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13 May, 2019 12:26:48 AM
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Govt mulls life term for food adulteration

Says food minister
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
Govt mulls life term for food adulteration

The government is contemplating checking food adulteration by increasing the level of punishment up to life imprisonment or capital punishment by amending the present Food Safety Act. At present, there are at least 15 laws in the country to regulate safe food delivery to consumers. The incumbent government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against food adulterators who are the enemies of the nation. Food minister Shadhon Chandra Majumder said this yesterday while talking to reporters at the Secretariat after the inauguration of a mobile van to create awareness about food adulteration of the Bangladesh Safe Food Authority (BSFA).

“The level of punishment will be increased to stop food adulteration. If needed, we will make provisions for capital punishment or life  imprisonment by amending the present Food Safety Act, 2013,” the food minister said in reply to a query.

The food minister said people should have to consume pure food round the year and not just in Ramadan.

Describing food adulterators as the ‘enemies of society’, Shadhon Chandra Majumder said: “It is a crime against humanity. The ministry is now conducting mobile courts against food adulteration. The number of mobile courts will be increased to stop food adulteration.”

Pure food is adulterated in various ways in Bangladesh by some greedy people for making some extra money, sources said. Food safety threats in Bangladesh include arsenic in food, genetically modified food, environment pollutants in food, human-induced food adulteration during farm production, industrial production, marketing and street food vending, the sources added.

Numerous food processors are producing, processing and preparing foodstuff in an unhygienic environments. Fruits, fish and many other things sold in markets are preserved with formalin, a dangerous chemical that can cause cancer.

Poisonous Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT) powder is unrestrainedly used in dry fish, even though can cause cancer along with various other reproductive problems. Food is being prepapred with various toxic colours that are generally used as textile dyes.

Consumption of these toxic textile dyes can cause indigestion, allergies, asthma, cancer and so on. Besides, manufacturers use urea fertiliser commercially to adulterate ‘moori’ (puffed rice). Sick, infected and poisonous dead chickens are used in preparing soups and suppliers and retailers sell energy drink and biscuits whose expiry dates are long over randomly.

Metals, such as lead and mercury, cause neurological damage in infants and children. Exposure to cadmium can also cause kidney damage, usually seen in the elderly.

 The 15 laws in the country to regulate safe food delivery to the consumers are:

1. Penal Code, 1860 (‘PC 1860’)

2. Control of Essential Commodities Act, 1956 (‘CECA 1956’)

3. Food (Special Courts) Act, 1956 (‘FA 1956’)

4. Pure Food Ordinance, 1959 (‘PFO 1959’)

5. Cantonments Pure Food Act, 1966 (‘CPFA 1966’)

6. Pesticide Ordinance, 1971 (‘PO 1971’)

7. Special Powers Act, 1974 (‘SPA 1974’)

8. Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Control), Ordinance, 1983 (‘FFPO 1983’)

9.The Breast-Milk Substitutes (Regulation of Marketing) Ordinance, 1984 (‘BMSO 1984’)

10. Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution Ordinance 1985 (‘BSTIO 1985’)

 11. Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Act 1989 (‘IDDPA 1989’) 12. Vokta Odhikar Songrokkhon Ain, 2009 [Consumers Rights Protection Act 2009]

13. Stanio Sarkar (City Corporation) Ain, 2009 (Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009)

14. Sthanio Sarkar (Paurashava) Ain, 2009 (Local Government (Paurashava) Act, 2009)

15. Mobile Court Ain, 2009 (Mobile Court Act, 2009).

 Such a large number of laws for a single purpose like food safety is quite unusual and unprecedented in the world, according to sources.

MK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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