Pro­posed law to rid the din­ing ta­ble of toxic food

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - BUSINESS - BY BONI­FACE MWANGI

bn­[email protected]

One of the big­gest health con­cerns has al­ways been the safety of the food we eat. Ex­perts have linked a num­ber of dis­eases to the chem­i­cals found in some food, which are a re­sult of poor farm­ing prac­tices, un­healthy han­dling of food and in­ad­e­quate over­sight in the pro­duc­tion chain.

Kenya now seeks to find a so­lu­tion to this prob­lem. The min­istries of Agri­cul­ture and Health are jointly draft­ing a pro­posed law, dubbed the Kenya Food and Drug Au­thor­ity (KFDA) Bill, that will en­sure pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion of safe food in the coun­try

If the Bill is en­acted into law, a team from both min­istries will be con­duct­ing reg­u­lar checks on farms and mar­kets to en­sure the pre­scribed food safety stan­dards are main­tained.

Re­search has shown that some traders use toxic and coun­ter­feit chem­i­cals on their pro­duce so that they can re­main fresh for a longer pe­riod. Some traders, es­pe­cially those op­er­at­ing in cities and ma­jor towns, tend to wash their veg­eta­bles in sewer wa­ter, pos­ing po­ten­tially se­ri­ous health is­sues. Un­der the Bill, it will be il­le­gal to grow crops along sew­ers.

A team tasked with com­ing up with fine de­tails of the Bill will be headed by Dr Christo­pher Wanga, di­rec­tor Live­stock Pol­icy Re­search and Reg­u­la­tion in the de­part­ment of Live­stock.

Dr Wanga told Sun­day Na­tion that pub­li­ca­tion and Par­lia­men­tary process of the Bill should take place in May next year, adding that sub­mis­sion of the draft Bill to the Cab­i­net will be done in March af­ter the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion and

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