Pages Navigation Menu

Nigeria news, headlines, events , stories and all that is trending today

How FG Is Deepening Fight Against Food Contamination

A conscious effort is going on among government agencies to fully regulate importation of food items into the country. The effort is also deepening oversight in the entire agriculture chain in a deliberate fight against contamination.
This fresh move is coming on the strength of World Health Organisation (WHO) revelation showing that about 600 million accounting for 1 in 10 people globally  fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420 000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years (DALYs).
In addition, children under 5 years of age carry 40 percent of the food borne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year, the WHO said. In terms of specific health problems, diarrheal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million people to fall ill and 230 000 deaths every year (WHO 2015).
In Sub-Saharan Africa, mortality rate from food borne diseases across all ages is estimated at 700,000 and also recent findings from the work of the WHO Food borne Diseases Reference Group (FERG) revealed that there were more than 1.15 million estimated deaths from diarrhea in South East Asia and Africa each year in children older than 5.
It noted that the negative impact of unsafe food is enormous and it also creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick. Experts said that food borne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems, and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
In Nigeria, food production has received considerable industrialisation, while trading in food and food products is a major source of livelihood for our people. Therefore, the significance of Food Safety cannot be overemphasized and in the words of Graziani da Silva, (DG, FAO) “Food Safety is particularly important in trade since it serves to instil confidence in consumers and in importing countries with regards to traded products.”
Reacting to these revelations, Prof Isaac Adewole, minister for health in his speech at the recent Food Safety and Investment Forum argued that Nigeria is not a stranger to food safety governance.
Adewole’s only regret is that existing national legislative and institutional frameworks are yet to develop the capacity to prevent food contamination in line with the requirements of International bodies such as the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Codex (The Codex Alimentarius), a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety.
He said that presently, supply of contaminated food is widespread while critical challenges arising from widespread consumption of contaminated foods is a major public health concern. But he said that in line with its change mantra, the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders, as well as development partners have commenced initiatives to reform the existing National Food Safety Control System.
The overarching aim of this initiative is to immediately put in-place a system that has the capacity to enable government fulfill its obligation to its citizens and international community by ensuring that only safe and wholesome food and food products are produced, or traded within territorial boundaries of the country, the minister explained.
According to him, the government is undertaking this course of action as a clear demonstration of its commitment to strengthening the legislative and institutional frameworks to have the capacities to prevent, detect and respond to food borne outbreaks on a sustainable basis.
In line with the above objective, the federal government, along with relevant stakeholders in the food safety sector in 2014, finalised and launched the National Policy on Food Safety and Its Implementation Strategy (NPFSIS) as a starting point in enabling the country have a modern, unified and acceptable food safety system.
The first goal of this policy document is to update and harmonise all extant laws, regulations and codes of practices related to food safety to meet with international standards
With the support from UNIDO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the federal government, along with stakeholders that constitute the National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC), has commenced the implementation of the Food Safety Policy to the point of production of the Draft National Food Safety and Quality (NFSQ) Bill and the Draft Working Paper on Food Safety Institutional Reforms.
However, the minister noted that the country still has lots of grounds to cover before getting to the point where we can fully benefit from this draft bill and the institutional reforms.
In terms of food safety governance, he assured that the Federal Ministry of Health would continue to support National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), as government’s specialised agency with the mandate to protect Nigerians from the consumption of unwholesome foods, to effectively carry out its mandate in this regard.
The agency has the responsibility to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of all processed and/or packaged food in Nigeria.
In the fight against the influx of unwholesome food products into Nigeria, NAFDAC has carved out a directorate to take charge of regulating food safety issues in Nigeria called Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate among others.
“However, we are aware that the new directorate still needs proper structuring and the draft Food Safety Institutional Reform document has set the guide for this structure.
“Equally, the federal ministries overseeing Agriculture, Environment, Trade as well as Science and Technology and their agencies carry out their respective mandates towards ensuring the availability of wholesome, safe and nutritious food in the country.
Reforming the Food Safety and control system in the country is a very expensive undertaking and Government cannot do it alone. It is therefore essential that a joint National effort between the private sector and government MDAs at both National and State levels is needed for the safety of food from farm to table, he charged.
Adewole urged all high-level decision makers in the food production, processing and marketing sector to support the vision of the government for a more organised and improved Food Safety structure that will be in line with international best practices.
“Your support will amongst other things help the government achieve its goal of reducing the burden of food borne illnesses as well as guarantee the export of our food and agricultural produce to the international markets without rejection on safety grounds” he appealed.By Chika Izuora, Lagos
A conscious effort is going on among government agencies to fully regulate importation of food items into the country. The effort is also deepening oversight in the entire agriculture chain in a deliberate fight against contamination.
