As the economy moves ahead, Bangladeshi people, in general, are now consuming more meat, fruits and vegetables than ever. With the increased consumption, concerns about food safety have also heightened.
Many farmers, for example, use pesticides to protect their crops from sects, rodents and weed. Often, they overuse pesticides for a greater output, but the excessive use of these chemicals significantly damages the organic features of their crops.
Formalin used by dishonest vendors for preserving fruits, vegetables and fish is a serious threat to public health. We have become accustomed to formalin so much that we no longer bother much about it. Three-fourths of the marketed vegetables, fruits, and fish contain pesticides and formalin residue. The consumption of such adulterated foods might lead to serious diseases. Recently, a chilling study found that 98 percent of water kept in jars—that millions of people in Dhaka drink every day—contain E coli bacteria. All these might result in a serious public health crisis in the near future.
The concerned authorities should strictly implement the existing laws that prohibit food adulteration. It is true that there is now more awareness among the majority of the people about this issue than ever before. However, more real actions are needed to combat food adulteration.
Zubair Khaled Huq, By e-mail