Union Minister: food safety depends on unity of all supply chain stakeholders

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Union Minister Dr. Myint Htwe speaking at the “Moving Forward in Food Safety” discussions in Yangon yesterday. Photo: Phoe Khwar

All stakeholders in food supply chain need to come together in planning for food safety practices to create a quality life, said Dr. Myint Htwe, Union Minister for Health and Sports at a discussion under the titles “Moving Forward in Food Safety”, held at UMFCCI office tower.
“Manufactures require to adopt good manufacturing practices as well as good storage practices. Also, they need to use quality raw materials. The ministry is raising campaigns for consumers’ awareness of food safety and promoting health literacy. Moreover, we are carrying out food safety measures in accordance with rules, regulations and guidelines. All stakeholders in food supply chain, including manufacturers, consumers and authorities, need to cooperate in this. The ministry has been assessing the market to set food safety standard and norms in order to ensure quality products in the market”, said the Union Minister.
The ministry alone cannot implement this. Concerted efforts need to be exerted by all stakeholders in food industry, including consumer associations, NGOs, CBOs and CSOs, the Union Minister added.
The event was hosted by Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association and supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Health and Sports, Yangon Region government, Yangon City Development Committee, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar Consumers Union, Food Science and Technology Association and Food Industries Association.
The discussion aims to bolster food export, distribute food products in compliance with national food law and regulations., raise awareness of food safety and effectuate SME development in food chain, protect from importation of substandard food products and disseminate food related real-time information.
Officials from government side and chair of Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association delivered keynote speeches. Related officials explained policy, rules and regulations and guidelines relating to food safety, seeking FDA certificate for food processing businesses, including export and import, FDA laboratory services, food additive regulations, Good Agriculture Practices, post-harvest technology, labelling affixed on food products.
Myanmar Consumers Union, Food Science and Technology Association and Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association also discussed food safety related matters, such as technologies for assuring food quality and safety and uniformity of food safety measures in ASEAN countries.
Manufacturers play a vital role in food safety. Both responsibility and accountability are crucial in production. There is no responsibility for illegally imported goods, which can harm the public health. Therefore, the government should regulate this, said U Aye Win, chair of Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association.
The Consumer Protection Law was enacted in 2014. The National Food Law, enacted in 1997, needs to be amended. Prior to institution of labelling law, local products and imported goods are required labelling in Myanmar, according to June’s notification of the government. Details of that notification will be released within months.

 

By May Thet Hnin

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