Food legislation in third world countries : a case study of Zambia.
Advances in the food industry have made food consumption increasingly complex. Varieties of foodstuffs that are available to consumers each day are on the increase. It is therefore essential that legislation in place ensures the heal th of unsophisticated consumers, in the face of a sophisticated food industry. The need for food safety legislation is even more crucial to Third World countries where literacy levels are low, poverty levels high, and chronic food shortages, prevalent. An important question that any developing country has to address is how it can better equip its food control system within its own limited resources? Does the answer lie in an increase in the amount of food safety legislation? Or in the improvement of enforcement mechanisms? This thesis investigates the existence and effectiveness of food safety legislation in typical Third World countries and for this purpose, Zambia has been chosen as a particular case study. The aim of the study is to analyse the existing legal framework and to assess the effectiveness of its enforcement. This has been done by way of library research and personal interviews. The Internet also proved to be a valuable research tool. From the findings of the study it is clear that although there exists within the country a legal framework controlling food quality and safety, the same requires urgent amendment and more effective enforcement. It was realised from the findings of this study that the situation that currently obtains in Zambia can only be left unattended at the nation's peril. It is imperative that legislation in operation is made more effective especially with regard to food imports where a notable lacuna exists. The enforcement of legislation is another area that desperately requires reform. The solution to the problem of food safety in Zambia does not lie in advocating an increase in the quanti ty of legislation but rather in its quality. There is a need to increase consumer awareness through food safety and quality consumer education programmes and the active participation of consumer groups in matters of food safety and control. Overcoming the problem of food safety requires the concerted efforts on the part of all key players, the government, industry and consumers themselves.