Terming food adulteration one kind of “corruption”, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said this ill practice must be stopped at any cost to save people's lives.
“We earned a huge success in anti-terrorism drive. We are also continuing our operation against corruption, and adulteration of food is one sort of graft.
“Our drive against the adulteration of food is going on and will continue. We don't want the country's people to be affected by poisoning food,” she said.
The PM was addressing a function as the chief guest, marking the National Food Safety Day-2019 at the Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh, in Farmgate.
This year, the theme of the day is “Sustho-Sabol Jati Chai, Pushtisommoto Nirapod Khadder Bikolpo Nai” (Need a Healthy Nation, There is no Alternative to Nutritious, Safe Food).
Hasina said the government would set up specialised laboratories to test food through proper methods. “There will be a branch of such a laboratory in every division alongside, a central laboratory, so that food can be tested at any place.”
She added that the people were being seriously affected by consuming poisonous food.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak and Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar were present at the function as special guests.
Food Secretary Shahabuddin Ahmed presided over the function, while Bangladesh Food Safety Authority Chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque delivered the welcome address.
Putting emphasis on creating mass awareness against food adulteration, the PM said nobody had any right to destroy people's lives by cheating them.
“Why will you sell adulterated food items … sell better products and if you want to make good profits, you can do this? What you do, do it in a better way.”
Hasina said the people must be adequately aware of the sale of adulterated and rotten food at hotels, restaurants and shops.
“Citizens' awareness is very much necessary and if they are aware, nobody will be able to deceive them,” she said, adding that the government would do whatever was necessary in this regard.
Highlighting her government's steps for ensuring food security, the PM said, “We're working to build a beggar-free Bangladesh and we're distributing food among the distressed free of cost as our goal is that nobody would suffer for food.”
In this connection, Hasina asked the food ministry to find out whether there were any people having no food in their houses. “Find out such people … we will give as much amount of money required for it.”
She said her government constituted the National Food Safety Authority to step up the anti-adulteration drive.
Referring to manpower shortage at the organisation, the PM said steps would be taken to solve the problem.
Calling upon the people to change their food habit, the PM said they would have to take a balanced diet to ensure their nutrition.
“It's not necessary to consume a huge amount of rice … you'll have to eat more vegetables side by side with fish and egg so that the meal is a balanced one,” she said, adding that it would ensure their nutrition.
Hasina also urged the people to try to lead a healthy life by maintaining hygiene in their houses. “Whatever food you will take, will not work if you remain unhygienic.”
The government has taken measures for preserving food alongside increasing production, Hasina said, adding that her government had given utmost importance to research to boost food production.
Earlier, the PM distributed prizes among the winners of an essay competition held on the occasion of the National Food Safety Day-2019.