On May 9, 2024 from 2:20–3:30 P.M. CEST, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will hold a webinar via Zoom to discuss the food safety aspects that need to be considered and addressed when using environmental inhibitors in agrifood systems. The content of the webinar is based on FAO’s December 2023 publication on the same topic.

The challenge of feeding a growing global population while responding to the effects of climate change requires developing practices and technologies that enhance the sustainability of food production. An emerging solution is the use of environmental inhibitors (i.e., methogenesis and nitrogen inhibitors), which can help reduce negative impacts on the environment while improving the production efficiency of crops and livestock.

However, the presence of residues from environmental inhibitors in food commodities can raise health concerns and can disrupt trade if standards or appropriate mitigation measures are not established. The possible food safety issues associated with these substances can be challenging to assess and manage due to the lack of internationally harmonized regulatory approaches, an agreed-upon definition for environmental inhibitors, and sufficient food safety information for some compounds.  

The findings of the December 2023 FAO report will be presented during the webinar, followed by a panel discussion with food safety experts: Warren Hughes of New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, Claudio Nuñez of Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture, Michael Dickinson of the UK Food Standards Agency, and Holly Erdely of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.