Nyenswah Wants Stakeholders Rally Support
-To Address Food Safety Issues
The Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Tolbert Nyenswah, has stressed the need for all sectors in the country to rally support in ensuring that the issue of food safety is properly addressed.
“Food safety is a concern that needs our keen attention, it is everybody’s business, therefore our international partners, government, private sector, and all other stakeholders must play their roles in addressing the issues of food security in Liberia,” Nyenswah stated.He is of the opinion that some of the foods that are prepared for public consumption are not prepared in conducive environment, stating: “We cannot talk about food safety without talking about the environment they are prepared in.”
“We have to work together as a country and people to make sure the issues of food-borne, waterborne, airborne and all those diseases that affect human existence are addressed.
Nyenswah made the remarks Wednesday at the adoption of the National Codex Committee 2019 / 2020 work plan at the headquarters of NPHIL in Congo Town outside Monrovia.
According to him, the Government of Liberia is instituting measures that will applicably address the challenges associated with food safety in the country.
“As part of the government’s effort to ensure food safety, it has reactivated the National Codex Committee (NCC) to guide food standards, safety and international food trade,” Nyenswah stated.
The NCC is a consultative group to the Government of Liberia on food safety issues and is made up of stakeholder institutions which have a part to play in ensuring food safety in the country.
Meanwhile, the Director of National Standard Laboratory (NSL) Stephen Y. Mambu said the NCC is in close collaboration with the Codex Alimentarius Commission in establishing international food standards in order to protect health, consumers as well as ensuring fair practices in trade.
Mambu, who is also the Head of Secretariat of NCC, pointed out that Liberia which has been a member of the Codex Alimentarius Commission since 1971and also part of the World Trade Organization, is under obligation to implement international standards and measures that are concerned with the facilitation of trade and maintenance of food safety.
Mambu asserted that Codex standards are based on sound science provided by independent international risks assessment bodies or ad-hoc consultations organized by Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is a joint intergovernmental body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that guides policies on food standards, safety, and international food trade issues.
Also, the National Chair of the Liberia Consumers Protection Association Henry Wolokollie expressed satisfaction in the work of the NCC, citing “We are impressed so far especially representing the interest of the consumers”.
He welcomed the idea of technical focal persons taking the lead in the implementation of the NCC priorities.
According to him the NCC was initially dormant because leading positions in the entity were given to appointed officials who can be removed at any time when there is a change in government.
He promised to seek and protect the interest of consumers across Liberia by recommending policies that will ensure their protection.