Federal food and drug agency should protect people of the UAE from unfit food
- By Samir Salama, Associate Editor
Abu Dhabi: Setting up a federal food and drug watchdog to protect people from unfit food and drugs is to be proposed by a member of the Federal National Council in its session of on Tuesday.
Ahmad Mohammad Rahmeh Al Shamsi, a representative from Ajman, is to put a question to Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, on why the UAE does not have a federal food and drug watchdog.
“A federal food and drug agency that adopts internationally-recognised standards and regulations will protect people of the UAE from unfit food, drugs and chemicals which otherwise find their way into our shops,” Al Shamsi told Gulf News.
Al Shamsi added that different local food control agencies adopt different standards, which results in tons of unfit foods and drugs to enter the country and be consumed by people.
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Praising the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority’s performance, Al Shamsi suggested that the Government should seek expertise from ADFCA and the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology to set up a state-of-the-art food and drug watchdog that meet internationally-accredited criteria.
Stressing that he is a beliver in the supremacy of the UAE Federation over local authorities, Al Shamsi said the UAE Constitution mandates the Federal Government to monitor foods and drugs, citing federal watchdogs in the US, European and Asian countries.
Pressing for creating more jobs for citizens, Ali Eissa Al Nuaimi, also a member from Ajman, will ask Saqr Gubash Saeed Gubash, Minister of Labour about what the Government does to support the Emiratisation drive and create more jobs for citizens.
Concerned over the growing number of unemployed citizens, Saeed Nasser Al Khateri, a member from Ras Al Khaimah, questioned actions made by the Federal Human Resources Authority to create jobs for university graduates and secondary school completers.
Al Khateri demanded the government to create more jobs for unemployed Emiratis, citing the Economy Ministry’s figures which put joblessness among Emiratis at 15 per cent.
He sought to know from Humaid Mohammad Al Qutami, Minister of Education and chairman of the Federal Human Resource Authority, about what the authority is doing to keep pace with the high demand for jobs. He asked how a country like the UAE with an economy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and where citizens account for less than 15 per cent of the population, could have an unemployment problem.
Al Qutami told the House last month emiratisation is a big challenge for federal and local authhorities and the private sector. “As many as 94 per cent of administrative jobs in ministries were held by Emiratis, while citizens account for 20 per cent of jobs among medical professionals and 65 per cent among educational professionals.
“Ministries and federal departments offered jobs to 1,500 Emiratis last year and a similar number the year before,” Al Qutami said.
“But considering that the federal ministries have just 34,787 jobs and the federal authorities 15,929 jobs, the onus is on the private sector to offer more jobs to citizens out of the hundreds of thousands it creates,” he said.
Al Qutami is to be quizzed on efforts to monitor performance of corporate participants in job fairs.
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