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University of Dhaka

Faculty of Business Studies

Department of Marketing


Submitted to

Shehely Parvin
Assistant Professor

Submitted by NADEEM NAFIS - 4119044


Adulteration runs rampant in the country. Dangers lurk in every food items. From vegetables, fish, milk, fruit, sweetmeats, ice cream, to spices, nothing is safe. Packaged and bottled drinks, both locally produced and imported, with harmful ingredients and chemicals are being sold in the market. Many of the dry food items available in the market are being produced in bewildering unhygienic locations. Oblivious of the dangers lurking in the everyday food items, parents now ask their children to eat foods that contain vitamins, iron and calcium. Though there is a law but still no effect or it is ineffective. However in doing this report I feel luck to aware myself and eventually it will give me knowledge to make aware others people around me. I would like to give a big thanks to Shehely Parvin, Assistant professor of Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka and course teacher of MKT-510- Business Environment. This course made me to undertake the responsibility of preparing a project on Implications of pure food act in Bangladesh.This report is required as a part of fulfilling the objectives of a project course (MKT-510)

Nadeem Nafis 41119044


Food adulteration in the country has assumed alarming proportions. Experts in medical biology point out that consumption of adulterated food affects people with kidney dysfunction, diabetes and cardiac problems. They further point out that one of the important reasons for infertility is the presence of residues of pesticides, growth hormones, heavy metals and mycotoxins in our food. The main reason for this is that our farmers are not properly trained in the use of chemical fertilisers. Absence of effluent treatment plants on one hand (ETP) and lack of training of the farmers, the factory wastes, fertiliser and pesticide residues are drained out at will into the farmlands, ultimately contaminating the farm at large. A study by the Institute of Public health revealed that more than 50% food samples including water which they had tested were adulterated. According to D.G., BSTI the production of contaminated drinking water has been increasing in the country. BSTI revealed that about 1,000 drinking water factories exist in the country, only 400 of which have licenses from the BSTI. Bottlers of drinking water factories have mushroomed with little regard to compliance of standard or BSTI license. Despite BSTI cancelling the licenses of 139 bottling factories in the last 18 months, there has been no news in setting up new factories in new locations. The result: Children and aged people are facing constant threat of diseases even with the bottled water produced by these factories. Textile dyes are being randomly used to colour sweetmeats like kalojam, chamcam, pantua cakes and pastries. Urea fertiliser is used for whitening puffed rice. A section of factory owners, through use of other low quality oil and mustard colour, continue to market mustard oil. Sadly, in most cases they are using allyl isothiocyanate to give off a mustard oil extra bite.


When the import of soyabean oil becomes uncertain or the price shoots up globally, the local market manipulators resort to dishonest means. Unscrupulous millers resort to mixing soyabean oil with poor quality palm oil or super oil. In the domain of fruits and vegetables there prevails a total anarchy. Gullible consumers are buying fruits, locally produced or imported, from malls not realising what they are bargaining for. Many people in the country have stopped buying fruits, especially mangoes from the city markets after watching the destruction of formalin and ethofen-laced mangoes and grapes by the mobile courts on TV. Papya and bananas are artificially ripened by chemicals like ethylene oxide and formalin. Experts in medical biology point out that ethylene oxide is carcinogenic and when used over food might invite a disaster. The key findings of the EPA study group suggest that many children may develop cancer sometime during their lifetime as a result of the pesticide or toxic-laden products they consume. The test conducted by BSTI-run mobile courts on fruit samples like mango, banana, lichis and jackfruit collected from Badamtali, Amin bazaar and Karwan bazar show the presence of formalin and ethofen, which in the short term will cause diarrhea, food poisoning and gastrointestinal disorder but in the long-term will accumulate to serious health implications. Fish is considered an essential protein for people of all categories and ages. Many fish sellers spray fish with formalin (formaldehyde gas mixed with methyl alcohol), an organic chemical, usually used for preserving tissues. It makes the fish appear stiff and fresh for a longer period of time. Regular intake of such adulterated fish and vegetables might cause cancer. The month of Ramadan will bring more such woes for Muslims because of the excessive fried items sold for a month. A section of restaurant owners use refined engine oil to fry chickens, kabab, peaju and potato crisps. Engine oil used as cooking ingredient makes food tasty, claim a section of the restaurant


owners. Defying health department regulations, many restaurant owners and street vendors use leftover cooking oil. This increases the peroxide limit of the oil, turning it toxic. The NRDC report goes on to charge that the governments of the countries surveyed are failing to adequately protect the youngsters from such dangers. Given the fact that children are consuming toxic food, they are likely to be more vulnerable than adults. Their organs may not be as efficient in removing toxic chemicals. In Bangladesh, we have allowed both pollution and food contamination to run riot. No agency other than BSTI has conducted any examination of the pesticide-residue levels or toxic chemicals in the food market. With a totally inefficient monitoring system, just having tough laws is not enough to keep unscrupulous traders from tampering with food items. BSTI sources revealed that it conducted 1,039 mobile courts across the country in seven months from July last year to February this year and detected rampant malpractice and adulteration in the food production centres. Some Tk.23.8 million were realised as fine during the drives while 1,086 cases were filed and 66 people were sent to jail. According to DG, BSTI, adulteration problem could be controlled easily if the DCC performed its job properly. The DCC is supposed to do so instead of BSTI.. DCC have their own magistrates while BSTI has to hire magistrates from the district administration. Despite the Pure Food Ordinance 2005, there was hardly any effort to enforce it. Even when the country's apex court issued orders again in 2009 for setting up food court and one food testing centre in every district, no effort was taken to implement it. With 50million people in the country known to be afflicted with complicated diseases by taking adulterated food, the administration has got to be scary. Given the political will, it is not very difficult to control this nefarious business by a handful of traders out to kill people slowly through poison; simply for minting money.


God forbid! What will happen if one of their near relations get affected with some deadly diseases by taking such adulterated food?


Description Page 9 9 10 11 12 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 20 23 27 29 30 30 30

1.1 1.2

Background of the report Scope of the report

2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4 2.1.5 2.2

Food safety: A public health priority

Major issues in food safety Microbiological hazards Chemical hazards Surveillance of food borne dieses New technologies Capacity building Importance of food safety

3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4

Food safety & quality control framework in Bangladesh

Laws , regulations & standards Laws & regulations Bangladesh pure food ordinance, 2005 in detail Analysis of food Bangladesh food standards

4.1 4.1.1

Implications of pure food act in Bangladesh

Using chemicals & industrial dyes to look food fresh & tasty Arsenic phosphorous & the carbide produces acetylene gas


4.1.2 4.1.3 4.1.4 4.1.5 4.1.6 4.2 4.3 4.4

Fish in kitchen market are stored in formaldehyde Condense milk Sulphuric acid & industrial dyes Formaldehyde Do you have formaldehyde related symptoms? Adulterated food The drive against adulterate food Laboratory analysis of food

31 32 34 35 36 38 40 42 44 44 46 47 48 50

5.1 5.2 5.3

Implementation of food ordinance

Administration & inspection Efforts by NGOs WHO/FAO supported food safety program in Bangladesh

6 7

Conclusion & Recommendations References


1.1 Background of the Report

Food safety legislation should be developed and updated taking into consideration specific needs of consumers and food producers, development in technology, emerging hazards, changing consumer demands and new requirements for trade, harmonization with international and regional standards, obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, as well as social, religious and cultural habits. The implementation of food safety legislation throughout the food chain is essential in establishing an effective food safety system.

