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Liow announces Malaysia's centre for food safety

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama) -- The Health Ministry will set up a Centre For Food Safety equipped with a high-tech laboratory in Salak Tinggi, Selangor next year, to ensure the safety and quality of food in the country.

Health minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the centre was expected to form the scientific arm of the Ministry's Food Safety and Quality Division to ensure the safety of food products in Malaysia, particularly imports.

"We'll focus on safe and quality imports into the country and on efficient recall of products if contamination is detected," he said during a speech at the International Food Safety Conference, here today.

The two-day conference, themed "Building Global Trust and Confidence in Food Safety" was timely because consumer confidence in importers, exporters, food manufacturers and food safety authorities has been eroded due to the global food crisis, he added.

Liow said, the Ministry would also set up an International Food Safety Training Laboratory which would provide training in the subject, in collaboration with the University of Maryland, United States of America (US).

Commenting on the training laboratory at a press conference later, he remarked, "We hope to reduce incidences such as artificial milk and eggs, now that we have international cooperation from renowned experts at the University of Maryland."

The laboratory would also help to cut cost because the Ministry had to send samples to Singapore and the US for testing, he added.

The conference, attended by about 200 people, was jointly organised by the Ministry of Health and Malaysian Institute of Food Technology, in cooperation with the University of Maryland.

Meanwhile, Liow, who is also MCA deputy president, was asked to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's suggestion, particularly to MCA and MIC, to identify the needs and problems of non-Malay voters, so that they could be addressed.

He said,"I feel that the 1Malaysia concept propounded by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) is very effective, especially in rolling out the nation's transformation to benefit the country's multi-racial population."

"I'm sure he will get the people's support," he added.


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