CAFFCI International Seminar on Flavor Safety held in Beijing

Oct 03, 2023
On 21st September, an International Seminar on Flavor Safety was co-hosted by the International Organization of the Flavor Industry (IOFI) and its Association Member, the China Association of Fragrance Flavor and Cosmetic Industries (CAFFCI) in Beijing, China.

The Seminar was chaired by Dr. Fan Yongxiang, Deputy Director of China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) and Chair of CODEX Committee on Food Additives (CCFA). CAFFCI Chairwoman Ms. Yan Jiangying, IOFI Executive Director Mr. Sven Ballschmiede, Director of CFSA Ms. Li Ning and key officers from the relevant departments of State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and National Health Commission (NHC) attended the Seminar and delivered speeches.

More than 100 participants attended the Seminar, including additional officers and experts from NHC and CFSA, as well as industry experts and representatives from flavor food sector.

In her opening speech, CAFFCI Chairwoman Ms. Yan underlined the importance for the entire sector to continue putting food safety in the first place, and the association’s role in supporting the competent authorities to further optimize the relevant food safety regulatory framework. In his speech, Mr. Ballschmiede, Executive Director of IOFI, expressed his joy to return to Beijing and to pursue the dialogue with Chinese stakeholders after the last Seminar organized in 2018. He highlighted that - compared to 2018 – topics like Sustainability and carbon footprint management were added to the program considering the societal and environmental challenges we are collectively facing.

Dr. Sean Taylor, IOFI Scientific Director and Scientific Secretary to the FEMA Expert Panel, and Dr. Jia Xudong, CFSA Director of Toxicology Laboratory, introduced the procedure and latest development of flavoring safety assessment of flavoring substances, respectively from the international and China perspective. Ms. Yi, IOFI Director for Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs, shared the role of IOFI in ensuring flavoring safety through regulatory harmonization. Dr. Zhang Jianbo, CFSA Director of Standard Division (III), introduced the progress of the revision of national standards related to flavorings. Mr. Mu Min, Secretary General of CAFFCI, provided an overview of China's flavor industry and the role of CAFFCI. Mr. Ballschmiede reported on some proactive industry initiatives, including the IFRA-IOFI Sustainability Charter and IOFI’s project on the calculation of Scope 3 Carbon Emission Factors for key ingredients. This report was followed by a comprehensive presentation by Mr. Niu Hao, Director of Appraisal Center for Environment and Engineering (ACEE) of Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), regarding China’s national policies and requirements on the reduction of pollution and carbon emissions.

During the final panel discussion session moderated by Dr. Fan, panelist Prof. Chen Junshi, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Prof. Jin Qizhang, special consultant of CAFFCI, and the heads of the two industry associations Ms. Yan, and Mr. Ballschmiede, shared their views and ideas on flavoring safety, risk communication, innovation, and regulations. The panelists agreed that for the long-term and healthy development of the industry, relevant laws and regulations must be established and improved to ensure the safety of flavoring products; and that it is necessary to join forces with the industry to spread the positive expert voices of the industry, in order to increase the general public’s understanding of flavorings and the flavor industry.

The day before the Seminar, on 20th September, the IOFI APAC Regulations Working Group (RWG) also held its first face-to-face meeting since the last one in 2019 in Bangkok.