Regulation is futile without public participation

a writing by Han Min Ohn

Regulation is futile without public participation.
It is imperative that regulation of food and drug without consumer, manufacturer and importer/ exporter participation will be futile. Although people blame regulatory authority for the presence of unregistered, potentially hazardous food and drugs on the market, not many of them wonder why these commodities are there for them to buy in the first place. Which drug store will display a drug or a convenience store a food that no consumer will buy? Which importer/exporter will be foolish enough to trade commodities that won't sell in a local market? Which manufacturer will fail to register their product if consumers reject unregulated goods? From this perspective, we can deduce that consumers themselves play critical role in controlling unregistered food and drug in the market. If they refuse to utilize these unregulated substances, it will put a pressure on the business sector to correct their erroneous attitude and practice in manufacturing, selling and importing/exporting of commodities which will aid hugely in regulation of food and drug. Counterfeit and substandard products are of another important regulatory issue which is mainly concerned with the ethics of manufacturers, importers/exporters and dealers in which the consumers or in some cases the dealers/importers/exporters themselves are deceived for the purpose of profit over people. Consumers can only play little role of significance in such cases as it is sometimes difficult to detect counterfeit and substandard products offhand. In such instances, regular postmarketing surveillance of commodities by the manufacturer/importer/exporter in conjunction with the regulatory authority can minimize the risk of occurrence. All in all it is everyone's responsibility to build a community with healthy future, not just the job of regulatory authority.

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