More than 45 lakh people in Bangladesh are now at health risks due to consumption of adulterated food.
To ensure manufacturing and sales of nontoxic food in order for a safe public health, the food safety law should be implemented urgently in the country.
Speakers said all these at a human chain on Wednesday in Dhaka. The programme was organised in front of the National Press Club by the Safe Food and Consumer Products Movement Bangladesh, a volunteer organisation.
They said more than 60 crore people fall sick globally because of adulterated and contaminated food. So far, more than four lakh people have died in the world from non-communicable diseases caused by adulterated food.
According to the health directorate, around 16 percent of the population of Bangladesh have been suffering from kidney diseases. The number of kidney patients is increasing every day. This is because of chemicals mixed with food, especially seasonal fruits, said the speakers.
Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Zakir Hossain demanded a fast implementation of the Food Safety Act 2013 and the Formalin Control Act 2015.
He said the government will have to enforce the laws strictly to ensure safety for the public health during the upcoming Ramadan – the holy month of fasting for Muslims.
Most of the food items in the country are now adulterated, and manufacturers and traders are behind this as they want to earn more profits regardless of morality and legality, he continued.
"Due to the lack of a strong government control on these unscrupulous people, the situation has already taken a dangerous turn," he said.
Ghulam Mostafa Bhuiyan, the secretary general of the Bangladesh National Awami Party, said about 15 crore people in South-East Asia have become sick by consuming adulterated food. Among them, about two lakh have died so far.
Among others, Kamruzzaman Bablu, the chief executive of the Safe Food and Consumer Products Movement Bangladesh, Asaduzzaman Azam, the general secretary of the volunteer organisation, and Ismail Hossain Siraji, a professor of journalism at the University of Development Alternative, also spoke on the occasion.