The cabinet has approved the transformation of National Drug Authority to the National Food Drug Authority.
This is aimed at broadening the authority’s regulatory mandate which is to encompass items currently not provided for under the National Drug Policy and Authority Act of 1993.
Speaking before the cabinet on Thursday, the Minister for Information and National Guidance, Rosemary Namayanja said with the new transformation, the authority will be responsible for the regulation of food, food supplements and other materials.
This follows the several outbreaks of food related diseases, presence of counterfeit, dumping of expired and sub – standard foods and feeds on the market.
“Cabinet realized that Uganda has recurrent outbreaks of food related diseases and there is a risk of the presence of counterfeit, dumping of expired and substandard foods and feeds on the market,” said the minister.
She also noted that the Uganda currently has a multi-agency food safety control system with limited coordination. “As a result, food safety and quality infrastructure have been disjointed. NFDA will now be a one stop Centre regulator.”
With this new authority, all dangerous chemicals, lotions and creams entering the Uganda market will be blocked.
Hon Namayanja also revealed that Uganda will work hand in hand with country members of the East African Community, International Community and Inter governmental agencies to ensure such harmful products do not enter the region.
The new Authority’s Board will also include experts in the areas of food and medicine safety and quality to enable it perform the expanded mandate.
The Government hopes that NFDA will be in a better position to protect the country from threats to human/animal health arising from items like ill-prepared genetically modified foods, medicines and concoctions of food supplements.
The authority will also not tolerated any cosmetic known to contain hazardous skin lightening chemicals like mercury and hydroquinone.
“Abuse of some of these cosmetics is already exposing some of our people to health risks like diabetes, hypertension, kidney ailments and heart disease,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, with these are health concerns, Cabinet has also directed the Ministry of Health to urgently commence the process of drafting amendments to the National Drug Policy and Authority Act, 1993, to pave way for creation of the NFDA.
When the Bill gets to Parliament, Cabinet will also appeal for bi-partisan support due the urgency to protect enhance protection of our citizens