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What’s on your plate?

  • Published at 12:04 am July 29th, 2019

Food adulterers must be punished

Food adulteration is an alarming issue.

In a recent report, it was said that the High Court (HC) on May 12 had ordered 52 products to be withdrawn from the market as they were found to be below standard by the Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution, in samples being collected from Shahbagh, Chankharpool, and Palashi.

What is more disheartening and shameful is that two manufacturing giants of Bangladesh also had their products in the pool of 52 low standard products. Why did these big companies feel the need to do so? Is it just because of greed for money, an industry-wide unethical practice, or a result of several layers of corruption? 

In Bangladesh, food adulteration takes place at different layers of production which causes severe health hazards for all groups of people. Very recently, according to research conducted by Dhaka University, it was found that liquid milk contains antibiotics and detergents. 

The detergent in liquid milk contains harmful chemicals, one of them being surfactants, which causes mild stomach problems and vomiting. Moreover, a child could die if a large enough amount goes to the lungs. It was also found that turmeric powder and fruit drinks contain carcinogens. How much richer do the owners of these companies want to be? Financial gain should not be a bigger priority than the safety of the masses. 

How do we stop it?

Food adulteration can be controlled if the authorities concerned monitor the whole process, starting from the raw materials to the finished product. Moreover, organizations such as Bangladesh Food Safety Authority should be more careful so that no product goes without quality testing. 

They must also ensure that those responsible are punished to the full extent of the law. This adulteration in food is a severe offense which needs strict punishments, including long-term jail sentences with high fines. 

The media must also highlight these culprits as being responsible so that people know which businesses and their owners are putting the mass’ lives at risk.

Muhammed Rubayet is a journalist.