Effective national food control systems are essential to protect the health and safety of domestic consumers. They are also critical in enabling countries to assure the safety and quality of their foods entering international trade and to ensure that imported foods conform to national requirements. The new global environment for food trade places considerable obligations on both importing and exporting countries to strengthen their food control systems and to implement and enforce risk-based food control strategies

The pure Food Act 2005 is the Bangladeshi food legislations that form the backbone of the food safety programme. The objective of the pure Food Act 2005 is to ensure that the public is protected from health hazards and fraud in the preparation, sale and use of foods and for matters connected therewith.


1.2 Scope of the report

There are numerous types of implications are now occurring against pure food act of Bangladesh but we are unable to depict all of these fields of events. However in this report the major concerns are delicately depicted. Again due to time, information & synchronization stricture all details are not fully exposed. But in general if one goes through this report then he/she will find very interesting & can learn the impact not only on our society but also on the rest of the world.

1.3 Objective of the Study

This report has an objective to study, measure and analyze the implication, implementation & performance of Bangladesh Pure Food Ordinance, 2005. This report has divided into five major chapters, mainly focuses on

1. To know about Pure food act of Bangladesh 2. Implications of pure act in Bangladesh 3. Recommendations for proper implementation of pure food act



Safe food contributes to health and productivity and provides an effective platform for development and poverty alleviation. People are becoming increasingly concerned about the health risks posed by microbial pathogens and potentially hazardous chemicals in food. Up to one-third of the populations of developed countries are affected by food borne illness each year, and the problem is likely to be even more widespread in developing countries. The poor are the most susceptible to ill-health. Food and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases, for example, are leading causes of illness and death in less developed countries, killing an estimated 2.2 million people annually, most of whom are children.

Diarrhoea is the most common symptom of food borne illness, but other serious consequences include kidney and liver failure, brain and neural disorders, and death.

Food safety refers to the potential hazards associated with food that can cause ill-health in humans. Certain of these hazards are naturally-occurring (for example aflatoxins in groundnuts), whilst others occur through contamination (for example pesticide residues in fruit). The potential hazards associated with food include the following (Unnevehr and Hirschhorn, 2000; WHO, 2002a):

Food safety is of particular concern in a developing country context not only because of the high prevalence of food-borne illness and other hazards associated with food, but also because of the considerable economic and social costs that, in turn, reflect prevailing levels of economic development.



Food borne illness can be caused by microbiological, chemical or physical hazards. The nature and extent of these risks are being elucidated by an increasing body of scientific data, although several areas of information gathering, such as the surveillance of food borne illness, need to be strengthened. There is also mounting concern about new technologies and especially the introduction of genetically modified organisms into the food supply.

2.1.1 Microbiological hazards

Food borne illness caused by microorganisms is a large and growing public health problem. Most countries with systems for reporting cases of food borne illness have documented significant increases over the past few decades in the incidence of diseases caused by microorganisms in food, including pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, and parasites such as cryptosporidium, cryptospora, trematodes. Approximately 1.8 million children in developing countries (excluding China) died from diarrhoeal disease in 1998, caused by microbiological agents, mostly originating from food and water. One person in three in industrialized countries may be affected by food borne illness each year. In the USA, some 76 million cases of food borne illness, resulting in 3,25,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths, are estimated to occur each year. There are only limited data on the economic consequences of food contamination and food borne disease. In studies in the USA in 1995, it was estimated that the annual cost of the 3.312 million cases of food borne illness caused by seven pathogens was US $6.535 billion. The medical costs and the value of the lives lost during just five food borne outbreaks in England and Wales in 1996 were estimated at UK 300700 million. The cost of the estimated 11 500 daily cases of food poisoning in Australia was calculated at AU$ 2.6 billion annually. The increased incidence of food borne disease due to microbiological hazards is the result of a multiplicity of factors, all associated with our fast-changing world. Demographic profiles are


being altered, with increasing proportions of people who are more susceptible to microorganisms in food. Changes in farm practices, more extensive food distribution systems and the increasing preference for meat and poultry in developing countries all have the potential to increase the incidence of food borne illness. Extensive food distribution systems raise the potential for rapid, widespread distribution of contaminated food products. Changes in food production result in new types of food that may harbor less common pathogens. Intensive animal husbandry technologies, introduced to minimize production costs, have led to the emergence of new zoonotic diseases, which affect humans. Safe disposal of manure from large-scale animal and poultry production facilities is a growing food safety problem in much of the world, as manure frequently contains pathogens. Changes in eating patterns, such as a preference for fresh and minimally processed foods, the increasingly longer interval between processing and consumption of foods and the increasing prevalence of eating food prepared outside the home all contribute to the increased incidences of food borne illness ascribed to microbiological organisms. The emergence of new pathogens and Pathogens not previously associated with food are a major public health concern. E. coli O157:H7 was identified for the first time in 1979 and has subsequently caused illness and deaths (especially among children) owing to its presence in ground beef, unpasteurized apple cider, milk, lettuce, alfalfa and other sprouts, and drinking-water in several countries. Salmonella typhimurium DT104 has developed resistance to five commonly prescribed antibiotics and is a major concern in many countries because of its rapid spread during the 1990s. These changes in microbiological hazards in foods have been recognized by the World Health Assembly and by Codex. The 22nd session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the 45th Codex Executive Committee requested FAO and WHO to convene an international expert advisory body similar to the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) on the microbiological aspects of food safety to address in particular microbiological risk assessment. The results of these risk assessments will provide the scientific basis for measures to reduce illness from microbiological hazards in foods.


Effective management of microbiological hazards is enhanced through the use of tools such as Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Sound microbiological risk assessment provides an understanding of the nature of the hazard, and is a tool to set priorities for interventions. HACCP is a tool for process control through the identification of critical control points. The ultimate goal is improvement of public health, and both MRA and HACCP are means to that end.

