Khaleej Times, 6 March 2013
FNC calls for authority on food control
Nissar Hoath / 6 March 2013
Following the scandal witnessed in Europe which
brought to light the use of horsemeat in dishes
claiming to use ‘beef’, members of the Federal
National Council (FNC) on Tuesday called for the
establishment of a federal food control authority to
ensure food safety in the country.
The meeting was chaired by Speaker Mohammed Ahmed
Al Murr and during question hour, FNC member Ahmed
Mohammed Rahma Al Shamsi raised the issue over food
Also in attendance at the event was Dr Rashid
Ahmed bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water,
and Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal
National Council Affairs.
In his question, Al Shamsi said: “Different
kinds of food enter the country without any check(s).
A lot of them contain substances that are not fit
for human consumption and are not examined. I would
like to ask what prevents the Cabinet (from
establishing) a federal food control authority so
that any kind of food available in the country is
examined and approved by the authority (before it
reaches) the market for consumers.”
Responding to Al Shamsi’s question, Dr Rashid
assured the house that the issue will be raised in
the Cabinet, and said that, hopefully soon, there
will be a federal level food control authority.
Seven members also tabled a motion relating to
food, and agriculture and environment, asking the
Government to develop legislations for the
protection of the environment and ensuring food
The other topic that came under debate was the
problems facing soil and vegetation relating to the
harmful effects caused by the use of pesticides and
The council also asked the minister to develop
national policies with comprehensive studies in
order to protect the soil and vegetation and other
Another member, Misbah Al Ketbi, called for a
federal fund for the support of local farmers with
the aim of controlling prices of livestock feed.
“There have been lots of complaints from ranchers
about high prices of livestock feed, especially
after many farms have been stopped from growing
livestock feed. Is the Government planning to create
a federal fund to support the prices of these feed?”
he asked the minister.
Another issue raised during yesterday’s debate
included Government support for fishermen. Member,
Ali Issa Nuaimi asked Dr Rashid if there was any
project or policy being undertaken to support and
further develop the fishing profession.
“The profession of fishing was very important
(and) enhances food security and self-efficiency. It
is also a major source of food in addition to its
contribution to (the) social and economic
development of the country,” he added.
Dr Rashid, responding to all these questions,
assured the house that all these issues will be
considered and raised in the Federal Cabinet.
The house also unanimously passed a resolution
with a set of recommendations for the government for
food security, environmental protection and the
development of agriculture.
The house asked the Government to develop grazing
and rangeland monitoring and logging, control and
regulate the plant varieties and natural reserves,
taking into account that such legislation aligned
with the international conventions ratified by the
Members also asked for the adherence to
international standards and codes of conduct
regarding the use of chemicals and pesticides,
control and disposal of waste and agricultural
The council also approved the setting up of a
permanent in-house committee on human rights to
discuss rights issues pertaining to legislations.