Agency:Wel­fare of pop­u­la­tion de­pend on food se­cu­rity

Azer News - - Business - By Sara Is­rafil­bay­ova

The health and wel­fare of the pop­u­la­tion and the healthy growth of future gen­er­a­tions are di­rectly de­pen­dent on the food safety, Head of the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nolo­gies of the Food Safety Agency of Azer­bai­jan Aynur Ka­ri­mova said in an in­ter­view with Az­ernews.

Ka­ri­mova said that food safety is part of na­tional safety and food safety means healthy food.

“Bad food is even more dan­ger­ous than armed at­tacks. Dis­eases caused by mal­nu­tri­tion, threaten not only the future of the peo­ple, but also the ex­is­tence of peo­ple. To en­sure food safety for the health of our pop­u­la­tion is one of the main chal­lenges to­day,” she noted.

The head of the depart­ment stressed that it is im­por­tant to have for­eign goods on sale for abun­dance on the mar­ket, free mar­ket re­la­tions, as well as com­pet­i­tive­ness of lo­cal goods: “En­sur­ing the safety of these prod­ucts is an im­por­tant task for us.”

Also, com­pli­ance with lo­cal prod­ucts, pack­ag­ing, trans­port, san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene must be en­sured, ac­cord­ing to Ka­ri­mova.

She men­tioned that Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev signed a de­cree on Novem­ber 13, 2017 to en­sure the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Food Safety Agency.

“At the same time, the Pres­i­dent signed a de­cree on the trans­fer of state prop­erty, con­sist­ing of lab­o­ra­to­ries, ad­min­is­tra­tive build­ings and lo­gis­tics un­der the prop­erty of the Min­istry of Eco­nomics, Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Min­istry of Health­care to the prop­erty of the Food Safety Agency. All these ac­tions al­low us to be­gin to work with greater readi­ness,” she said.

“In ad­di­tion, we are study­ing in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in the field of food safety, and the work­ing mech­a­nism of sim­i­lar or­ga­ni­za­tions in a num­ber of coun­tries,” the se­cu­rity agency em­pha­sized.

It was fur­ther re­ported that the Food Safety Agency will mon­i­tor food safety at all stages of the food chain in the coun­try and will pro­tect con­sumer rights, adding that pro­tec­tion of the rights of the con­sumers will be aimed at pro­vid­ing them with healthy food.

“Our mis­sion is to closely work with all as­pects of the food chain. A farmer, an im­porter of the fi­nal prod­uct, a dealer or a sup­plier - ev­ery­one should un­der­stand that his task is to pro­vide peo­ple with healthy and safe food. We want our con­trol mech­a­nism to sup­port lo­cal pro­duc­ers. The in­tro­duc­tion of stan­dards and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of food safety re­quire­ments should in­crease sales of do­mes­tic prod­ucts through­out the coun­try and in­crease mar­ket share and im­prove ex­port com­pet­i­tive­ness,” the head of the depart­ment stressed.

Speak­ing of the leg­isla­tive and le­gal acts, aimed at achiev­ing food se­cu­rity in the coun­try, Ka­ri­mova stressed that there are nu­mer­ous leg­isla­tive acts, stan­dards, san­i­tary and hy­gienic norms re­lated to the safety of food prod­ucts in Azer­bai­jan.

“There is a le­gal frame­work in the coun­try that pro­hibits the pro­duc­tion and sale of prod­ucts with GMOs. Stan­dards for halal prod­ucts and stan­dards for var­i­ous food prod­ucts have been ap­proved. At present, the reg­u­la­tory and tech­ni­cal base of the Food Safety Agency is un­der de­vel­op­ment,” she noted.

The head of the depart­ment high­lighted that a food safety project is cur­rently be­ing de­vel­oped, and the pro­pos­als on a num­ber of bills have been sub­mit­ted to the Azer­bai­jani Par­lia­ment.

She said that a num­ber of pro­pos­als have been prepared to the laws of the Re­pub­lic of Azer­bai­jan “On Food Prod­ucts”, “On Stan­dard­iza­tion”, “On San­i­tary and Epi­demi­o­log­i­cal Well-Be­ing”, “On Phy­tosan­i­tary Con­trol”, On Ve­teri­nary Medicine”.

The Agency plans to con­duct sci­en­tific and prac­ti­cal re­search in the field of food safety, to con­duct sci­en­tific risk as­sess­ment, to pre­pare draft reg­u­la­tions on food safety, to pro­vide im­ple­men­ta­tion of vol­un­tary ap­pli­ca­tion of in­ter­na­tional stan­dards by pro­duc­ers to food prod­ucts and to re­search ser­vices on food safety in­di­ca­tors.

There are sim­i­lar in­sti­tu­tions in Euro­pean coun­tries, the U.S., and Aus­tralia. These in­sti­tu­tions play a very im­por­tant role in the con­duct of sci­en­tific re­search, es­pe­cially in the field of food safety.

“We are sure that we will be able to cre­ate such in­sti­tu­tion in Azer­bai­jan,” Ka­ri­mova con­cluded.

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