Food safety: priority zero?


AD expressed its concern that food safety is not being taken seriously enough by the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of veterinary services and also by the Ministry for Consumer Affairs and Social Dialogue.

Simon Galea, AD spokesperson on agriculture and animal welfare said:”It is clear, from the EU Commissions Food and Veterinary Organisation report that Maltese laws are not being followed. Hygiene and proper management of poultry farms is paramount if the government holds public health to heart. Animal welfare issues clearly affect the quality of the food produced.”

“Government should explain the reason for the lack of proper laboratory studies to determine the source of salmonella contamination.”

Ralph Cassar AD spokesperson on energy, transport and industry said that on similar issue, that of testing of fresh produce for pesticide residues, a limited amount of samples are sent abroad sporadically for testing in accredited laboratories.

“Past attempts to set up a properly resourced and functioning national laboratory have repeatedly failed. Loads of equipment, now obsolete, bought through the Italia-Malta protocol remained in boxes and unused because of lack of staff, with poor pay failing to attract science graduates and technicians and a total lack of interest from government. It seems that the lack of interest in food safety by the Nationalists has been inherited by the present Labour government.”

“Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes and Minister Helena Dalli should pull up their socks on food safety. They should come clean and tell the public whether their budget is sufficient for them to carry out their duties properly. It is also a big shame that successive governments have not recognised the importance of having properly resourced laboratories in Malta, which will be able to provide timely information to avoid tainted produce getting to market.”