After achieving self-reliance on food production, the government has put importance on ensuring safe foods and nutrition for all citizens to build a healthier and meritorious nation.
Officials and experts said this today at a divisional level safe food awareness workshop arranged by the 'Strengthening Capacity of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Project' at Begum Rokeya auditorium in the city.
Member (Public Health and Nutrition) of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and Director of the Project Manjur Morshed Ahmed presided over the workshop.
Officials of government departments and NGOs, leaders and representatives of youth organisations, trade bodies, food traders, mango growers and traders, civil society members, teachers and journalists participated in the event.
Additional Divisional Commissioner (General) Md. Abu Jafar attended the workshop as the chief guest. Additional Deputy Inspector General (Crime Management) of Bangladesh Police for Rangpur Range Md. Mizanur Rahman and Additional Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension for Rangpur region Md. Aftab Hossain spoke as special guests.
Senior Scientific Officer at Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Burirhat in Rangpur Dr. Md. Harun Ur Rashid presented the keynote essay.
Food Safety Officer at Rangpur office of BFSA Md. Lokman Hossain and Assistant Information Officer of Rangpur District Information Office Afsana Akhtar jointly moderated the workshop.
The participants stressed on creating public awareness to guarantee strict enforcement of the 'Safe Food Act, 2013' and Consumers' Right Protection Act, 2009 for ensuring rights of consumers to safe foods.
Manjur Morshed Ahmed said the government is implementing a wide range of activities to improve public health indexes by ensuring availability of safe foods and eliminating marketing of unsafe foods to save people from many severe diseases.
BFSA is working with 18 departments to create awareness and eliminate use of chemicals and poisonous colours in preparing foods, formalin, carbide powder and harmful preservatives in fruits and vegetables.
"Steps have been taken to set up food testing laboratories at all divisional headquarters to test foods whether those are safe or not to ensure supply of safe foods," he said.
The chief guest stressed on making people aware of the consequences of marketing and consumption of unsafe foods to inspire them in getting safe foods on the way to build a healthier and developed Bangladesh by 2041 next.
"Modern technology-based food management systems and testing facilities should be established adequately to ensure production, preservation and marketing of safe foods," he said, and stressed on strict enforcement of the related Acts.