The National, Wednesday, June 8th 2011
By ALISON ANIS
A COMMITTEE has been set up to look at the possibility of establishing national food guidelines and safety standards for Papua New Guinea.
That follows recommendations from consultative meetings on the proposed ban on lamb flaps.
The meeting was held at Lamana Hotel in National Capital District last Friday.
The committee comprises representatives from the Health Department, World Health Organisation, including key departments and agencies such as Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Foreign Affairs, PNG Customs, National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (NISIT), National Capital District Commission, Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, Internal Revenue Commission and National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority.
Benzamin Zairo from NISIT standard development secretariat said the working group was expected to meet next week to compile a way forward from the recommendations drawn last week.
He said most of the discussion would be centred on developing guidelines that could help the country determine the type of fresh meat that was being exported to PNG.
“We have already a food standards committee at the institution and we are in the process of developing a food guideline,” he said.
“We would really appreciate the working group’s input in this process and are looking forward to working with them in finding solutions to our problems,” Zairo said.
He said in terms of fresh meat imports, “PNG does not have cut meat and meat products standards apart from processed canned food”.
Zairo proposed to have a food authority established to inspect fresh meat and see if that was healthy.
“We must have established country standards so other countries can comply with those standards and guidelines in terms of the type of fresh meat that is being exported to PNG,” Zairo said.