Responding to the demand of consumers and human rights bodies, the Nepali government has set up a high-level commission to probe into allegations that the food distributed by the World Food Program (WFP) in the west of the country was rotten and unhygienic.
The WFP has come under the scanner after diarrhea outbreak in the regions, which has killed over 300 people.
An under secretary at the Ministry of Local Development of Nepal will coordinate the commission formed under the Ministry of Finance, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported on Thursday.
It has representatives from the Department of Commerce, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), Health Service Department, Home Ministry and WFP, and has been assigned to submit the final report within 21 days after carrying out field study.
According to DFTQC, the commission will collect WFP-distributed food samples and carry out lab tests.
Two weeks ago, the Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal (FPCRN) had submitted food samples collected by Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), a local non-governmental organization, to DFTQC.
"Though the Department of National Quality Control could not carry out lab tests on the samples as they were not sufficient in amount, it said it had found through physical and sensory tests that the foodstuff was inedible," The Kathmandu Post reported.
However, WFP has maintained that it has its own mechanism to oversee quality control and believes that the foodstuff distributed in the region met the standard.
The UN body, which has been distributing food in Nepal's remote areas has said it will halt operations if the food items it distributed were found to be sub-standard.
(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2009)