2.1.2 Chemical hazards

Chemicals are a significant source of foodborne illness, although effects are often difficult to link with a particular food. Chemical contaminants in food include natural toxicants such as mycotoxins and marine toxins, environmental contaminants such as mercury, lead, radionuclides and dioxins, and naturally occurring chemicals in plants, such as glycoalkaloids in potatoes. Food additives and nutrients such as vitamins and essential minerals, pesticide and veterinary drug residues are deliberately used to increase or improve the food supply, but assurance must first be obtained that all such uses are safe. Chemical contamination of food can affect health after a single exposure or, more often, after longterm exposure; however, the health consequences of exposure to chemicals in food are often inadequately understood. While assessments of the risks associated with exposure to pesticides, veterinary drugs and food additives are usually supported by extensive information, fewer data are available on the toxicology of contaminants in food. New understanding of the potential for chemicals to affect the immune, endocrine and developing nervous systems should continue to be incorporated into hazard characterizations of chemicals in food. Risk assessments must take into account the potential risks of sensitive population groups such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. They must also address concern about cumulative, lowlevel exposure to multiple chemicals. Testing procedures and other methods of assessment for adequate evaluation of these potential risks are being developed and validated. Estimates of the exposure of specific subpopulations are often hampered by inadequate data on dietary intake and on levels of contamination of food. This lack of information is exacerbated in developing countries, where

little reliable information is available on the exposure of their populations to chemicals in food. Public awareness about chemicals in food is relatively high, and consumers continue to express concern about the risks to health due to the deliberate addition of chemicals to food. Increasing concern is also being expressed about the introduction of contaminants into the food chain from industrial pollution of the environment. Recognition that some pesticide residues and other chemicals may affect the hormonal system has further heightened public concern about persistant organic pollutants (POPs). The challenges for risk assessment of chemicals include consideration of susceptible populations such as children, pregnant women and the elderly, cumulative low-level exposure to multiple chemicals and effects on fetal neural development. Work is needed to develop and validate methods to evaluate these potential risks adequately. The Global Environment Monitoring System Food Contamination Monitoring and Assessment Programme (GEMS/Food) database should be expanded to include more countries and more comprehensive data on the food intake of subpopulations and on the concentrations of contaminants in food commodities. Improved risk assessments with minimized uncertainty will provide a better, more acceptable basis for international and national standard setting and reduce concern about the safety of food.

2.1.3 Surveillance of food borne disease

Outbreaks of foodborne disease attract media attention and raise consumer concern. However, cases of foodborne illness occur daily in all countries, from the most to the least developed. As most of these cases are not reported, the true dimension of the problem is unknown, and efforts to secure the resources and support necessary for the identification and implementation of effective solutions often fail. Effective control of foodborne disease must be based on evaluated information about foodborne hazards and the incidence of foodborne disease. Development of a strategy to reduce foodrelated risks requires knowledge about the current levels of foodborne disease in Member States. It must also be based on an appreciation of the targets and time-frame for improving food safety. This should be an on-going process, in which new targets are set when old ones are achieved, and progress should be monitored continuously in targeted surveys.

The absence of reliable data on the burden of foodborne disease impedes understanding about its public health importance and prevents the development of risk-based solutions to its management. Innovative strategies and methods are needed for surveying foodborne disease and food contamination. A laboratory-based surveillance system should be based on sentinel sites and regional and/or international laboratory networks. A necessary prerequisite for risk-based strategies based on optimized surveys is an interdisciplinary approach involving strong collaboration among all sectors dealing with foodborne disease surveillance and food safety in the health sector.

2.1.4 New Technologies

New technologies, such as genetic engineering, irradiation of food, ohmic heating and modified atmosphere packaging, can be used to increase agricultural production, extend shelf life or make food safer. Their potential benefit for public health is great: for example, genetic engineering of plants has the potential to increase the nutrient content of foods, decrease their allergenicity and improve the efficiency of food production. However, the potential public health effects of these technologies have raised concern globally during the past decade. Some new technologies benefit the health and economy of communities and contribute to sustainable development. However, countries should be provided with the results of objective, rigorous assessments of the potential risks associated with these technologies before being asked to accept them. Moreover, countries should be assisted in developing capacities to evaluate such results. The basis for the safety assessments should be easy to understand and well communicated, so that the public can be involved at the early stages of this process. The evaluation should be based on internationally agreed principles that include factors other than considerations of safety and risk, such as (health) benefits, socioeconomic factors, ethical issues and environmental assessments. These considerations should be developed with other WHO partners such as FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.


2.1.5 Capacity building

Most developed countries continue to expand the capacity to protect their populations from exposure to unacceptable levels of microorganisms and chemicals in food. Public awareness of the risks involved is relatively high in these countries, and many governments have made clear commitments to improve food safety. Developing countries have many competing priorities in their health agendas, and food safety has not, in the past, been recognized as a vital public health issue. However, it is becoming clear that foodborne disease has a significant impact on health. The globalization of the food trade and the development of international food standards have also raised awareness of food safety in developing countries. Placing food safety on the political agenda is the first vital step in reducing foodborne illness. The consumption of locally produced food is more common in developing countries. Fewer processed and packaged foods are available, large volumes of fresh food are traded in traditional markets, and food eaten outside the home is typically prepared by street vendors. Most of the concern for food safety is related to inappropriate use of agricultural chemicals, poor storage of food, an absence of food inspection, lack of infrastructure such as potable water and adequate refrigeration and lack of awareness about food safety and hygiene. Many developing countries are poorly equipped to respond to existing and emerging food safety problems. They lack technical and financial resources, an effective institutional framework, trained manpower and sufficient information about the hazards and risks involved. The risks are especially great in countries where low national income coincides with rapid industrial and agricultural development.


2.2 Importance of Food Safety

Food safety and sanitation are considered to be a key issue to ensure overall food security in Bangladesh.

Food is the major source of human exposure to pathogenic agents, both chemical and biological (viruses, parasites, bacteria), from which no individual is spared. The importance of food safety stems from: (1) food being the primary mode of transmission of infectious disease; (2) the intricate linkage with development- governs individual and community health, national productivity, and promotes export potential & thus earn foreign exchange; (3) emerged as prominent sources of conflict in international agricultural trade.


Biotechnology has raised some food safety concerns as new scientific methods to assess the safety of food derived from biotechnology have yet to be developed and agreed upon internationally.

In Bangladesh >90 % tube wells of 61 districts (out of 64) are contaminated with arsenic. Urban population are gradually shifting from cereal-based diets and would likely generate a demand for fish, livestock, horticultural, forest produce as well as processed items, in turn necessitating safety load of associated transport, storage and marketing infrastructure.



