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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina said here on Wednesday that the country is committed to ensuring safe and healthy food supply for all, saying that foodborne illness is a health concern.
He made the remarks at a food safety event held in Phnom Penh with some 300 stakeholders in agriculture, food and nutrition.
"Foodborne illness is a crucial public health issue in Cambodia," Tina said. "We are committed to ensuring that our food supply is safe and healthy for all Cambodians through a multisectoral approach, which will lead to safe and healthy diets, accessible through proper pricing and responsive to all forms of nutrition issues."
However, he said, this task requires good stakeholder cooperation and a willingness among respective stakeholders to implement relevant food safety practices.
Food safety remains a significant public health concern in Cambodia, said a press statement after the event.
Nargiza Khodjaeva, the World Health Organization (WHO)'s acting representative to Cambodia, said food safety, nutrition and food security not only contribute to the health and wellbeing of a population, but also support national economies, stimulating sustainable development.
"A global pandemic, climate change and rapidly changing food systems have an impact on the safety of food. Only when food is safe can it meet nutritional needs and help adults to live an active and healthy life and children to grow and develop," she said.
"While globally, Southeast Asia has some of the highest incidences and death rates related to food borne illness, the positive steps the royal government of Cambodia has made to strengthen food safety to date will help safeguard human health for all Cambodians," she added.