Lack of awareness, absence of international standard regulation, poor inspection and food market management, use of chemicals in agricultural production and food adulteration have put the country’s food safety at stake, UNB reports.
Speakers came up with the observation at the inaugural ceremony of a seminar titled ‘Strategy to Improve Food Safety in Bangladesh’ on Saturday at MHK Biggan Bhaban of Dhaka University.
The programme was organised by Sweden Alumni Network in Bangladesh with the support of Swedish Institute (SI).
Addressing the programme, AKM Nurul Afsar, National Leader of United States Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said, “Consequences of unsafe food is devastating, which not only affects health but hampers economic growth in the long run.”
He stressed the need for updating country’s food safety laws and regulations, giving proper training to food inspectors, setting up more food testing scientific laboratories and raising awareness among all, including every stakeholder from food producers to consumers.
Afsar said that food safety is not the issue of any distinct department rather it is a job of different departments. To ensure safe food for the people, all involved in the food chain need to be well connected and work hand in hand to face the challenges, he added.
Speaking as a special guest, Mohammad Mahfuzul Haque, Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) said in 2015 BFSA was established after the enactment of Bangladesh Food Safety law and through it the government is working to ensure safe food but still there are many challenges here.
Mahfuzul Haque stressed the need for setting up for more laboratories for testing food and upgrading the existing labs too.
Charlotta Schlyter, the Ambassador of Sweden to Bangladesh, while speaking as a special guest, said, after the independence of Bangladesh, Sweden has been working with the country on various issues such as gender, environment, water, development and many researchers and scientists are also working here with Swedish support.
She welcomed initiative on ensuring safe food and assured that her country will be always there to support Bangladeshi academics and researchers.
DU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman addressed the programme as the chief guest, former Chairperson of Chemistry Department of the university Dr. Nilufar Nahar, was in the chair while Professor of Chemistry Department Dr. Mohammad Shoeb conducted the inauguration ceremony.
At least nine research articles were presented by many scholars of different institutions at the seminar.