Food safety inattention costly

National 2 minutes, 16 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

NOT paying attention to food safety and healthy food will have repercussions in ensuring a long-term future, a foreign expert said.

Dato Dr Anwar Fazal, co-founder of International Baby Food Action Network, said food safety and food security are big issues as food becomes so globalised, making people lose their independence.

“Food is coming up and creating terrible explosion of obesity and diabetes unless we make dramatic changes of reducing our environmental impact such as eat local food and begin to respect natural food,” he said.

Dato Dr Anwar was speaking the sidelines of 10th One Asia Breastfeeding Partners Forum, which was launched at the Ministry of Health yesterday.

The chairman emeritus of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) went on to say that another important issue was ecology foodprint. “People should grow food that protect the environment.”

“This is an extremely important area. If we don’t have that in place, then again we are not ensuring a long-term future,” he said.

In his presentation at the forum, he said policies and actions should be in place to have a comprehensive, holistic and proactive action on maternal, infant and child health.

“We need to have laws that control marketing practices in the country. We need to have strong support systems from mothers, we need to have baby friendly hospital system and make sure the nutrition is good.

“If we don’t give attention to child care and maternal support to infant the world will not have a future,” he added.

He said child care does not only include baby food but also knowledge support from mothers.

The forum, hosted by Brunei for the first time, was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna.

Themed ‘Complementary Feeding for Infants and Young Children: Give Mom Access to Appropriate Food, No Child will go Hungry’, the forum will take place until November 2.

Datin Paduka Dr Hjh Norlila Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Jalil, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health, said the event presents an opportunity for 21 participating countries to discuss the challenges in maternal, infant and young child nutrition and find ways to address these challenges.

This forum, she added, gives opportunities for healthcare experts to exchange their experiences, expertise and best practices pertaining to optimal complementary feeding, food during emergencies, food safety including the dangers of processed food, and address threats from the marketing of infant formula.

“These are our priority targets in combating and addressing the double burden of malnutrition including non-communicable diseases,” she said.

Also present at the forum was Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof.

The Brunei Times