The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services has urged the Government to speed up regulations required under the Pure Food Act, 1996, to help the Ministry to put in place procedures to address serious problems such as the current melamine contamination.The Environmental Health Services Director, Robinson Fugui told a press conference yesterday that the Principle Act has empowered the Ministry to perform certain duties and functions to ensure that it meets the requirement of the Act.
However, Mr. Fugui said that the Ministry needed the necessary supporting regulations which would help the Ministry in the administration and management of its functions in ensuring that the objectives of the Principle Act are met.
He said that the Ministry first submitted the draft regulations to the Office of the Attorney General about ten years ago, but nothing was done about adopting them.
The Ministry then had to keep updating and reviewing them over the years.
Mr Fugui said that in view of this and the current situation facing Solomon Islands, the Ministry has sought technical assistance from the WHO.
He said that he was pleased that the WHO is sending an expert next week to assist the Ministry in its endeavours to strengthen its powers and functions in law to enable the Ministry to effectively address problems such as the current Melamine issue.
Mr Fugui also said that strengthening the Ministry's legislative competence would enable the Ministry to enforce requirements such as the necessity for all imported products to have labels written in a language that can be read and understood.
This would help consumers to know all the essential information about any manufactured products being put on the market including the use by date.