DIRECTOR GENERAL OF GAEC LEADS STAFF IN TREE PLANTING EXERCISE ON GREEN GHANA DAY

Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Benjamin Nyarko, on Friday 11th June 2021, led the staff of the Commission on a tree planting exercise to mark Green Ghana Day, as part of the Green Ghana Project being spearheaded by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Director General, Prof B.J.B Nyarko

The two-hour exercise saw Directors of Institutes plant trees to commemorate the day. Centre Managers and leaders of the various labour associations in GAEC also planted trees to mark the event, which sought to have 5 million trees planted to mark the project across the country.

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies of GAEC advised to balance work and family life

The Ladies Association of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has been advised to balance work and family life to help achieve the desired results at the professional and personal level.

This will help minimize stress and maximize positive experiences among mothers who care for the home and have to meet the challenges of the labour force.

A Senior Lecturer at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Ghana, Dr. Mrs. Adabie Gomez, gave the advice at a symposium organized by the Ladies Association of GAEC in Accra to commemorate the Mother’s Day celebration.

The one-day symposium, dubbed: “Work-Home Balance”, was attended by all categories of female employees of the Commission.

Dr. Gomez who was the Guest Speaker for the occasion said that the modern-day woman is expected to take on multiple roles while staying proficient at her workplace as well as keeping a loving and stable home.

She gave some tips and approaches that would help the women blend their professional and personal life.

“These are some strategies I want you to deploy in your daily lives as you take on your multiple roles. Be intentional, plan, make a to-do list, set your priorities, limit multitasking and minimize interruptions at work” she advised.

The Senior Lecturer encouraged the ladies to care for their mental and physical health by seeking help from support systems whenever they feel overwhelmed.

“Do not feel ashamed to seek professional help when the need arises. Some support systems you can lean on include; friends, family members, co-workers, and counselors” she noted.

Dr. Gomez wished the Ladies Association of GAEC a happy mother’s day and urged them to continue being good role models in the GAEC community.

The Chairperson of the Ladies Association, Prof. Mary Boadu commended the ladies for their invaluable roles they play in contributing to the wellbeing of mankind.

Prof. Boadu who is also the Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of GAEC, explained that because of women involvement in building a better society,  Mother’s Day had been set aside to honor women overall the world.

“A typical mother is motivational, open-minded, tenacious, golden-hearted, enthusiastic and ultimately, rock and strong tower, she added.

By: CPRC/CCD/GAEC

 

 

Improving food safety through irradiation technology: GAEC’s contribution

Today marks World Food Safety Day. It is observed annually on June 7 to remind global citizens of food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development through the prevention, detection, and management of food contamination.

Food safety does not only contribute to preventing sicknesses and deaths caused by disease-causing organisms but also bars improper food quality control during food processing.

Additionally, it has reduced to its barest minimum, the environmental contamination, misuse of agricultural chemicals, and the use of unapproved food additives.

In Ghana, there is a growing awareness of food safety, hence citizens are mindful of street food and additives to food. Consequently, food safety has become central in public health, food security, and trading at the international level.

It is imperative to note that safety systems for improving food safety rely on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), as well as nuclear techniques.

Over the years, the traditional methods of preservation, such as drying, smoking, and salting have been supplemented with pasteurization, canning, and refrigeration, freezing, and chemical preservatives.

However, one such method of food preservation is nuclear techniques which support the development and use of food irradiation according to international norms. It promotes the use of nuclear and related methods to verify food authenticity and measure agrochemical (pesticide and veterinary drug residue) levels in food.

Food irradiation is a technology that enhances food quality and reduces the risk of contamination. Food irradiation is used on a commercial scale for controlling spoilage, destroying disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, and controlling insect pests. This technology can be used in post-harvest treatment to extend the shelf life without affecting the safety, nutrition, or quality of food.

Food irradiation is a technology that enhances food quality and reduces the risk of contamination. Food irradiation is used on a commercial scale for controlling spoilage, destroying disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, and pests controlling.

This technology can be used in postharvest treatment to extend the shelf life without affecting the safety, nutrition, or quality of food.

Food irradiation is a proven technology that has the potential for enhancing food quality in Ghana. Why has this technology not been explored to its fullest, even though it bears so much potential for food security?

The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is mandated to carry out commercial, research, and development activities for the socio-economic advancement of Ghana.

As a nuclear research institution, it oversees the safe application of nuclear techniques such as food irradiation. A technology, BNARI has helped the food industry with and still doing.

More than 100 years of research have gone into the safe and effective use of irradiation (radiation processing) as a food safety method, more than any other technology used in the food industry today.

Owing to this, international bodies including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Codex Alimentarius have commended the process.

More than 50 countries have approved over 60 products to be irradiated. The USA, China, The Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Thailand, and Australia are among the leaders in adopting the technology. Ghana is opportune amongst a few sub-Saharan African countries to have this technology.

The applications of food irradiation include sprouting inhibition (bulbs and tubers), inactivation of parasites (meat, fresh-cut salads), insect control (pulses, cereals, dry fish), inactivation of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli (seafood, meat, and poultry, refrigerated or frozen) and shelf-life extension (ready-to-eat meals, some fruit, and vegetables).

For example, Phytosanitary irradiation is being used in India to effectively process mango for export to the USA. The irradiation process ensures that no invasive insect pests reproduce upon reaching their destination.

In Latin America, Mexico is leading the way with the irradiation of large volumes of mangoes, citrus, guava, and peppers. After irradiation, these fruits are exported to the USA without alternative postharvest quarantine measures which could be harmful.

In addition to the environmental benefit derived from irradiation, this process enhances trade and has a positive social impact on farmers, industries, and employment.

Food irradiation helps to make food safer, protects crops, and helps secure international trade of plant products. Therefore, to be highly competitive in the international market there is also the need for government to put systems in place to wholly adopt food irradiation technology as a food safety method.

Furthermore, there is a need to establish public-private partnerships to invest in irradiation facilities for food preservation.

By: Mr. Stanley Acquah

The writer is a Principal Technologist at the Radiation Technology Centre of the BNARI at GAEC

 

GAEC Sensitizes Staff on Right–To-Information Act

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has commenced a series of workshops to sensitize Management and staff on the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The workshops are aimed at bringing Management and staff of the Commission up-to-speed on key provisions of ACT 989 to ensure its successful implementation.

The Assistant RTI Officer of GAEC, Mr. Kwasi Ampofo Fianko (standing), speaking to the Security Guards.

Speaking at one of the workshops organized for personnel of the Security Section, the Assistant RTI Officer of GAEC, Mr. Kwasi Ampofo Fianko noted that one of the main goals of the RTI Act is to ensure transparency and accountability in the governance of the country.

He emphasized that as part of efforts to fight corruption and build trust in government institutions, the RTI Act mandates public institutions to give credible information to individuals who request for it.

“The purpose of the RTI Act is to fulfill Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 constitution, which guarantees the right of an individual to information” he stated.

 

According to Mr. Fianko, an individual has the right to apply for information without giving any reasons prior to the application, except in emergency situations where the timelines are shorter.

“After we receive a request for information, we have fourteen days to respond to the request. However, in the case of an emergency we have only two days to respond” he added.

Mr. Fianko stressed that the security guards of the Commission are part of the front line staff and should to be conscious of dates and timelines associated with requests for information from the public.

He therefore urged them to promptly direct any request for information on the activities of the Commission to the Communication and Public Relations Center (CPRC) of GAEC for the necessary assistance.

By: CPRC/CCD/GAEC