Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak has called upon the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) and its branches to enhance inspections at markets, distribution hubs and warehouses, specifically those concerned with food, to ensure effective enforcement of food safety laws.

Speaking at the official launch of a new administrative building and laboratory for the CCF branch in Kratie province on June 28, Sorasak underscored the critical need to use legal documents as the foundation of the CCF’s roles and responsibilities in order to bolster its efficiency.

The minister stressed the importance of enhancing the skills of law enforcement officials, particularly their understanding of the technical and legal principles that underpin their roles.

“We need to fortify analytical capacity by defining clear procedures for labour standard implementation and establishing a data tracking system for high-risk products. Increasing inspections, particularly of food, will aid in effectively enforcing food safety laws,” he said.

Sorasak recommended intensifying law enforcement and regulatory procedures, including investigations to identify transgressions related to four pivotal laws: the Law on Quality and Safety Management of Products, Goods and Services; Consumer Protection Law; Competition Law; and Food Safety Law.

Highlighting food safety as a principal priority identified by the government, Sorasak underscored the commerce ministry’s strategic initiatives to enhance food safety, safeguard consumers, and ensure fair and credible business practices.

“We’re setting up small laboratories capable of conducting preliminary analysis for pesticide residues and certain infections. They’ll be located closer to rural and urban markets in the provinces for swift analysis of non-compliant products,” Sorasak explained.

According to Sorasak, these smaller laboratories will supplement the work of mobile laboratories in provinces such as Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Preah Sihanouk, Takeo, Tbong Khmum and Siem Reap.

Meav Soktry, president of the Cambodia Food Manufacturers Association, also emphasised the importance of food safety.

He voiced concerns that imported and unregulated foods could have a detrimental impact on consumers’ health.

“We know that detection of chemicals or germs in food cannot be done with the naked eye. Modern equipment is necessary for inspection and monitoring. We’re advocating for more professional inspectors, particularly at food wholesale locations, to ensure consumer safety before distribution to shops or markets,” Soktry said.