Multiple Agencies Make A Mess Of Food Safety

Food wrapped in crime scene tape. FILE PHOTO | NMG

By Okisegere Ojepat

Safe food is essential to our health and wellbeing, yet it has emerged as a political issue in recent months, as different authorities chase a role in food testing.

That chase is now taking a new shape, on the announcement by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture of their intention to launch a national food safety agency overseen jointly by the two ministries.

But this is a structure fraught with risk.

For sure, the agencies currently charged with food regulation have been flayed for quality failures, from aflatoxins in maize, poor quality cooking oil, pesticides residue in fruits and vegetables, and antibiotic-filled meats. Yet every government faces these challenges, and the lesson that has been learned globally is that involving multiple agencies in combined and competing agricultural and health oversight causes deaths.

Indeed, it was an outlook that was already raising concerns in relation to the embattled Bill to launch a Kenyan Food and Drug Administration…Read more>>

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