By Aisha Tamba
The vice president Dr Isatou Touray recently launched the national codex committee, adopted international food standards in the country at the sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre.
The national codex committee is charged with the responsibility for formulating national responses to the protocols and policies of the flagship food safety body (FSQA), the Codex Alimentarius Commission; provide advice to the government on matters related to codex; appoint technical sub-committee as necessary, facilities national participation in the development of codex standard; and nominate delegates to represent The Gambia in Codex meeting.
Speaking at the event, Dr Touray said the government is conscious of promoting healthy eating and lifestyle to increase human productivity, life expectancy and socio-economic growth and development.
“The Codex Alimentarius Commission is the joint FAO/ WHO standard-setting programme established in 1963. It plays an important role both in protecting the health of consumers and in ensuring fair International food trade practices.”
She noted that the national codex committee is crucial in guaranteeing that the population is protected from contaminated foods that may lead to foodborne diseases.
“In pursuit of these goals, the Gambia must ensure that codex standards and guidelines are developed and updated to guide national policies towards national food safety framework preventing foodborne diseases, epidemics and malnutrition in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) and by wider extension the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
She assured that her office is committed to supporting the committee in wherever needed in terms of capacity, policy guidance and resources mobilisation.
Amadou Sowe, the chairman of the committee, explained the Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally adopted food standards and related texts presented in a uniform manner aiming at protecting consumers’ health, safety and ensuring fair practices in food trade.
“This is consistent with FSQA’s mandate, which includes among others, to regulate and control importation, expectation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food.”