In a drive against unscrupulous companies, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) has cancelled licences of seven food companies, including big names, that featured on a list of 52 products identified as substandard. It has also suspended permission for production of 18 other brands. This is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
Just have a look at some of the food companies – Teer, Pusti, Rupchanda, Fresh, Pran etc. Can you imagine that all these big companies which take pride in their brand names are guilty of manufacturing and marketing substandard products! The BSTI action is an embarrassing blow for them and it also exposes their immoral business and gross negligence to public health.For average consumers it is equally surprising, shocking and frightening because they have been consuming their substandard products since long.
Regrettably, such malpractices of food adulteration are not uncommon in this country. In recent years, newspapers have been awash with reports of substandard products ranging from milk to sweetmeats and edible oils to iftar items. When well known companies are found guilty of malpractices, the condition of less known ones is anybody’s guess. It seems morality has fallen by the wayside in business, as in every sphere of life.
The authorities concerned must not take the issue of food adulteration lightly because it is a serious threat to the public health. Random mobile court drives in kitchen market or super shops have failed to produce desired results. But the BSTI’s direct action against dubious food manufacturing companies is commendable and is bound to have a positive impact on the market.
So, it is time for taking action against all kinds of unethical business without being unduly kind to anybody or showing leniency to any quarters. To that end a special task force can be set up. The task force can be engaged in monitoring markets and food supply chains round the year to stop adulterators on their track.