Dear Editor,

In the Daily Herald of Thursday, August 14th, 2023 I read an article with title “WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC CONTROLLERS CONTROLLING”, that I decided to delve deeper into this matter as these controls involve price control. But next to price control, there should be a control also of what we consume. The control of what we consume falls under the responsibility of the ministry of VSA.

We read from the media how in Curacao, the controllers of the different Ministries, operate jointly and together to carry out controls on what is offered to the population to consume. These controls take place unannounced, sporadically on different supermarkets, restaurants, snack bars as well as on the famous “Truck di Pan” to insured that the goods that are for people consumption are properly stored in a clean and healthy storage place, where no rats and roaches are enjoying of the goods and that the population is to consume the leftovers of these rodents.   

From those same controls, the expiration dates of the goods are checked and expired goods are taken away from the storage and destroyed. I am asking myself time and time again what can be taking place on our lovely island and could the same be happening here? I am not seeing nor hearing that those types of controls do take place here. Should not it be also our concern what it is that is offered to our people for consumption? What to control?

  • The frozen goods should be stored at a set temperature
  • The food stuff should be controlled for their expiration date
  • The storage place should be controlled for its cleanliness

As based on information received, these controls are duly carried out by a very slim team. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, the laws are in place, although outdated, which is to lament, but this should be corrected and sanctions should be put in place for the violators. 

The Editorial of the Daily Herald of Friday, November 3rd, 2023 again drew one’s attention to this topic. 

It should be the concern of one and all to look out for each other’s well being, our health where that is concerned. In the hustle and bustle, we ran into the supermarkets, picked up stuff, paid and ran out. Only to realize afterwards that the good we just purchased, has expired, much to one’s disappointment and frustration. Our elders and our babies should not be exposed to this. People need to care about their health and what we consume is of utmost importance. 

Moving forward, we expect to see or read the controls as mentioned above, also here in Sint Maarten. The media houses should play a role in this, and should be involved when the controls are taking place and so the population can be informed of the controls of the establishments that are controlled. We boast with what the friendly island has to offer and one of those qualities is, good food. Let us maintain what the friendly island is known for next to its friendly people, 5-star accommodation, all year round sunny days, beautiful clean beaches and last but not least the quality good food.  

Ryan “Ronchi” James
Aspiring politician in the NOW party and contesting the upcoming Parliament election.