Following the successful format of GMI8, GMI9 replicated the format of the meeting that consists of two parts:
- A one-day meeting, organized by FAO and targeting food safety managers and assessors around the world to exchange information on the impact of WGS/NGS on food safety management, for consumer protection, trade facilitation and food security. Specific considerations will be given to the potential benefits and impacts of WGS in developing countries, with burgeoning food safety systems and limited resources.
The traditional two-day event that includes five GMI working groups, presentations by international experts and interactive discussions. The meeting aims to examine the state-of-the art of next-generation genomics, review GMI objectives and strategy and support international harmonization of the efforts to use WGS data to build and integrate global databases.
The first part of the meeting provided a unique opportunity for participants to understand the current applications as well as the impact of WGS on food safety management. The technologies could contribute to the eventual goal in consumer protection, trade facilitation and food security. Learning from the already existing initiatives in food and agriculture sectors, the meeting discussed the needs, opportunities and challenges.
During the second part of the meeting (GMI9), participants benefited from the GMI initiative and participated in the process to develop a global system of DNA genome databases for microbial and infectious disease identification and diagnostics.
The first part of the meeting benefited those who are in the regulatory settings (national food safety managers/assessors and government officials) as well as other stakeholders (NGOs, industries, academia, and policy makers) and the second part of the meeting benefited those who are tackling individual problems at the frontline (clinicians, food microbiologists, veterinarians, etc.).
These meetings were primarily for collaboration and integration across various sectors and international borders.