The National, Thursday 13th September, 2012
By SOLDIER BURUKA
MADANG has been chosen again to host the 12th session of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Codex Committee for North America and the South West Pacific next week.
The international gathering on food safety standards will run from Sept 19-22.
Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll is expected to open the meeting with Governor Jim Kas to welcome the 80-plus delegates.
A two-day technical meeting organised by WHO and FAO would be held in collaboration with the department of agriculture and livestock and health on Sept 17-18.
DAL secretary Dr Vele Ila’ava said important issues relating to food safety standards would be discussed including a draft strategic plan of the Codex Alimentarius Commission 2014-19, WHO and FAO activities complementary to the work of the Codex Commission relevant to the region, national food control systems, prevention of non-communicable diseases and micro-nutrient deficiencies in the region, among others.
Included on the agenda are discussion papers on kava, the development of standards for galip nuts and noni products and a harmonised approach to marketing.
This would be enhanced by a showcase of commodities by several agencies and industries.
Ila’ava reiterated that PNG was expected to gain greater international recognition in the work of Codex and food safety standards by hosting this meeting.
“PNG, as a member of FAO and WHO, has global obligations and participates meaningfully in protecting consumer health, fair trade practices to address food security needs and social being, reducing of hunger and poverty,” he said.
“The regional meeting will strengthen PNG’s efforts in setting standards for its food products both for consumption and export markets.”
DAL became the Codex Contact Point for PNG in 1989 in partnership with Health, National Agriculture Research Institute, National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority, National Institute of Standard and Industrial Technology, Independent Consumer Competition Commission, Foreign Affairs, National Fisheries Authority and National Capital District.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is an international body with over 182 members, within the framework of the joint food standards programme established in 1963 under the FAO and WHO.
Its purpose is to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.
Tonga was host of the last meeting. Member countries include Australia, Untied States, Canada, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru and Federated States of Micronesia and Papua New Guinea.