This fresh move is coming on the strength of World Health Organisation (WHO) revelation showing that about 600 million accounting for 1 in 10 people globally  fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420 000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years (DALYs).
In addition, children under 5 years of age carry 40 percent of the food borne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year, the WHO said. In terms of specific health problems, diarrheal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million people to fall ill and 230 000 deaths every year (WHO 2015).
In Sub-Saharan Africa, mortality rate from food borne diseases across all ages is estimated at 700,000 and also recent findings from the work of the WHO Food borne Diseases Reference Group (FERG) revealed that there were more than 1.15 million estimated deaths from diarrhea in South East Asia and Africa each year in children older than 5.
It noted that the negative impact of unsafe food is enormous and it also creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick. Experts said that food borne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems, and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
In Nigeria, food production has received considerable industrialisation, while trading in food and food products is a major source of livelihood for our people. Therefore, the significance of Food Safety cannot be overemphasized and in the words of Graziani da Silva, (DG, FAO) “Food Safety is particularly important in trade since it serves to instil confidence in consumers and in importing countries with regards to traded products.”
Reacting to these revelations, Prof Isaac Adewole, minister for health in his speech at the recent Food Safety and Investment Forum argued that Nigeria is not a stranger to food safety governance.
Adewole’s only regret is that existing national legislative and institutional frameworks are yet to develop the capacity to prevent food contamination in line with the requirements of International bodies such as the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Codex (The Codex Alimentarius), a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety.
He said that presently, supply of contaminated food is widespread while critical challenges arising from widespread consumption of contaminated foods is a major public health concern. But he said that in line with its change mantra, the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders, as well as development partners have commenced initiatives to reform the existing National Food Safety Control System.
The overarching aim of this initiative is to immediately put in-place a system that has the capacity to enable government fulfill its obligation to its citizens and international community by ensuring that only safe and wholesome food and food products are produced, or traded within territorial boundaries of the country, the minister explained.
According to him, the government is undertaking this course of action as a clear demonstration of its commitment to strengthening the legislative and institutional frameworks to have the capacities to prevent, detect and respond to food borne outbreaks on a sustainable basis.
In line with the above objective, the federal government, along with relevant stakeholders in the food safety sector in 2014, finalised and launched the National Policy on Food Safety and Its Implementation Strategy (NPFSIS) as a starting point in enabling the country have a modern, unified and acceptable food safety system.
The first goal of this policy document is to update and harmonise all extant laws, regulations and codes of practices related to food safety to meet with international standards
With the support from UNIDO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the federal government, along with stakeholders that constitute the National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC), has commenced the implementation of the Food Safety Policy to the point of production of the Draft National Food Safety and Quality (NFSQ) Bill and the Draft Working Paper on Food Safety Institutional Reforms.
However, the minister noted that the country still has lots of grounds to cover before getting to the point where we can fully benefit from this draft bill and the institutional reforms.
In terms of food safety governance, he assured that the Federal Ministry of Health would continue to support National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), as government’s specialised agency with the mandate to protect Nigerians from the consumption of unwholesome foods, to effectively carry out its mandate in this regard.
The agency has the responsibility to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of all processed and/or packaged food in Nigeria.
In the fight against the influx of unwholesome food products into Nigeria, NAFDAC has carved out a directorate to take charge of regulating food safety issues in Nigeria called Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate among others.
“However, we are aware that the new directorate still needs proper structuring and the draft Food Safety Institutional Reform document has set the guide for this structure.
“Equally, the federal ministries overseeing Agriculture, Environment, Trade as well as Science and Technology and their agencies carry out their respective mandates towards ensuring the availability of wholesome, safe and nutritious food in the country.
Reforming the Food Safety and control system in the country is a very expensive undertaking and Government cannot do it alone. It is therefore essential that a joint National effort between the private sector and government MDAs at both National and State levels is needed for the safety of food from farm to table, he charged.
Adewole urged all high-level decision makers in the food production, processing and marketing sector to support the vision of the government for a more organised and improved Food Safety structure that will be in line with international best practices.
“Your support will amongst other things help the government achieve its goal of reducing the burden of food borne illnesses as well as guarantee the export of our food and agricultural produce to the international markets without rejection on safety grounds” he appealed.

This post was syndicated from Nigerian News from Leadership News. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

Do you ever have any question about anything you wish to ask and get answer? Click here to ask

Follow us on twitter @NigeriaTodayNG

Also, Like us on facebook

Comments

1 Comment on "How FG Is Deepening Fight Against Food Contamination"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Niyi
Guest
Niyi

Not useful

wpDiscuz
Download the Nigeria Today app from Play store. Click here download now
Hello. Add your message here.