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Food hygiene under spotlight

The newly appointed Biosafety Council members are from the left, Dr Ronnie A Bock, Dr Martha Kandawa-Schulz, Mr Etuna Josua, Mr Teofilus M Nghitila, and Dr Herbert Schneider.

The newly appointed Biosafety Council members are from the left, Dr Ronnie A Bock, Dr Martha Kandawa-Schulz, Mr Etuna Josua, Mr Teofilus M Nghitila, and Dr Herbert Schneider.

The newly-appointed Biosafety Council is tasked, amongst others, to design a policy framework to regulate public health issues including food hygiene, food safety, animal health and animal welfare. The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) announced last week, under the powers of the Biosafety Act, it has appointed a Biosafety Council whose members are experts in the fields of environmental issues, public health, related agricultural issues, molecular biology, and the legal aspects pertaining to these issues.
The council members are Dr Herbert Schneider, Animal Health & Welfare, Mr Teofilus M Nghitila, Environmental Issues, Mr Etuna Josua, Law, Dr Martha Kandawa-Schulz, Molecular Biology, and Dr Ronnie A Bock for Public Health and Food Safety. The commission said this week it is in the process of implementing the Biosafety Act in pursuance of the objectives that are in line with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a subsidiary protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). 

“We welcome on board the newly appointed members of the Biosafety Council and encourage you all to work diligently and proactively towards fulfilling your mandate in the next three years ahead.” said Prof Andre du Pisani, Chairperson of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology during the inaugural meeting of the Biosafety Council members at the NCRST Head Office in Windhoek. One of the immediate tasks of the Biosafety Council is to finalise the Regulations to the Biosafety Act. This process would include consultation of stakeholders. Upon finalisation of the Regulations, both the Regulations and the commencement date will be gazetted.  The Commencement date gazette will also indicate the starting date that GMOs will be regulated through the Biosafety Act.  While this process is on-going, the NCRST is setting up the administrative unit to deal with the regulation of GMOs in Namibia.

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