The fight against food adulteration

Government actions should be coupled with public awareness

Published : 26 Mar 2023 09:14 PM

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. It is startling to note that 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. It is worth mentioning that consumption of tannery waste through eating fish and poultry might lead to liver and kidney diseases.

The food chain in Bangladesh is now highly exposed to lead pollution though this issue has not yet received proper attention of the authorities concerned. Reportedly, almost 100 per cent of vegetables are found poisoned with lead. Fish and other food items are also found contaminated.

Food safety has become

 a serious public health 

concern in Bangladesh

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. Hence, the government should take necessary initiatives to educate farmers about the negative impact of overusing pesticides on human health and environment. Farmers must be encouraged to cultivate fruits and vegetables in an organic way. 

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.

Food safety has become a serious public health concern in Bangladesh though the country has a plethora of laws, regulations and policies in place to ensure food safety. Ensuring safe food still remains a major challenge in the country due to poor application of the existing laws. It is of great importance to give attention to food safety now as the country has already achieved sufficiency in production.

The government must ensure that consumers are well informed to make the right choice. We believe widespread knowledge regarding food safety will not only create awareness, but also it will help ensure that government actions are having a greater impact. 

However, 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.