Due to the Spread and exposure of Spoiled Food Cases in Palestine:
AMAN Calls on the Authorities to Expedite the Establishment of a National Food and Drug Commission
Ramallah- The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) reiterates its call on the official authorities to expedite the establishment of a national Food and Drug Commission to be tasked with control, supervision and follow-up on food and drug safety in the Palestinian market. In its capacity as the competent body for this purpose, the authorities must provide the Commission with the necessary human and logistical requirements and affiliate it to the Ministry of Health while requiring that it coordinates with all other relevant parties. This is of the utmost importance due to the recurrence of corruption crimes in food, and especially in bakeries and food processing and storage centers.
AMAN also calls on all official parties involved to be transparent when dealing with corruption cases related to food. This is important owing to the impact it has on the growth of the Palestinian economy, its reputation and citizens' confidence in it. It is also important in light of the confusion and chaos caused by the exposure and spread of the news related to spoiled food due to corruption and to the weak or lack thereof of control and sound measures followed by the authorities to protect citizens.
In this regard, AMAN believes that the fragmentation in legislations related to the follow-up of the food and pharmaceutical sectors, and the multiplicity of bodies that supervise and follow up on the two sectors, led to the weakening of the accountability system and evasion of responsibilities in these cases. Therefore, AMAN stresses the need to develop regulations for the Consumer Protection Law so that prior deterrence of those involved is made harsher by, for example, withdrawing licenses and blacklisting corrupt dealers.
In the meantime, AMAN calls on the competent authorities to publish a black list of the names of those involved in food and medicine crimes and the type of the seized goods in order to prevent recurrence of such crimes. It is worth noting that this is in accordance with the provisions of Article 31 of the Consumer Protection Law which stipulates: "the court shall order the publication of any verdict it issues in these crimes in one or more local newspapers at the expense of the convicted person."