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World Food Safety Day: Obaseki urges collaboration to safeguard food supply chain, reduce burden of foodborne diseases, others

6 Jun 2023


The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has emphasized the need for increased collaboration among global stakeholders to address vulnerabilities within the food supply chain, ensuring a more secure and resilient food system that guarantees that more people have access to safer, more nourishing, and healthier food to reduce the incidence of foodborne diseases globally.

The governor gave the charge in commemoration of the 2023 World Food Safety Day, marked by the United Nations (UN) and its sister agencies with the theme, “Why improving food safety is important.”

Obaseki, who reaffirmed the government’s commitment to protecting the health and well-being of citizens, stated the need to strengthen regulations to ensure quality throughout the food supply chain, adding that safe food contributes to economic prosperity, promoting good health, boosting agriculture, and sustainable development.

According to him, “Ensuring the safety and integrity of the food supply chain is of paramount importance to the well-being and health of the global population. It is therefore imperative that we work together and strengthen collaboration among stakeholders to implement robust measures that will safeguard our food supply and enhance food safety standards to guarantee the safety of our food and reduce the global burden of foodborne diseases.

“We must invest in technologies and innovations for early detection and prevention of hazards, strengthen monitoring and inspection systems to address the vulnerabilities and challenges within our food supply chain, and provide comprehensive training and education for all involved in the food supply chain as well as enforce rigorous regulations and standards, with appropriate penalties for non-compliance to these standards.”

The governor reassured that the State’s Food and Nutrition Committee is collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure that foods produced and consumed in the state are safe for the public, adding, “As we commemorate the World Food Safety Day, we will continue to advance and implement policies which encourage the consumption of healthy and nutritious food. Eating healthy and highly nutritious food goes a long way in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and we have put mechanisms in place to check activities that fuel unhealthy food production in the State.”

According to the United Nations, “With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionately affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants. An estimated 420 000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year.”

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