Food safety control transform needed

Source: Pano feed

A national conference on the challenges to Vietnam’s food safety management was held by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) and the Embassy of Canada in Vietnam in Hanoi on March 19.

Addressing the event, MARD Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam highlighted that food safety has come into public focus due to its major impacts on social health and socio-economic development.

The matter has been a top priority for the agriculture sector in recent years. This year was designated “the year of food safety” and its spirit and promotion plan will be continued through a number of years towards ensuring food quality for domestic use and export purposes, he added.

Tam stressed the need for an effective management mechanism to positively transform current food safety control efforts.

According to Nguyen Nhu Tiep, Director of the Department for Agricultural and Seafood Products Quality Management, Vietnam has an established legal framework and policy in accordance with the WTO agreement on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) as well as Codex’s international standards, guidelines and recommendations.

Food safety control system initiatives have been specifically assigned to the MARD, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), enabling an effective collaboration between the three.

However, he also pointed to several problems, including delays in related legal documents and insufficient published guidelines, the lack of linkages between input and output safety management in food production and the lack of capable personnel, infrastructure and funding.

Lucia Frick, Consultant at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, suggested the three ministries increase the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts and accelerate the handling of violations with highly capable inspectors.

It is also vital to have a transparent food safety control system at local levels, she said.

Shashi Sareen, Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer at FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, said it is necessary to strengthen collaborative efforts between the MARD and the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety under the MOH to deal with related controversial issues.-VNA

Đăng ký: VietNam News