Press Conference on World Food Safety Day
In December 2018, the UN General Assembly designated 7th June as World Food Safety Day. In the year 2020, the day was held the theme “Food safety, everyone’s business”
A press confrence was held on that day by civil society organisations promoting the right to food in Uganda including The Food Rights Alliance (FRA), Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROHT) and the Southern and Eastern Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI).
Research shows that approximately 1.3 million Ugandans consume unsafe food every year and 10% of the population fall sick as a result of eating contaminated food. This event highlighted the fact that many food growers countrywide have poor harvest action and storage facilities that increase the risk of aflatoxin contamination especially in grains that are consumed widely. Aflatoxins have been proved to be a cause of cancer and several other illnesses. Consumers have also failed to play their role in exercising due diligence to ensure that the food they buy from the market is safe and of good quality.
On the issue of trade, food producers were urged to ensure food safety and to regulate the use of dangerous chemicals as pesticides that are hazardous to human health. This has greatly affected our exports and trade with other countries as Europe and other markets have consecutively rejected some produce from Uganda for being contaminated with harmful pesticides.
Legally, the state’s obligation to ensure the right to adequate and safe food for all Ugandans was also brought to light. Uganda being a signatory of the International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (ICESR) has a duty to ensure that the right to safe food is enjoyed by every Ugandan and must put mechanisms and structures in place to ensure that this right is promoted, protected and fulfilled.