Environmental Health Officer Sylvester St.Ville, who was addressing a panel discussion in observance of Health Safety Week on Wednesday, said that illnesses associated with food borne diseases and loss of productivity is estimated at 10 to 83 billion dollars annually.
He said the issue is a serious problem in today’s world.
“There are also tremendous costs associated with food borne illnesses and as environmental health that is what we want to bring out in the public. The statistics are not available in Dominica because we don’t collect that kind of data in Dominica,” he said.
Meantime the Dominica Bureau of Standards has pointed to a number of issues relating to food safety on the island.
Technical Officer for Standards Development at the Bureau of Standards Dr. Nadia Pacquette Anselm told the panel discussion that Dominica must do what it can to live up to food safety international standards.
“A number of countries are now concerned about pesticide residues in food that they consume and our export markets may be now demanding certain chemical testing to ensure that food that is imported from Dominica are safe for consumption,” she said.
According to Anselm, there are also concerns relating to packaging and labeling.
A number of neighboring islands realized that the fresh produce that enters the market is not of a desirable market.
“They already indicated to the Government of Dominica that if the situation is not addressed, that could cause problems for our trade,” she said.
– DNO Correspondent