By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Oct 23, GNA – The National Codex Committee (NCC) in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has organised a codex training workshop for journalists in Accra.
The NCC is a consultative group to the Government of Ghana on Food Safety issues and is made up of Stakeholder institutions which have a part to play in ensuring food safety in Ghana.
As part of its awareness creation programme to promote safe food in Ghana, the NCC organised training programme for journalists on « Understanding codex ».
The primary objective of the training programme was to enhance the understanding of media professionals on Codex issues.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is a joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme that was established in 1963.
The Codex Alimentarius (Food Code) is a collection of international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice whose main purpose is to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in food trade.
This food code serves as the basis for many national food standards and regulations.
Mr Frank Kofi Nagetey, the Deputy Director-General, GSA, in-charge of Operations, said unsafe food was dangerous to our health.
He said this explained why as a nation we needed to focus on food safety and propagate its benefits to the entire society.
« Safe food leads to good health, thereby making each and every one of us more productive in what we do at our various workplaces, » he added.
Mr Nagetey said the workshop had become necessary because of issues relating to food safety in the country.
« Without safe food, there will be disastrous consequences on society in the sense that people will fall sick and be absent from work. Even in the case of those who are able to go to work, they will not be able to maximise their productive efforts, » he said.
« All these will result in waste of resources in terms of time and effort, making us unable to maximise production to improve upon the welfare of our people. All this shows that we need to propagate the good news about consumption of safe food, » he added.
He said Ghana, like other countries, engage in international trade in the area of food imports and exports; declaring that « whatever is imported or exported must be safe for consumption otherwise various countries cannot collaborate with each other through international food trade ».
He said to be able to get into the fundamentals of food safety and its implications on our country and the rest of the world, this training workshop was being organised to ensure that as journalists were given the required knowledge and skills to enable them appreciate and understand many of the issues that were taken for granted as far as food safety was concerned.
To the participant, Mr Nagetey said: « At the end of the training, we expect you to assist the Ghana Standards Authority in the fight towards the promotion of safe and quality food, whether imported or exported ».
« This way, you will be able to help promote the economic growth and welfare of each and every one of us in the country and the world as a whole, » he stated.
He said the Authority, expected the media to support it to influence policy and lawmakers in the country in a manner that would be beneficial to the country.
« This is important because if as a Standards Body we are able to get the support of the policy and lawmakers we will be able to move positively towards the expected direction of food safety, » Mr Nagetey said.
The participants were taken through issues such as the role and relevance of Codex or « Food Code » in ensuring that what we consumed is safe for us all.
As part of the programme, participants were introduced to what Codex actually meant its importance and also its relevance to our existence as a nation.