Al Mezan Center For Human Rights
News Bar

News Briefs

Al Mezan Issues Report on “Challenges in Monitoring Food Safety in the Gaza Strip”

18-05-2014 00:00

On Sunday, 18 May 2014, The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights released a report titled, “Challenges in Monitoring Food Safety in the Gaza Strip”.
The report concludes that food safety faces serious challenges, with one fourth of tested samples contaminated in the Gaza Strip hampering the right to food.
The report discusses the challenges faced by local authorities in monitoring the supply chain and handling of food in the Gaza Strip; the negligence by these authorities, represented in the absence of such monitoring that could hinder the population’s ability to obtain healthy, safe food, and could have serious impacts on public health.
The report is part of Al Mezan’s initiative to identify solutions with the concerned authorities with the aim of enabling the authorities to ensure the enjoyment of the right to adequate food in the Gaza Strip.
The report concludes that indicators show a critical situation where food safety and quality is very low as a result of the general weakness in the oversight of the food industry.
Samples taken by the Customer Protection Department show the percentage of pollution as 23.
6% in 2013.
14.
9% of it is chemical pollution and 24.
9% is microbiological pollution.
The highest chemical pollution percentage is in Rafah (32.
2%).
The highest microbiological pollution percentage in Khan Younis (70.
2) followed by Rafah is 57%.
The report discusses the consequences of the Israeli siege and closure of the Gaza Strip on the safety and quality of food pointing specifically to arbitrary restrictions on the movement of food and other materials at Kerem Shalom crossing.
The Israeli authorities hinder the entry of examination materials and equipment and repair parts needed for effective monitoring of food products.
The report is part of Al Mezan’s initiative to identify solutions with the concerned authorities with the aim of enabling the authorities to ensure the enjoyment of the right to adequate food in the Gaza Strip.
The report falls more broadly within Al Mezan’s role protecting human rights in the Gaza Strip, particularly economic, social, and cultural rights, and therefore recommends the following: The international community and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention should uphold their legal obligations to work towards ensuring Palestinians enjoy the right to adequate food by exerting pressure on Israel to lift the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and ensure the entry of safe and quality food via Kerem Shalom crossing; to ensure the free flow of test materials, repair parts and equipment; and the steady transfer of medications and veterinary vaccines needed for animals; The international community and donors should provide funds to build a well-equipped lab to carry out the needed tests to ensure the safety and quality of food; The Palestinian authorities should promptly work towards implementing the reconciliation agreement as it has positive impact on the situation on the ground and contributes to finding appropriate and effective solutions for problems facing the population; The Palestinian authorities to work towards removing barriers that prevent the Palestine Standards Institute from working in Gaza; Encourage and support the creation of associations for protecting customers in the Gaza Strip; The Gaza Government should apply Customer Protection Law No.
21 of 2005, and create courts for economic crimes; The Gaza Government should coordinate efforts between governmental bodies, civil society, and people in issues related to observing food; and Government and civil society to raise awareness of people on how to recognize safety and quality of food.
END

Tags / #report