Oct 19, 2011, 2:28 PM
The National Codex and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee under the FAO-funded bio security support project, recently held a daylong non-state actors consultative workshop on the consultancy report on The Gambia's Food Control System, at the NaNA conference hall in Bakau.
The consultancy report was funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and has recommended for the establishment of unitary food safety and quality control agency.
The aim of the forum was to share the consultancy report findings and recommendations.
In a presentation on the Gambian food control system- future perspectives and the next step, Dr. Omar Touray, the Chairperson of the National Codex Committee, stressed "the need for a new conceptual framework and orientation, based on a comprehensive and integrated approach to food safety and quality control, adding that “the new approach should cover the whole that is entirely of the food chain, including animal feed production."
Dr. Touray delved into the principles of assigning primary responsibility for safe food production to producers, industry and suppliers.
The Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency (NANA) and the Contact person of Codex Momodou Phall told stakeholders that NANA has been given the mandate for the coordination of Act 2005, adding that all sectors were given specific responsibilities ranging from health, agriculture, fisheries, veterinary, customs and local government.
He said food safety is recognised as more of a development issue than a health issue, noting that there still remains a room for better coordination.
According to Mr. Phall, TCP had signed with FAO to strengthen the food control system in The Gambia and that numerous consultative meetings were held to develop a modern food law.
Mr. Omar Bun Njie also made a presentation on the situation of food safety in The Gambia, prior to the enactment of the National Food Safety Act 2005.