Govt approves policy framework to regulate use of aflatoxin

Cabinet has approved a national policy framework to regulate the use of aflatoxin in the country, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie has announced.

The coming into force of the policy now offers the country the opportunity to ramp up its grain production not just for local consumption but also for export.

“If you know the havoc aflatoxin is wreaking on our economic development…do you know why we are unable to export certain products?

If we were to produce enough grains now, we will not be able to export into the European Union market and other areas due to aflatoxin.

Aflatoxin is a class of toxic compounds produced by certain moulds found in food and could cause liver damage or cancer when consumed.

Taking his turn at the bi-weekly Minister’s Briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Dr Afriyie explained the need for a policy to deal with the issue of aflatoxin was long overdue since it was causing immeasurable damage to both human and animal life.

He said the policy when rolled out would help reduce aflatoxin contamination in food and feed thus protecting human and animal health as well as increase income of the food value chain actors.

Touching on plastic waste, he said the ministry was promoting the preventive approach to plastic management as a compliment to the current arrangement of financial incentive base.

He noted as part of the new approach, rewards were given to only when there were no plastics sighted in the communities.

“The ministry is engaging with the private sector companies already into recycling of plastic to determine their capacity in terms of infrastructure and the appropriate financial support they will need for sustaining the management of plastics,” he said.

Dr Afriyie said soon the ministry would roll out the details of the new preventive model of plastic waste management in the country and urged the public to actively get involved when it is rolled out.

In the area of Electronic Waste (E-Waste) he said the construction of an E-waste Handover Centre at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) currently ongoing and was expected to be completed by the end of August this year.

In addition, he said site selection for e-waste collection and holding centres at Ashaiman, New Juabeng North, Kpone-Katamanso, Suame, Offinso, Tamale and Bolgatanga were also ongoing.

“E-waste Communication Strategy had been developed and it will help in the collection of levies (Eco-levy) on imported electronic equipment,” he emphasised.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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