April 14, 2009
UCD food safety course will train
Chinese experts in EU laws
of Article: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0414/1224244629096.html
Mac CONNELL, Agriculture Correspondent
THE FIRST steps towards
making Ireland a centre for excellence for food safety education will be
taken at UCD this summer when a pilot training scheme will be launched with
the Chinese authorities.
The initiative emerged
from a meeting between Chinese food safety experts and Prof Patrick Wall of
UCD at a university seminar in China some months ago.
Prof Wall met
counterparts from China while attending the event which was aimed at
seeking overseas students for Irish universities.
The Chinese, who have had
a number of food scares in recent years which led to EU bans on its food products,
indicated they were seeking to develop a cadre of people fully familiar
with EU food safety requirements and how industry complied with these.
They were also seeking
academic input and work experience for members of its regulatory agencies
and their food industry which is a growing part of their economy.
As a result of these
discussions, UCD has now set up a Master’s in Food Safety and Risk Analysis
which will begin in January next for 40 Chinese experts.
Prof Wall, who was first
chairman of the Food Safety Authority, said a short pilot course in the
same field will run for three weeks this summer with 30 participants taking
“I was attending this
university’s exhibition in China supported by Enterprise Ireland looking
for foreign students, when I met Chinese people I knew through the food
safety area,” he said.
“They expressed an
interest in getting a special course going and it grew from there and it
should be of great benefit to both us and them,” he said.
“We really shot ourselves
in the feet with the pork dioxin crisis and it will be a case study when
all food safety courses are being updated around the world this September,”