Food adulteration continues unabated

Ensure food safety, safeguard public health

Published : 30 Dec 2021 08:30 PM

Food safety has become a serious public health concern in Bangladesh. There is no denying that the country has a number of laws, regulations and policies in place to ensure food safety, hitherto, ensuring safe food remains a major challenge in the country due to poor application of the existing laws. 

People have a right to safe food. As Bangladesh has already achieved sufficiency in production the government now should act to ensure food safety. The recent situation regarding the hygienic standard of all marketable foods evidently gives us staggering statistics of adulteration. According to a survey more than 75 per cent of all foods sold in the markets are in some way or the other adulterated. Reportedly, more than 80 per cent fruits, 60 per cent vegetables, 70 per cent rice, 60 per cent of both branded and open edible oil selling in the markets of Dhaka and elsewhere across the country are dangerously polluted now.

As Bangladesh has already achieved 

sufficiency in production the government 

now should act to ensure food safety

Consumers in Bangladesh have been exposed to a widespread use of meat and bone meal (MBM) in poultry feed which causes antibiotic resistance and cancer.  

Also, there has been a series of reports on use of tannery waste as poultry feed. On the other hand, farmers in our country apply various types of pesticides to protect vegetables and crops from unwanted pests without following necessary guidelines or safety standards. The amount of pesticide residues found in vegetables, fruits and crops pose serious health risks for the human body, especially for the children. 

Strict enforcement of hygienic practices is required to maintain the quality of foods at all levels. Regulation on food availability, accessibility and utilization should be developed and strictly followed. Farmers must be encouraged to cultivate fruits and vegetables in an organic way. The government should take necessary initiatives to educate farmers about the negative impact of overusing pesticides on human health and environment. We need to implement a new pesticides management law to address issues related to the unsafe use of pesticides. As we already have so many laws to ensure food safety, we need to implement them strictly and effectively.