Inter-sectoral Food Safety Coordination Committee inaugurated

 A six-member Na­tional Inter-sec­toral Food Safety Co-ordination Committee was yesterday inau­gurated in Accra to ensure food safety in the country.

The committee, made up of chief directors from some minis­tries and representative from the Food and Drugs Authority, has Mr Oku Afari, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, as chairman.

It would also strengthen institu­tional co-ordination and collabora­tion for food safety, promote and ensure harmonisation, synergy and enforcement of laws and regula­tions.

The Minster of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who inau­gurated the committee, said access to safe and nutritious food was key to sustainable life and promoting good health.

To achieve Universal Health Coverage for Ghana through Uni­versal Health coverage roadmap, he noted that the country must not lose sight of access to safe food, free from contamination.

Mr Agyeman-Manu called for deliberate steps by the government and stakeholders to “nib this men­ace in the bud”.

The Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delese Darko, said Ghana’s crucial food safety con­cerns over the years spanned from excessive agrochemicals in its food produce to the adulteration of palm oil with Sudan dye, stressing the need for awareness creation on effective food safety measures.

“For instance, Ghana in the last nine years had about 60 outbreaks of food borne diseases with a little over 1,900 people being infected with food poisoning diseases that resulted in 36 deaths,” she added.

Mrs Darko stated that according to the World Health Organisation, unsafe food containing harm­ful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substance caused more than 200 diseases.

She said food borne disease had significant economic impact totalling over US$110 billion loss each year in productivity and med­ical expenses in low and middle income countries.

Mr Afari, on his part, thanked the ministry for the confidence reposed in them and assured that they would work hard to promote the health of the public.

The other members include Mrs Delese Darko, Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority, Col Tim Ba-Taa Banah from the Ministry of National Security, Constant Gladzalu, Chief Director, Ministry of Environment Science and Technology.

The rest are Mr Kwesi Amo-Himbson, Chief Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and Mr Mustapha Kumah, Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Three more committee mem­bers who were not present were expected to be sworn in later.

As part of the occasion, the minister unveiled the Food Safety Strategic Action Plan (2022-2026), a strategic document borne out of a national policy plan.


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