Food Safety and Quality Control Framework in Bangladesh


Bangladesh has achieved a significant progress in health & nutrition of the people. In spite of this progress, still the infant mortality rate is 51/1000 and maternal mortality ratio is 3/1000 livebirths. Some one third of the children born with low birth weight and only 11.5 % of preschool age children are nutritionally normal. Diarrhoeal diseases' is one of the major public health problems in the country. Some two third of these diarrhoeal diseases are food and water borne. At present, more than 30 million people are facing arsenic problem in drinking water and some 70-80 million people are threatened with the problem. Bangladesh is yet to develop a unified Food Safety Administration System and to formulate a Food Safety Policy. But it has a National Food and Nutrition Policy where attention has been given on food safety. There are significant activities in food safety and quality control are going on in the country. A number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are involved in these activities with a major responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) which has a unique infrastructure to deliver its services throughout the country. Under this Ministry, Management Information System on food safety and food borne illnesses is some extent integrated with the Primary Health Care Programme. It may be mentioned here Bangladesh has signed the WTO Agreement. In Bangladesh, the food safety and quality control framework consists of Laws, Regulations & Standards, Administration & Inspection and Laboratory analytical services.





(a) The Bangladesh Pure Food Ordinance, 1959: This is an ordinance to provide better control of the manufacture and sale of food for human consumption. Now, this Ordinance is under revision as The Bangladesh Pure Food (Amendment) Act, 2004.Under this Act, it has been proposed to constitute a National Food Safety Council headed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as well as to establish Food Courts. (b) The Bangladesh Pure Food Rules, 1967:.In this Rule, there are generic standards for 107 food products. Now, this Rules' is under revision. (c) The Special Power Act, 1974 (Act No XIV of 1974-as modified up to the 31st July, 1978): An Act to provide special measures for the prevention of certain prejudicial activities, for more speedy trial and effective punishment of certain grave offences. (d) The Food Grain Supply (Prevention of Prejudicial activity) Ordinance, 1956 (Ord. xxvi of 1979): This ordinance provides special measures for prevention of prejudicial activity relating to the storage, movement, transshipment, supply and distribution of food grains. It provides basis for the protection of false statement or information. (e) The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution Ordinance, 1985: This ordinance is to establish an Institution for standardization, testing, metrology, quality control, grading and marking of goods. Within the framework of this ordinance, Government has established the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).One import task is to certify the quality of commodities, materials, whether for local consumption, export and import. The Ordinance has been amended as The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (Amendment) Act, 2003. Currently, BSTI is developing a Policy on Labelling'. BSTI is the Codex Focal Point for Bangladesh.


(f) The Radiation Protection Act, 1987: Under this Act, the Institute of Food and Radiation Biology (IFRB) of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission is primarily involved in food irradiation research and development in the country. (g) The Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Act, 1989: The Government has enacted The Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Act, 1989 for universal salt iodisation & banned noniodised salt from market, aimed at virtual elimination of IDD from the country. (h) The Essential Commodity Act, 1990: The purpose of administering this act is to stable, maintain or increase supply of essential commodities including foodstuffs. The mandate of Essential Commodity Act also includes broad spectrum of broad spectrum of activities like storage, transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition, use or consumption of any essential commodity. (i) Fish and Fish product (Inspection and Quality Control) Rules, 1997: This section of the Fish and Fish products (Inspection and Control) Ordinance 1983 (Ord xx of 1983) and in conjunction with fish and fish products Inspection and Quality Rules 1989, and other related provisions made there under, the Government has made the Rules: Fish and Fish product (Inspection and Quality Control) Rules, 1997. These Rules are basically meant to develop quality improvement to promote export of trade. The quality control of fish and fish products in the country has earned reputation of the importing countries. (j) Laws and Regulations: In addition, a number of other Laws and Regulations are existed in the country to ensure the safe and quality food viz. The Animal Slaughter (Restriction) and Meat Control (Amendment) Ordinance,1983 (it is under revision);The Pesticide Ordinance,1971 & the Pesticides Rules,1985;Destructive Insects and Pests Rules (Plant Quarantine),1966,amended up to 1989;Agricultural Products Market Act,1950 (revised in 1985);Fish Protection and Conservation Act,1950 (amended in 1995);Marine Fisheries Ordinance 1983 and


Rules,1983;Procuremnet Specifications, Ministry of Food, Rice Mill Control Order etc. To protect the consumers rights and privileges a new Act i.e. Consumers' Protection Act, 2004 is to be passed soon. There are also a number of policies i.e. Bangladesh Food and Nutrition Policy,


1997 and National Plan of Action on Nutrition, National Agricultural Policy, 1999; Integrated Pest Management Policy, 2002 etc are linked with the country's food safety and quality control. (h) Pure Food Act, 2005: Finding huge irregularities and unhygienic situation in the food sectors, the government has formulated a new law, the Pure Food Act, 2005.


3.1.2 Bangladesh Pure Food Ordinance, 2005 in Details

Manufacture and Sale of food Provisions regarding manufacture and sale of Food

1. Prohibition of manufacture or sale of food not of proper nature, substance or quality (1) No person shall directly or indirectly (a) Manufacture or sell any article of food which is adulterated, or (b) Sell to the prejudice of the purchaser any article of food which is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser. (2) An offence shall not be deemed to have been committed if the article of food contains the normal constituents and if any innocuous substance or ingredient has been added thereto, if such substance or ingredient (i) is required for the production or preparation of such article as an article of commerce in a condition fit for carriage or consumption, and (ii) is not so added fraudulently to increase the bulk weight or measure, or to conceal the inferior quality, of such article: Provided that the admixture of such substance or ingredient does not render such article to be injurious to health;

2. Prohibition of sale or use of poisonous or dangerous chemicals, intoxicated food colour, etc No person shall directly or indirectly sale any food in which poisonous or dangerous chemicals or ingredients or additives or substances like calcium carbide, formalin, pesticides [DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane ), PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl oil) etc. or intoxicated food colour or flavouring matter has been used in any food which may cause injury to human body.

3. Prohibition of manufacture or sale of food not of proper standard of purity No person shall, directly or indirectly manufacture or sell any milk, butter, ghee, wheat flour (that is to say, maida, atta or suji) or mustard or any other rape seed oil, or any other article of food which are not of proper standard of purity.


Standard of purity of milk or skimmed milk or condensed milk or sterilized milk or desiccated milk (1) In the case of milk other than skimmed, condensed, sterilized or desiccated milk,(a) the species of animal from which the milk is derived shall be specified by the seller in such manner as the local authority may direct by general or special order in this behalf;(b) the article sold shall be the normal, clean and fresh secretion obtained by the complete milking of the udder of a healthy animal of the species specified, not earlier than seven days after the calving and freeing of the colostrums of such animal; and (c) the article sold shall, whether such secretion has been processed or not, be an article from which no ingredient has been extracted and to which no water or other substance (including any preservative) has been added and which contains the normal constituents prescribed under clause (a) or sub-section (1) of section 5.

(2) In the case of skimmed milk,(a) The container shall be labelled and marked in such manner as may be prescribed; (b) The article sold shall contain such proportion of the constituents of milk as maybe prescribed; and (c) The place at which such article is sold shall be specified by the seller in such manner as the local authority may direct by general or special order in this behalf.

