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Cabinet approves separate category for nutraceuticals in Food and Drug Act

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Cabinet has given approval for nutraceuticals to be named as a separate category in the country's Food and Drug Act.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, said this decision was taken following “decades of lobbying and advocacy by the medical and scientific communities”.

“No longer can we ignore the scientific evidence that supports the efficacies of some of Jamaica's medicinal plants and practice. It is through the National Nutraceuticals Industries Steering Committee, led by the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), that we have made progress in ensuring that policy enhances what makes our country unique,” he noted.

He was speaking at a dinner for the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Caribbean Capacity-Building Workshop at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

The Food and Drugs Act provides for the regulation of foods, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. The scope of authority includes domestically manufactured as well as imported products for use.

Dr Wheatley said the administration led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, is embracing science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development of the country.

“There is no area of policy development that can succeed without facing and charting scientific evidence,” he noted.

The dinner followed a two-day workshop that sought to enhance the capacities of Caribbean scientists and policy practitioners to embed scientific evidence in public policymaking.

This is through the creation of a Caribbean network of science advice practitioners that will serve as a platform for sharing best practices and deliberating on challenges and solutions.

INGSA was engaged to assist in strengthening the capacities and mechanisms for providing science advice to governments of the Commonwealth Caribbean.

Launched in 2014, INGSA seeks to promote and build the capacity of countries for evidence-informed policymaking.

It promotes, develops and engages networks of practitioners, policymakers, institutions and researchers to establish communities of expertise to promote science diplomacy.

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