Institute recommends enabling legislation to enhance food safety

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The Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) has urged Federal Government to expedite action on the National Council of Food Science and Technology Bill to enhance food safety in the country.

The institute stated that the bill, when it becomes law, would regulate the training and practice of food science and technology profession in Nigeria.

The recommendations were in a communique jointly signed by Mr Oluwole Toye, the NIFST National President and Mrs Vera Ezeh, the Chairman of the Abuja chapter, after the institute’s two-day regional food summit in Abuja on Friday.

The food scientists commended President Muhammadu Buhari for prompt passage of the bill to the legislature after past delay.

“NIFST commends President Muhammadu Buhari for the passage of the bill to the National Assembly after years of delay.

“The bill, when signed into law, will regulate the training and practice of the profession of food science and technology in Nigeria.

“It will also strengthen government’s current effort to achieve food security,” the food scientists recommended.

They added that Nigeria suffered huge crop losses due to defective regulation and recommended unified regulatory structure for operators in the food sector.

“Nigeria loses about N1 billion annually to Mycotoxin infection of food crops due to defective regulation.

“There is the need for unified regulatory establishments and structures to regulate activities of operators in various food commodity value chain, including farmers, processors, market operators and street food vendors,” the communique stated.

They stressed that reduction in consumption of contaminated foods would contribute to economic development and overall growth of the nation.

The NIFST officials therefore called for upgrade in the food safety and control policy, adding that policy makers should better understand the magnitude of the food safety challenge in Nigeria.

The two-day food summit had the theme: “Promoting Food Safety in Nigeria by the Control of Mycotoxins’’.

Peace PIAK