(3) In the case of condensed, sterilized or desiccated milk,(a) The container shall be hermetically closed, labelled and marked in such manner as may be prescribed; and (b) The article manufactured or sold, as the case may be, shall contain such proportion of the constituents of milk as may be prescribed.

Standard of purity of butter

In the case of butter, the article manufactured or sold, as the case may be, shall be exclusively derived from the milk or cream (other than skimmed, condensed, sterilized or desiccated milk or cream) of a cow


or buffalo or both, and may be with or without salt and with or without the addition of any innocuous colouring matter, and shall not contain a greater proportion of water than may be prescribed.

Standard of purity of ghee In the case of ghee (that is to say, clarified milk fat), the article manufactured or sold, as the case may be, shall contain only substances (other than curds) which are prepared exclusively from the milk of cows or buffaloes or both, and shall fulfil such other conditions as may be prescribed.

Standard of purity of wheat flour In the case of wheat flour (that is to say, maida, atta or suji), the article manufactured or sold, as the case may be, shall contain only substances which are derived exclusively from wheat, and shall fulfill such other conditions as may be prescribed. Standard of purity of mustard or any other rape seed oil In the case of mustard or any other rape seed oil, the article manufactured or sold, as the case may be, shall be derived exclusively from mustard or any other rapeseed, as the case may be, and shall fulfill such other conditions as may be prescribed.

5. Prohibition of manufacture or sale of anything similar to or resembling an article of food No person shall, directly or indirectly and whether by himself or by any other person acting on his behalf, manufacture or sell anything similar to or resembling an article of food notified or under any name which so resembles the ordinary name of such article of food as to be likely to deceive the public or which is in any way calculated to mislead the public as to the nature, substance or quality of that thing.

6. Prohibition of keeping adulterants in places where food is manufactured or sold A person cannot keep or sell adulterants near the premises of manufacturing process of food. If any kind of adulterants is found near a food premise or shop then the owner will be accused for breaking the law if the contrary cannot be proven. No person shall keep Guzi (niger seed) in any manufactory or shop. No person shall keep any quantity of white oil except under a license granted by a local authority.


7. Prohibition of sale of diseased animals and unwholesome food intended for human consumption No person shall sell for human consumption any living thing which is diseased or unsound or sell or manufacture any other article of food intended for human consumption which is unwholesome or unfit for human consumption.

8. Prohibition of use of false labels No person shall, directly or indirectly use labels which falsely describes that the article is to mislead as to its nature, substance or quality.

9. Registration of certain premises The premises used for manufacturing, storing or selling food must be registered from authorized body.

10. Special provisions for seller of Ice cream and some other food The manufacturer and seller of certain dry food such as ice cream, ice, pickles, sweets, cake, biscuits, bread, flour, pulses etc must clearly write their address on the signboard and the transport the use to delivery. Prohibition of the keeping of bread-stuffs, etc, otherwise than in covered receptacles. No milk, bread-stuffs, cake, pastry, sweetmeats, confectionery or other article of food intended or commonly used for human consumption without further preparation by cooking shall be sold, exposed or kept or hawked about or stored for sale unless they be kept properly covered or otherwise guarded to the satisfaction of the local authority, so that they shall be protected from dust, dirt and flies

11. Certain diseased person not to manufacture, sell or touch food No person, who is suffering from leprosy, tuberculosis or any other disease which may be notified by the Government in this behalf, shall manufacture or sell any article of food, or will fully touch any such article which is for sale by any other person.



Provisions regarding analysis of food

1. Right of purchaser to have article of food analyzed or otherwise examined A person who has purchased any article of food shall, on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, be entitled to have a sample of such article analyzed or otherwise examined by the public analyst appointed for the area in which the purchase was made, and to receive from such public analyst a certificate in the form provided in the Schedule, specifying the result of the analysis or examination.


2. Providing samples for examination is obligatory Any Govt nominated person can order the buyer to sell certain products to him for the purpose of examination. He can also ask for the sample of the products to be kept for sale or transport or store.

3. Procedure for obtaining analysis or examination A person who intends to have analyzed or otherwise examined a sample shall-(1) forthwith notify in writing his intention to the person who sold or surrendered the sample;(2) divide the sample into three parts, and mark, seal or fasten each part One part to the person who sold the sample, or One part to the consignor, whose name and address appear on the container of the article, One part for purposes of future comparison; and(3) thereafter submit within seven days one part to the public analyst appointed for the area in which the sample was sold or surrendered.

4. Duty of public analyst to supply certificate of analysis Every public analyst to whom a sample has been submitted for analysis or bacteriological or other examination shall(a) Analyze or examine such sample or cause such sample to be analyzed or examined; (b) not later than 14 days[ seven days in normal case and two days in case of emergency after the date on which he receives the sample, deliver to the person submitting it a certificate specifying the result of the analysis or examination, (c) Send a copy of the certificate to the local authority concerned.


Provisions regarding inspection and seizure of food

1. Appointment of Inspector A person can be appointed as an inspector by the Govt or Govt monitor local authority.

2. Right to enter premises A person authorized, or an Inspector appointed, have the right to enter any premises at any hour of the day or night excluding the hours between midnight and day break.

3. Production of books, vouchers and accounts A person authorized, or an Inspector appointed, may by written notice require any person carrying on the trade or business in, or manufacturing or selling, any article of food, to produce before him for inspection all books, vouchers, accounts and other documents relating to such trade, business, manufacture or sale and every person on whom such notice is served shall comply with such requisition.

4. Power to seize food believed to be adulterated. The nominated person can inspect and examine the food any time (except midnight to dawn) and seize food believed to be adulterated

5. Destruction of seized living things and food The nominated person in front of two witnesses and with the written acknowledgement of the owner will destruct the seized food products


3.1.4 Bangladesh Food Standards

a. Under the Bangladesh Pure Food Ordinance, 1959 and the Bangladesh Pure Food Rules, 1967, there are 107 different generic, mandatory food standards. b. BSTI is the Standardisation body in the country. There are 50 mandatory generic food standards of BSTI. In addition, there are some 250 optional standards for different foodstuff. BSTI is also adopting Codex standards.



4.1 Using chemicals and industrial dyes to look food fresh and tasty
The bananas arrive at Sadarghat before first light. One by one the trucks roar into the crammed Ahsanullah Road that charts the banks of the Buriganga river on Dhakas southern edge. The bananas, piled high in the hold, are offloaded into the numerous warehouses that line the streets. As the sky lightens up, the cargo is more visible. They are a deep green in colour and bitter to the taste. But by that same afternoon, miraculously, these same bananas will be bright yellow and sweet. As the trucks pull away an army of workers, spray-cans on their shoulders enter the warehouses and start spraying the fruits stacked on the floor. It is a medicine that helps the banana ripen better and get a nice yellow colour, says one local wholesaler.


