United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn has called for the speedy enactment of the food safety regulations even as the Bill gained the attention of a Parliamentary Select Committee. Quinn made these comments when he addressed the dinner and awards ceremony hosted by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association Ltd over the weekend.One year has passed since the Food Safety Bill 2016 was first read in the National Assembly. It was after fierce debate on both sides of the House in February 2017, that the Bill was placed before a select committee. Ambassador Quinn, however, maintained that enactment of such legislation was key in protecting the health of citizens and to ensure that regulations were duly monitored.“There is a need to ensure proper food safety legislation is in place. This provides the necessary assurance that food will be produced, processed and stored in a way which protects the health of consumers. There is work afoot for a food safety bill, and I would encourage the conclusion of such legislation as soon as possible,” Quinn told the GMSA gathering last week.He added that his country’s advocacy for such legislation was to ensure that all of Guyana’s resources were for the benefit of all and to ensure that Government spent in a way that would benefit all citizens and to ensure proper regulatory oversight.When Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman addressed the Bill in February, he stated that it looked to prevent the spread of foodborne diseases through the control of the production, preparation, handling, storage and the transportation of food and provide for connected matters. Trotman added then that the Bill would consolidate the functions of agencies like the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD).The Bill also speaks to: requirements for registration; licensing of food business; power to charge fees and suspend and revoke licence; return of licence; Permit to engage in street food vending: requirement for health certificate; application for permit; granting or refusing of permits; and cancellation of permits. Provisions for permits for food handlers and obligations of operators of food-handling establishments are also included in the Bill. The Bill addresses the liability of food inspectors, who will not be liable when acting in good faith, according to specific provisions.The establishment of a Food Safety Authority and other matters related to food safety are addressed in the Food Safety Bill 2016. The Authority will have the power to seize food and issue notification of unsafe food.Provision for a “general offence and penalty” is provided for in the Bill, which means that for any general offence, there will be a fine of $20,000 and imprisonment of six months. The political Opposition had called for the Bill to be sent to a Parliamentary Special Select Committee to which Agriculture Minister Noel Holder had agreed.
Several residents of Kwakwani in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) on Friday took to the streets to protest the poor quality of water and electricity supply in the area.Guyana Times understands that the residents stood in front of the Kwakwani Utilities Inc (KUI), Kwakwani Park Office, attempting get the attention of a senior representative, to address the ongoing issues affecting them.The villagers have long been complaining about the poor quality of water they receive as well as the constant fluctuation in power supply. According to one of the protesters, a member of KUI’s Board engaged them and in the end referred to them as “jackasses” for protesting.Meanwhile, over in Kuru Kururu on the Soesdyke Linden Highway, several residents complained of being without power from more than 12 hours after aA section of the protestors in Kwakwani, Region 10 on Fridaytransformer exploded around 20:00h on Thursday evening.<<<