Sunday, July 21, 2019 | ePaper

Unchecked food adulteration explains lies and incompetence of government

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THE High Court on Sunday directed the government to immediately remove the 52 adulterated food items from the market. The HC also asked the government to declare war against the food adulteration as the adulterated food items are the cause of the rise of various diseases in the country. As the demands for essential food items go up during the Ramzan, unscrupulous businesses market the substandard food items like salt, turmeric, chilli powder, spices, edible oil, vermicelli and dairy foods. Since maintaining public health is the Constitutional duty of the government, stopping food adulteration should be its top priority as the poisonous food intake might cause public health epidemics.
As per news media, Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) recently collected 406 samples of food items from the market from across the country and tested those at its laboratory. As of May 2, it got results of 313 samples, 52 of which were found substandard. The 52 samples were of 46 firms that include several leading food processors, including ACI Ltd, Molla Salt (Triple Refined) Industry Ltd, Pran-RFL Group, Meghna Group of Industries, City Group, Bangladesh Edible Oil Ltd, Danish Food Limited and Well Food and Beverage Company.
Meanwhile, the court asked the authorities to take measures to stop production, sale or marketing of these substandard products. The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection have been asked to take necessary measures to this effect and submit a report within 10 days after complying with the directives. The HC Bench observed that the BSTI and other regulatory authorities should carry out drives against food adulteration throughout the year, not only in the month of Ramzan. A social awareness against food adulteration and adulterated food consumption should also be heightened in this regard.
It is no surprise that the big business houses, which enjoy special protection of the government and get big amount of loan facilities from banks, could be involved in such heinous crimes like food adulteration. One example will make the situation clear: ACI salt had achieved best category food award, which has now proven substandard.
The massive adulteration of food explains government's corruption and incompetence. There is nothing to be surprised.

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