4.1.1 Arsenic phosphorous and the carbide produces acetylene gas

The chemical, it turns out, is Calcium Carbide, and is extremely hazardous to the human body because it contains traces of arsenic and phosphorous. Once dissolved in water, the carbide produces acetylene gas. Acetylene gas is an analogue of the natural ripening agents produced by fruits known as ethylene. Acetylene imitates the ethylene and quickens the ripening process. In some cases it is only the skin that changes colour, while the fruit itself remains green and raw. When the carbide is used on very raw fruit, the amount of the chemical needed to ripen the fruit has to be increased. This results in the fruit becoming even more tasteless, and possibly toxic. We dont know what the name of the chemical is but it works like magic, he says. Just go to one of the pharmacies in the Dhaka Medical College area and ask for medicine to ripe bananas, he adds. Visits to the neighbouring warehouses reveal that scores of banana wholesalers are


using this same technique to transform cheaply bought unripe banana into a golden cargo, going on to supply it to Dhakas ever-growing appetite for sweeter, riper and bigger. Later in the morning, we visit one of the pharmacies in the DMCH area. They wont say what the chemical is but sure enough, it is cheap and widely available. The chemical, it turns out, is Calcium Carbide, and is extremely hazardous to the human body because it contains traces of arsenic and phosphorous.

4.1.2 Fish in kitchen markets are stored in formaldehyde (used to preserve dead-bodies)
The chemical fertiliser urea is used in our rice to make it whiter, fish in kitchen markets are stored in formaldehyde (used to preserve dead-bodies) to keep them fresh-looking, colours and sweeteners are injected into fruits, and Recent studies by the Food and Nutrition Institute, University of Dhaka, have also found Escherichia coli (E-coli), Salmonella, and Shigella bacteria in restaurant food and street food in the city.

Eating contaminated food may cause diarrhoea, dysentery and other diseases. Finding bacteria is very common in the restaurant foods. But the more alarming thing is that the restaurant owners do not throw out the leftover oil from everyday cooking, using the same oil the next day. As a result the peroxide value of the oil increases and it becomes toxic ultimately

(CAB) Bangladeshs only consumer rights group confirms that wholesalers do indeed use urea fertiliser in rice to make it whiter. Comsumers who eat husk paddle processed rice (red rice) will also find themselves cheated, as artificially colored rice is also available in the market, say members of the watchdog. This is common knowledge, they say. While the rice is being processed, they use urea fertilizer in the rice to make it look more attractive, thus increasing its sale value, said Miftaur Rahman, a local rice dealer in Kawran Bazar, who claims his products are clean.

Most of the red chilli powder used in the market is adulterated - in most cases the spices are mixed with brick dust. Fine sawdust is also often mixed with cumin and other ground spices, say


CAB members. Honey is also frequently adulterated, as lab tests have found sugar syrup is often mixed with honey to enhance the sweetness. Nowadays, pure butter oil and ghee are also very rare in the market. Dishonest traders use a host of ingredients such as animal fat, palm oil, potato mash, and vegetable oil to produce fake butter oil. They even mix soap ingredients like steirian oil with ghee, to increase the proportions.

Rasogolla, kalojaam, and chamcham are the essential delicacies for all festivals in Bengali culture. But food and sanitation officers from the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) say most of these mouthwatering sweetmeats, despite looking attractive in the shop displays, are made with adulterated ingredients and produced in a filthy environment. In a survey conducted by DCC officials found that 100 percent of examined samples of Rasogolla, kalojaam, curds, and sandesh were adulterated. Bangladeshs Pure Food Ordinance (1959) states that at least 10 per cent milk fat is mandatory in sweetmeat. But in most cases, the percentage of milk fat is not more than five per cent.

4.1.3 Condensed milk

Three years after it first emerged that condensed milk produced by Bangladeshi manufacturers contained little or no milk and was in fact condensed vegetable fat, the companies are continuing to supply their spurious product to the market on the strength of a High Court stay order on legal action against them. Brands like Starship, Danish, Goalini and Kwality are mostly producing condensed milk, which do not satisfy the BDS 896: 1979 code of the Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI), said Shamsuzzoha, Information officer of Consumers Association of Bangladesh Bangladeshs only consumer rights group.

From the test conducted by the Public Health Institute, it was found that these two brands have a bacterial count level of 76,000 and 25,000, respectively, he said. The maximum count of bacteria in a gram of condensed milk is 10,000. Despite the numerous test results, these brands continue to sell their adulterated products taking advantage of the fact that authorities tend to avoid their responsibilities at investigating such products and taking measures in ensuring

consumer rights, he says. He explains that the BDS 896:1979 quality insists the need of actual cattle milk be condensed, mixed with sugar, then packaged and sold as condensed milk. According to the criteria, condensed milk should have a composition of 28 per cent solid milk, 8 per cent fat, 40 per cent sugar, 0.3 per cent lactic acid and count level below 10,000 bacteria in every gram of the milk.

The Milk and Dairy Product section committee of BSTI finalised the BDS standard for condensed milk on May 22, 1979. The quality was designed in accordance with the condensed milk manufacturing procedure discovered first by scientist Gail Borden in 1896. The committee had also kept in mind the necessity of the International Standards Organization (ISO) standards while formulating this particular standard. This standard was later approved by the Agriculture and Food Products Divisional Council of BSTI.

These condensed milk lack the basic nourishing factors that natural milk has, said Zoha. He explained that natural milk consists of 80 to 90 per cent water. The rest includes protein, saturated fat, vitamin and calcium.

The most important element is lactose, a special type of galactose that aids digestion in the human system, he explained. The other elements in milk are albumin, globulin, potassium, sodium, iodine and sulphur. All these elements make the consumption of a litre of milk equivalent to the consumption of 21 eggs, 12 kilograms of beef and 2.2 kilograms of bread by a human, he said. As most of these brands are using vegetable fat and powdered milk to produce condensed milk, consumers are missing out from the consumption of real condensed milk, he said. In a report published by CAB in December, 1995 it was found that Danish Condensed milk (Bangladesh) imports 125 metric tonne of powdered milk. When tested by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy commission it was found that the radioactivity levels in their milk is much higher than the stipulated limit.

The high court verdict was against the sale and production of this powdered milk. We still cannot tell whether the company abided by the high court verdict, says one CAB official. Along


with powdered milk, the brands are using Hoye powder, water, sugar, artificial colour, flavour and vegetable fat to produce condensed milk. Currently, 7,68,000 cans of condensed milk are sold daily. The daily demand shows the massive consumption of condensed milk and thus the immense health hazard being faced by the nation, says one CAB official

4.1.4 Sulphuric acid and industrial dyes

Some sweetmeat makers from rural areas are unaware of the existence of food colouring and use only industrial dyes in their products. The dough makers in different parts of the country put sulphuric acid in hot milk to make it thicken quickly. They first put a paste of ground rice into the milk, followed by sulphuric acid to turn the milk into a thick dough within minutes, say DCC officials.

