|Agenda Item 4.1 a)||GF/CRD Tanzania-1|
FAO/WHO Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators
Conference Room Document proposed by Tanzania
Tanzania wishes to congratulate and thank FAO and WHO for organizing this first Global Forum for Food Safety Regulators. We also wish to thank His Majesty, King Mohammed VI and the government of Morocco for accepting to host this very important world gathering. Indeed, we are grateful to FAO for supporting our participation in the forum.
The economy of Tanzania is based on agriculture (including animal production and fisheries) which accounts for more than 60% of the GDP. More than 80% of the population is rural based and depend entirely on agriculture for food and cash earnings.
For the last two decades, Tanzania has been carrying out micro- and macro-economic adjustments in line with globalization and market liberalization forces in the world. Such adjustments have recognized food safety as a prerequisite for national food security and for both regional and international trade in food. It is in view of this recognition that the food function in the country is in the process of re-organization to ensure food safety and quality. This paper seeks to enlighten on the current food safety and quality control functions and the proposed re-organization in the country.
The Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Food Security, Natural Resources and Tourism, and Ministry of Industries and Trade carry out food safety and quality control functions in Tanzania. Laws empowering these ministries had hitherto, been considered to be adequate for monitoring and control of transboundary food safety emergencies. These laws include:
As a result of the micro- and macro-economic adjustments made in the last two decades in line with globalization and market liberalization forces in the world, Tanzania opened its borders to both regional and international trade including trade in food and food products.
Consequently, there is now an increased national concern on the adequacy of the set-up of the current food safety sand quality function. This is particularly critical in monitoring and the assurance of safety and quality of large volumes of food products entering the country through the porous border. In the aftermath of the international food emergencies like the mad cow disease outbreak in UK and the dioxin problems in Belgium, Tanzania found itself in an increasingly difficult position in control of imported foods and food products. To address these challenges, the food safety and control function is now being re-organized to make it more centralized under one Government Agency, the National Food and Drug Administration. As this process is being carried out now, we take our participation in this important world forum as being timely and educative. Experiences learnt from other countries will be very instrumental in our efforts to come up with an effective national food safety and quality control legislation. Also experiences learnt from this forum will greatly assist our country in formulating procedures for timely response to emerging transboundary emergencies.
1 Chief Standards Officer (Food Safety and Quality), Head Agriculture and Food Section, Codex Contact Point Officer - Tanzania Bureau of Standards