Nigerian workers join the rest of the world to celebrate the 2020 World
Food Safety Day (WFSD). This global event, being marked for the
second consecutive year, is aimed at raising public awareness on the
need to protect our food sources from contamination arising from
unsafe production, storage, processing, retailing and consumption
processes. Overall, the objective is to promote public health and safety.

The theme of this year’s commemoration “Food Safety is Everyone’s
Business” buttresses the link between food safety and public safety. The
suspected origin of the current novel Corona virus disease (Covid-19)
from a food wet market in Wuhan China is a very good example of the
relationship between food safety and public safety.

As it is popularly said, “we are what we eat”. It is therefore important foro
governments all over the world to learn from the current Covid-19
pandemic and its association with unhealthy food sources. It is
noteworthy that the Chinese government is taking this matter very
seriously as it has reviewed its laws on food safety and food
consumption going as far as removing some food items from the menu.

We expect other countries of the world to emulate this. This requires
global synergy as the food market has become one of the major markers
of an increasingly globalized world economy. As has been proved from
the epidemiology of the Covid-19 pandemic, one unsafe food in any
part of the world could be the source of sickness, mass deaths, and
massive global socio-economic dislocation and widespread misery.

In the global fight to protect our food sources, it is important for the
countries of the world to reach consensus through empirical scientific
evidence on a list of harmful agrochemicals and food additives and
work concertedly and in synergy to eliminate such toxins from the
global food chain. This measure has become crucial given the
increasing link between harmful pesticides, herbicides, in-organic
fertilizers, and additives with some terminal illnesses in human beings.

It is also important to develop and enforce global standards that will
promote food safety from farm to the table. These standards should be
structured in a way that promote job addition and income preservation.
Perhaps, a good direction to look at might be the promotion of
wholesome organic farming and incentivizing the value chain, both
knowledge and material, to make organic farming practicable, scalable
and profitable.

In line with the commitment of the 2019 Addis Ababa Conference and
the Geneva Forum to scale up food safety, we urge international
organizations, multilateral institutions, governments all over the world,
and public policy drivers to be immersed in actions geared towards
regulating, detecting, preventing and managing food borne risks. This
will go a long way in promoting global food security, economic
prosperity, tourism and sustainable development. The role of increased
organizing of agricultural workers and robust cooperation between the
social partners in facilitating these goals cannot be over-emphasized
because food safety is a shared responsibility between governments,
producers, agricultural workers and consumers of agricultural products.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni