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EAC Partner States agree on eleven actions to strengthen food safety regulation in the region

  5th September , 2023 ,       Hits: 1045

The high-level East African Community (EAC) regional meeting for policy and decision makers on Food Safety and Codex activities in the EAC has resolved to implement eleven actions, in a bid to intensify Food Safety and Codex in the region. The meeting also adopted 4 (four) policy briefs that provide recommendations on mitigating the impact of current Food Safety issues of interest in the region.

The meeting, hosted by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), which is the Codex Contact Point in Uganda, with support from the Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and World Health Organisation (WHO) under the EAC CODEX Forum was held in Entebbe Uganda and called for the following actions;

During the meeting, the Guest of Honour who is also Uganda’s Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, emphasized the need for harmonisation of regulatory mechanisms to ensure safe food for consumers and smooth trade flow in the EAC region.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Francis Mwebesa pledged government commitment to investing in quality standards and infrastructure like food safety laboratories to ensure accessibility and availability of safe food in Uganda, and exports to the region.

The Principal Standards Officer of the East African Community Secretariat, Ms. Stella Apolot appreciated the efforts put in place to strengthen food safety in the region, but noted that Aflatoxin levels are still a food safety challenge in the region. She thus called for a lasting solution to put an end to it.

As the current Coordinators for CODEX activities in Africa, the UNBS Ag. Executive Director, Mr. Daniel Richard Makayi Nangalama committed to the continued engagement of members in the EAC region through designing and delivering capacity building activities in collaboration with FAO, WHO and CODEX Secretariat to ensure that EAC Partner States effectively participate and contribute to food safety and the Codex process.

Statistics from WHO indicate that unsafe food kills an estimated 420,000 people annually yet the deaths are preventable.  On the other hand, safe food allows for suitable intake of nutrients and contributes to a healthy life. Safe food production also improves sustainability by enabling market access and productivity, which drives economic development and poverty alleviation, especially in rural areas. Additionally, investment in consumer food safety education has the potential to reduce foodborne disease and return savings of up to $10 for each dollar invested.

About CODEX

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is an international food standards body established jointly by FAO and WHO in 1963 with the objective of protecting consumer's health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade. This year Codex celebrates 60 years of developing internationally accepted food standards and continues to contribute to the current global agenda on transformation of food systems.

About UNBS

Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a Government Agency responsible for the Developing, Promotion and Enforcement of National Standards in order to protect the Health and Safety of the Public and that of the Environment against Harmful and Sub-Standard Products, as well as promoting Fair Trade and Competition.

For more Information, Please Contact:

Sylvia Kirabo,

Principal Public Relations Officer,

Uganda National Bureau of Standards,

Bweyogerere Industrial Park,

Plot 2 - 12, Kyaliwajala Road,

P.O Box 6329 Kampala, Uganda.

Mobile Tel: 0703196903

Office Tel: 256 417 333250/ Toll Free Line: 0800133133/0800233233

E-mail: sylvia.kirabo@unbs.go.ug  / info@unbs.go.ug

Website: www.unbs.go.ug