In Dhaka City, famous sweetmeats brought from various parts of the country have been selling fast due to well-financed advertisement campaigns. Among these are Porabarir Chamcham, curds from Bogra, Rasogolla from Jessore, monda from Muktagachha, and Rosomalai from Comilla. In most cases, these sweetmeat are not what they seem, says Abdullah, a worker at a city sweetmeat outlet. Sources at the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) the government agency responsible for enforcing standards and issuing permits for the manufacture of processed foods admit that a wide variety of products such as soybean oil, butter oil and mustard oil are being sold in the market with fake BSTI seals.

In recent weeks, laboratory reports have revealed that fruits are ripened artificially using calcium carbide while traces of organo-phosphorus an insecticide has been discovered in vegetables in kitchen markets. The nutritional elements that should be in fruits and vegetables, if adulterated with dyes and synthetic colours, are destroyed. Eventually the digestion of those poisonous fruits or vegetables may cause diarrhoea, dysentery and even death, says Professor


Sagormoy Barma, a nutritionist at Dhaka University. The long-term impact of eating those foods is cancer, Barma warns.

Meanwhile children are fast becoming the greatest casualty of the widespread adulteration. If children dont get the vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables to rebuild tissues, the result could be severe malnutrition says Professor MQK Talukder, a paediatrician at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH). The most terrifying thing that can happen for not enriching a childs body with the right nutritional elements are lack of growth and damage to central nervous system, Talukder says.

4.1.5 Formaldehyde
Ranked as one of the most hazardous compounds (worst 10%) to ecosystems and human health. Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling gas. It is an important industrial chemical used to manufacture building materials and to produce many household products. It is used in pressed wood products such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard, glues and adhesives, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, and certain insulation materials. In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure (1). Since that time, some studies of industrial workers have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with nasal cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer, and possibly with leukemia. In 1995, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen. Several NCI(National Cancer Institute, USA) studies have found that anatomists and embalmers, professions with potential exposure to formaldehyde, are at an increased risk for leukemia and brain cancer compared with the general population


Mutagenic activity of formaldehyde has been demonstrated in viruses, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Salmonella typhimurium and certain strains of yeast, fungi, Drosophila, grasshopper and mammalian cells (Ulsamer et al., 1984). Formaldehyde has been shown to cause gene mutations, single strand breaks in DNA, DNA-protein crosslinks, sister chromatid exchanges and chromosomal aberrations. Formaldehyde produces in vitro transformation in BALB/c 3T3 mouse cells, BHK21 hamster cells and C3H-10Tl/2 mouse cells, enhances the transformation of Syrian hamster embryo cells by SA7 adenovirus, and inhibits DNA repair (Consensus Workshop on Formaldehyde, 1984).

When inhaled, acetaldehyde, the closest aldehyde to formaldehyde in structure, causes cancers in the nose and trachea of hamsters, and nasal cancers in rats (EPA,USA, Carcinogenicity Assessment for Lifetime Exposure.Substance Name -- Formaldehyde,CASRN -- 50-00-0, Last Revised -- 05/01/1991.

4.1.6 Do You Have Formaldehyde-Related Symptoms?

There are several formaldehyde-related symptoms, such as watery eyes, runny nose, burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches and fatigue.

These symptoms may also occur because of the common cold, the flu or other pollutants that may be present in the indoor air.

If these symptoms lessen when you are away from home or office but reappear upon your return, they may be caused by indoor pollutants, including formaldehyde. Examine your environment. Have you recently moved into a new or different home or office? Have you recently remodeled or installed new cabinets or furniture? Symptoms may be due to formaldehyde exposure. You should contact your physician and/or state or local health department for help. Your physician can help to determine if the cause of your symptoms is formaldehyde or other pollutants.




Health Risks Diarrhoea, nausea Respiratory disorders, bronchitis, skin diseases, headache Burning eyes, nose, throat high blood pressure, bronchitis Wounds leading to Cancer Wounds leading to Cancer stomach problems,





KOH, Na 2 S03/bi Sulphide


Na 2 S03, NH 4 C1, Na2So4

Picling Chrome Tanning Sammying, splitting

H 2 SO 4, H-COOH, NaC1

Dyes, fixing, agent, Condensation of urea Respiratory complications






preservatives and aromatic ingredients.


Shaving, dyeing

Table: Health risk by unwanted chemicals



Asthma Caused by toxic dyes used in most Chinese resturants Bananas: Chemicals calcium carbide and ethrel are used to artificially ripen Bananas. The other popular method is to ripen them through heating in a closed environment. Coconut Oil: Acid value beyond permissible limit found in major brands. Condensed Milk: Along with Star Ship, Fresh and Goalini, reportedly use vegetable fat instead of milk Dyes: Eating foods containing industrial dyes and colours causes violent allergic reactions, respiratory problems, asthma, liver disorders and kidney dysfunction and bone marrow disorders. Nowadays, coal tar dyes are being used in sweetmeats. Erythrosine: Red food colouring that can lead to tumour in thyroid gland, asthma, bronchitis and hyperactivity. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde - normally used to preserve dead-bodies - is used to preserve fish bound for city markets. Greens: Fresh greens, so abundantly available, are the best way to go as far as vegetables are concerned. Shashya Prabartana offers the finest, pesticide-free organic variety. Iodine: Found in high quantities in most condensed milk brands. Indicate use of vegetable fat. Keya Coconut Oil: Accused of containing twice the acid value permitted by BSTI in its regulations. Lentils: Lentils are mixed with toxic colours to improve their colour and marketability. Mustard Oil: Most mustard oil brands contain iron beyond permissible limits. Pesticides: When pesticides enter the body on a regular basis, they affect the liver until it is damaged permanently. Quality Seal Many products use forged and/or expired BSTI seals


Rice: A host of rice varieties available in the market are artificially whitened using the toxic fertiliser Urea Soyabean Oil Poorly produced Soyabean oil contains high levels of toxins which can lead to cancer Tartrazine: Yellowish orange food colour that can lead to cancer, headaches, allergies such as asthma, inflammation, eye irritation and runny nose. (Mubin S Khan and Adnan Khandker , Slate, October 2006) OTTAWA, March 17, 2005 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Afrocan Direct Imports Inc. are warning the public not to consume the Heritage brand Palm Oil described below. These products may contain a non-permitted colour, Sudan IV, which is considered to be carcinogenic. Sudan I and IV, red dyes, are not permitted as food colours in Canada. Sudan I, has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and these findings could also be significant for human health. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.



