We need platform to discuss food safety - Yankey
Accra, April 27, GNA – Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Minister for Health, on Monday said there was the need for a platform that gave stakeholders in the food sector an opportunity to discuss food safety.
Dr George Sipa Yankey said the rapid globalization of food production and trade had increased the likelihood of food-borne illnesses such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid or chemical contaminants.
The Minister, who made the call at the opening of a three-day conference on food safety dubbed: “GO-Global conference,” said what happened in one part of the world was likely to affect other parts through transportation and called for a global approach to tackle such problems.
The conference on the theme: “The Emerging Food Safety Risks - Challenges to International Trade” is aimed at creating a sustainable platform to share results and set the research agenda on emerging food safety risks.
It is also to develop a global implementation and identify shortcomings in current food safety systems regarding the identification of emerging food-related risks.
Dr Yankey said there must be a mechanism to promote the exchange of food safety information and improve collaboration among food safety authorities at both national and international levels to facilitate appropriate and timely management of food safety risks.
He called for the strengthening of food-borne disease surveillance and monitoring systems that would rapidly trace and help withdraw contaminated food from the food chain.
The Minister said quality healthcare was crucial within the overall framework of government's socio-economic development because of its contribution to the national agenda of transforming the country into a middle-income status.
Mr. Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), said investment into research initiatives to improve food safety standards had been made but there was no system to support the global exchange of information on such initiatives.
He, therefore, lauded the efforts of GO-Global for the initiative to ensure food safety.
Mr Hans Marvin, Coordinator of GO-Global, said the organization was determined to encourage global exchange of information on emerging food safety issues.