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By Sally Washington & Lahsen Ababouch

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In a world as technologically advanced and heavily regulated, food should not be so complicated. However, even as consumers have become better versed in home food safety techniques, globalization of food production, processing and supply have increased the risk of food-borne illnesses and the mass hysteria that follows their spread across borders and countries. Thus, a century after the idea of food poisoning first entered the public consciousness, some of the same mysterious food safety battles are still being fought.

20 It is unclear what proportion of global tuna sales the label accounts for, but it is likely to be significant given that, as the Earth Island Institute claims, the standards are “adhered to by more than 90 percent of the world’s tuna companies”. Dolphin Safe has been criticized by other NGOs (notably Greenpeace) for not taking account of other sustainability factors, such as the sustainability of tuna stocks or the other environmental impacts of tuna fishing. Marine Stewardship Council As noted above, the MSC was set up by the WWF and Unilever in 1997, but has been independent of them for more than ten years.

Netherlands and Belgian pigs and poultry farms were again placed under quarantine owing to another dioxin scare in January 2006, when restrictions were placed on a total of 582 farms. More recently (2008), high levels of melamine were found in infant formula, milk powder and pet foods in China, owing to its deliberate and illegal addition to increase the protein content of these products causing the death of many babies and children and 50 000 becoming ill. Given the importance of food exports from China, many other countries were seriously concerned and discovered alarming levels of melamine in various food products tested.

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