World Food Safety Day Message by Min. Holder

─ Minister of Agriculture

DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 7, 2019

Fellow Guyanese, food safety is everybody’s business. Hunger or the desire to eat and replenish spent nutrients in the body is universal. This should be accomplished with the least possible risk of introducing harmful elements that cause adverse events in our bodies, such as vomiting and diarrhoea or fever or other symptoms of disease or feeling of being unwell. These can cause disruptions to our daily life, which include the loss of productivity and even death, which ultimately impacts negatively on the state of our society and economy. To achieve the good life promised by our President, we must eat well, with the confidence that what we are eating will give us the feeling of well-being and satisfaction that are the pillars that characterize the definition of happiness, the hallmark of living the good life.

The announcement by the United Nations of this day being chosen as the day to reflect on the importance of food safety was greeted with tremendous applause across the world. There has never before been any special effort dedicated towards food safety, and it also occurred at an appropriate time for Guyana when we have set the agenda for a green economy and a good life for all Guyanese with the momentous passage by the National Assembly of the Food Safety Bill. These are all steps which, in conjunction with the anticipated economic boom from oil revenues, would help us in our quest to establish a good life for all Guyanese.

Food Safety encompasses the legal requirements and standards that cut across cultural traditions and practices to produce food that is not only of good nutritional content but also safe to consume without causing death or ill effect to the body. The prevailing conditions where food is being produced under risky, poor conditions and providing little security for the safety and soundness of the morsel or components thereof, is soon to be changed to an integrated system where the production of food will be monitored from the farm to the table using risk-based analysis of the production systems. This marks another milestone in the achievement of the good life for Guyana with the passage of the Food Safety Bill that paves the way for an integrated food safety system based on the one health concept with the use of risk-based analyses and inspections of the production system from farm to fork. In February, Guyana was represented at the world’s first Food Safety Conference, which signals that the world is finally coming to an age where it recognizes food safety as an essential ingredient of a good life. Food safety benefits Guyana by not only being able to produce and export but also to provide Guyanese with the same quality of safe produce as they expect from the more developed countries. The Food Safety Authority will provide for Guyanese farmers better access to the foreign markets, which makes the realisation of a good life possible for all, especially the grassroots. Guyana boasts of a Vibrant Codex Committee, Bureau of Standards, and an Agriculture Ministry which is ensuring the availability of all the elements for success are at the disposal of the nation’s farmers. This is because, as we are all aware, without farmers there is no food, so the appointment of this 7th of June 2019 as World Food Safety Day is a loud acknowledgement of the work of our farmers and processors as producers of the most basic necessity of life, food.

This also assists, in the achievement of the first 3 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of zero poverty, zero hunger and good health and well-being! The aim of every country in the world!

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