It is during a public health pandemic like the one we are facing today that we are reminded of the importance of science and the vital role of scientists in supporting decision-making. On World Milk Day, Piercristiano Brazzale, Chair of the International Dairy Federation’s Science Programme Coordination Committee, thanks scientists around the world for their contributions to making our milk and dairy foods safe.
Since the seventeenth century, science has been the creative engine from which wellness and hygiene conditions emerged; the catalyst for economic improvement and political-social development.
In the context of the democratic debate, the availability of reliable, coherent, and systematic scientific information is essential as a basis for making balanced and efficient decision. In many democracies around the world, scientific consultants, associations, and Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), prepare informative reports to help policy makers to legislate. It is vital that the information they receive is supported by robust science.
Making the world aware of the science behind the nutrition provided by dairy is a key part of what IDF does. As the leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain, scientific organisations like IDF have a very important role to play in guaranteeing an impartial filter of scientific studies and publications, by giving greater security and reliability to policy makers when they have to make a decision.
Since its inception in 1903, IDF has become a fundamental point of reference for all operators in the dairy sector; from breeders, to producers, to processors to national and international authorities. IDF works with over 1,200 experts all over the world, to improve knowledge of the dairy supply chain and economic, health, environmental and social impacts.
IDF’s contribution to the advancement of dairy science includes the development of analytical standards for milk and dairy products; standards which in most cases have become official or in any case reference methods and which are published in collaboration with ISO (International Organization of Standardization). IDF also holds a fundamental role in the Codex Alimentarius, FAO’s reference body in the food sector. The collaboration between the two organizations can be found in the work of the Codex Committee on Milk and its derivatives where IDF is recognized as the first scientific referent. The commitment of IDFs experts lends considerable weight also during the work of the committees on the methods of analysis, hygiene, as well as on the labelling of dairy products; collaborations that have led to numerous joint publications.
As a scientific community, it is important that we continue to work together, through organisations such as IDF, to ensure that robust science remains the recognized authority in ensuring the right policies, standards, practices and regulations are in place.
I am proud to be part of an organisation that helps make that happen. So on World Milk Day, let’s raise a glass to dairy scientists: thank you for helping ensure that the wholesome nutritional benefits of milk and dairy – supported by science – continue to recognised as part of a nutritious and sustainable diet.