Stakeholders adopt Draft National Food Safety Policy
The policy, when implemented would foster close collaboration between stakeholders in agriculture, trade, human health, animal health, tourism and standardization among others, to strengthen food safety and prevent, and control both food and water-borne diseases.
It would also promote the involvement of stakeholders and build network that could respond efficiently to food safety emergencies.
Mr Hudu Mogtari Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drug Authority, (FDA) opening the meeting for the adaptation of the policy, explained that the drafting process started in 2009 and had undergone extensive review to reflect the national aspirations.
The FDA developed the policy draft with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation ((FAO) after a study was conducted on the situational analysis of food safety in Ghana.
Mr Mogtari noted that there were increasing global concerns in the safety of foods available for consumption and the concerns has heightened when food was intended for both the local and the international markets.
In Ghana, there have been major concerns and gaps with regards to food safety in the areas of food production, handling, packaging processing and transportation. There are other issues with biological, chemical, and physical contaminants in the food chain.
Mr Mogtari said it was important for everyone to have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet dietary needs but unfortunately the unavailability of adequate food and poverty had caused people to become concerned only with satisfying hunger at the expense of safety.
“As Ghana seeks to improve her competitiveness on the global markets, there is the need to review how agri-business is conducted in the food chain to add quality to risk analysis,” he said.
He said Ghana had shown commitment to address these concerns hence, the draft of the policy to allow effective coordination and evaluation through the value chain.
The FDA boss, consequently, called for a multi-sectorial collaboration to achieve a sustainable and solid food safety system in Ghana.
Mrs Akosua Kwakye, Food Safety Programme Officer of WHO, Ghana Office, commended Ghana for the efforts put in to develop the draft policy and pledged WHO’s support to implement the policy after it had been approved by Cabinet and passed by Parliament.