Chicago, Ill. – Canada’s traceability system has garnered an “average” score in a recent report titled Comparison of Global Food Traceability Regulations and Requirements.
The Global Food Traceability Center, which was created by the Institute of Food Technologists to improve the global food supply, was one of the authors of the report.
The only area of the world to receive a “superior” rating were the member countries of either the European Union or the European Free Trade Association.
The report looked at whether food traceability regulations were comprehensive for all food commodities and processed foods.
The report authors say they evaluated countries based on responses to a series of questions that were developed to allow assessment of their traceability programs.
The examination ranked the countries that have specific traceability regulations for all commodities, both domestic and imports, as “progressive,” while countries with less broad or stringent regulations were ranked as “moderate,” and countries that were still in the developmental stage of mandatory or industry-led traceability requirements were ranked as “regressive.”
The authors developed aggregate scores from all of the rankings, determined on the basis of the questions, for each of the 21 countries, to provide an overall world ranking score. The aggregate scores were “Superior,” “Average,” or “Poor.”
Summaries, from FoodSafetyNews.com, are as follows:
EU Countries (Superior) — Regulations addressing the traceability of a broad range of foods and animal products of both domestic and imported origin have established those countries adopting EU legislation as strong leaders in global food traceability.
Japan (Average) — Even though Japan’s beef labeling law for farm-to-fork traceability is now applicable only on domestic products, the Japanese government has adopted new regulations on rice traceability as well as other various commodities. This places Japan in a “fast-track” position in food traceability.
Canada (Average) — Traceability requirements through mandatory livestock identification are being strengthened. However, the efforts to create a national traceability system have failed to produce anything beyond limited livestock tracking.
U.S. (Average) — While the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is expected to improve food traceability capabilities for commodities, the development of regulations is still in the early stages. The U.S. does have robust identification and labeling requirements of packaged food products, but is one of only two major beef-producing countries without a national cattle identification or traceability system.
Australia, New Zealand and Brazil (Average) — These countries have strong livestock identification and traceability systems, but need to develop more advanced traceability requirements for other domestic and imported foods. Requirements for being able to trace and track most foods from farm to fork are still absent.
China (Poor) — The traceability system in China is still under development, and traceability is largely unregulated. China has recently announced impending changes to its food traceability laws.
Russian Federation — Little information was available for determining traceability requirements and regulations, therefore this country was not scored.
For more information on the study, click here.