Know Your Public Institutions

Know Your Public Institutions
With MUHAMMED SAILU BAH
Welcome to another edition of Know Your Public Institutions ColumnZainab Jallow
which seeks to create awareness on the nature and work of public
institutions in the Gambia. In this edition, we are featuring an
exclusive interview with ZainabJallow, Director General of the  FoodSafety and Quality Authority FSQA of the Gambia on the nature and work
of her institution.\
.
Foroyaa: Madam Director General, what can you tell the readers about
the Food Safety Quality Authority (FSQA)?
DG FSQA:The Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 established The Food
Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia and the attendant
structures such as the Scientific Committee and the Stakeholder
Consultative Forum.  The Authority is under the Office of the
President as an autonomous body, as food safety is a crossing cutting
issue. The attendant structures such as the Food Control Advisory
Committee, the Board of Directors, the Scientific Committee and the
Stakeholder Consultative Forum have been put in place also to provide
a transparent implementation of the mandate of the Food Safety and
Quality Act 2011. The Authority’s primary mission is the overall
official control of the safety and quality of food including water,
beverages and animal feed, along the food chain from production up to
its supply to the final consumer. The Authority is also responsible
for the registration and licensing of food and feed establishments,
approval of vehicles and vessels dealing with food, as well as the
assessment and designation of laboratory services in terms of their
technical capacities to carryout food and feed analysis/testing for
official control.
The FSQA is the sole national competent authority with powers of
delegation mandated to officially control the safety and quality of
food and animal feed whether locally produced, imported or destined
for export. The work of the Authority is expected to contribute to
consumer health and safety, the facilitation of trade and control of
fraudulent and deceptive food marketing, labeling and advertising
practices.

Foroyaa: How is the FSQA structured?
DG FSQA:The Food Control Advisory Committee reports directly to
government and provides it with advice relating to the implementation
of food and feed laws and regulations to ensure that they meet
national objectives and comply with international commitments. They
also provide advice on policy with regard to food safety and quality
matters.
The Board of Directors determines the overall policy and strategy of
the Authority. They are responsible for the control of the management,
property, business funds and other matters relating to the Authority
and also ensure that the Authority carries outs its functions and
performs the tasks assigned to it under the Food Act 2011 and work
programs are consistent with Government’s legislative and policy
priorities in the area of food safety.
The Scientific Committee is responsible for developing and proposing
the scientific opinions of the Authority including the assessment of
food safety risks and requesting information and research directed at
providing information for the assessment of food safety risks.
The Stakeholder Consultative Forum ensures that stakeholder views and
concerns are taken into account, ensure close cooperation between the
Authority and stakeholders in the arrears of food safety and aid the
Authority in communicating identified and or emerging food safety
risks to consumers.

ZainabJallow, Director General FSQA
TO BE CONTINUED