4.3 The drive against adulterated food

Little was done in the past to protect the consumers from adulteration, pathogenic microbial contamination, toxic substances such as pesticide and other contaminants in food. There was an obsolete Food Law from British time, and although updated long back, it was never practiced seriously. Present government deserves thanks for taking serious action against the unhygienic production, processing and marketing of foods. We much appreciate also the bold steps taken by the BSTI and the law enforcing agencies particularly the courageous and uncompromising attitudes of the magistrates in penalising the perpetrators. Government and private media such as the dailies and TV channels are taking appropriate actions in disseminating the results of the drives to the consumers. The drive has even crossed the political divide.

Figure: A mobile court fining a food dealer for making food with hazardous chemicals which are very fatal for human being

Finding huge irregularities and unhygienic situation in the food sectors, the government has recently formulated a new law, the Pure Food Act, 2005.


The new law has the provision to fine the adulterators up to Tk 2 lakh from Tk 75,000 and jail the guilty for a maximum of three years. Since April, 2005 the government has started a drive to control adulteration and unhygienic practices of food in food processing industries, market, hotels and restaurants. The public are terrified to find the poor, unhygienic, and substandard food contaminated with poisonous and harmful chemical substances and microorganisms and inappropriately processed A regular mobile court resumes food drives to check adulteration of different food items. The government formed four special mobile courts on June 14, 2005 in the wake of a series of reports carried by news papers on colossal food adulteration. The mobile courts conduct massive drives in the city eateries and food shops and fine and imprison a good numbers of adulterators. The government initiative had drawn a huge public attention and praise and the drives in no time spread elsewhere in the country. The recent food drives has brought some development in the food sector in the city, but most of the issues remain the same due to the halt. The situations remain the same in the fruits and vegetables markets as well. The farmers are using chemicals in the vegetables and fruits so that they ripen quickly. But some sweetmeat shops have changed their approaches, which is a good sign. The use of harmful textile dyes in the sweetmeat has sharply fallen. Besides, some food producing companies are mentioning the expiry dates on their products. However, the kitchens of the common roadside restaurants remain as filthy as before. A mass awareness has been created in all the tiers of the society from the cities and towns to the villages. The consumers are getting aware of their right to get nutritious, safe and hygienic food. Although there are some minor flaws like a picture in a daily of a dish of prepared food in a very well known restaurant showing the tails of prawns as cockroaches.


4.4 Laboratory Analyses of Food

The following Laboratories are responsible for qualitative and quantitative assessment of food items1. Public Health Laboratory of the Institute of Public Health, Dhaka under the MOHFW. Some 5000 food samples are tested here annually, sent by the Sanitary Inspectors from different Upazilas and Municipalities. Results are indicated that there are as many as 50% of the samples are found unsatisfactory. But this does not reflect the real picture of the food quality of the country. Because, most of these samples are biased i.e. suspected as unsatisfactory food items by the Sanitary Inspectors, not collected randomly. 2. Laboratory of the Institute of Public Health Nutrition under the MOHFW-dealing with the monitoring of the quality of Iodised salt and others 3. Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI) under the Ministry of Industries. In 2003-04, BSTI performed 307 mobile court, 163 samples collected from open market, 153 show cause notice issued to manufacturers, 25 licenses were cancelled, 148 legal actions were taken, which were 43,95,13,11 and 80 respectively in 2000-01. 4. Food Testing Laboratory, Directorate of Food under the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management. In 2002-03, this laboratory tested 242 rice samples, 291 wheat and 6 oil which was respectively 3, 20 and 49 in 2000-01. 5. Institute of Food Science Technology, Dhaka; Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) as well as its Branches at Chittagong and Dhaka under Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology. 6. Food Testing Laboratory of Dhaka City Corporation under the MOLGRD. In 2003,a total 960 samples were tested in the Public Health Laboratory of the Dhaka City Corporation which was 430 in the year 2000 7. Laboratory of Plant Protection Wing of DAE of Ministry of Agriculture: This lab also tests both imported and exported vegetables and fruits. During the year 2002-03, 7007.6 metric tons vegetables and 2262.6 metric tons fruits were exported and of them 1500 samples were collected and tested. It was 5554 metric tons, 1885 metric tons and 1000 samples respectively in 2000-01. It was found that 100% samples were satisfactory in both years.


8. Quality Control Laboratories for frozen fish at Khulna and Chittagong under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. In 2002-03, a total 3940 lots were exported.49 and 8 lots were rejected in the country and outside of the country respectively. Under this Ministry, there is also Lab at Fisheries Research Institute, Mymensingh. 9. Laboratory of Department of Livestock under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. 10. Institute of Food Radiation Biology, Atomic Energy Commission under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. 11. Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka under the Ministry of Education. 12. Central laboratory and Lab of Post Harvest Technology of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute and Lab. of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute under the Ministry of Agriculture. 13. Armed Forces Food and Drug Testing Laboratory, Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka under the Ministry of Defence. 14. Laboratories of Department of Food Technology & Rural Industry, Department of Dairy Science and Department of Biochemistry of Bangladesh Agricultural University. 15. Chemical Examination Laboratory of CID under the Ministry of Home Affairs. 16. Environment Laboratory, Directorate of Environment under the Ministry Environment and Forests.



Access to pure food is a necessary corollary of right to life. Every human being has a right to get pure food for his consumption. Every state should provide comprehensive law for the safety and purity of food. Pure and unadulterated food should be made available to every person, irrespective of his caste, creed, religion, race and nationality. But unfortunately, food safety situation in our country is very much precarious. Manufacturers and sellers frequently mix poisonous and dangerous chemicals like calcium carbide, formalin, pesticides, intoxicated colorants and flavorants which are injurious to our body. Legal regulations and manufacturers monitoring practices are not enough to prevent contamination of the country's food supply and to protect consumers from serious harm


Table: Major Stakeholder Ministries and Departments for Food Control in Bangladesh Sl. Ministry No 1. Ministry of Agriculture Department/Organization Plant Protection Wing, DAE Major Activities

Phyto Sanitary certificate for Import/Exported plants/plant products Pesticide Use Control Fertilizer Use Control Quality Control of PFDS, Stock, Procured Food grains/Food Stuff, Imported food etc. Food Control in the Market (not doing at present) Food Quality and Sanitation Control in Upazila/District level Testing


Ministry of Food

Directorate General of Food (DGF)


Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Ministry of LGRD Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock


Directorate General of Health; District & Upazila Health Administration and Institute of Public Health. City Corporation & Pourashava Health Units A) Department of Fisheries (FIQC Wing)


Have Sanitary Inspector, Labs and Public Analyst for food quality control in their command areas. Fish Quality Control & Certification for export Same for the domestic market


B) Department of Livestock

Animal Health Animal Product Imported Animal Frame Standards of Food Products Testing & Certification Marks and Surveillance.


Ministry of Industries





Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology Ministry of Education


Test Radiation level of Imported Food items; Pesticides Residues Testing of Food Items; Research and Development Food safety, Nutrition & Environmental issues in the text book of all level of education

DG, Primary, DG, Secondary, Text Book Board, Universities PIB BTV Radio Bangladesh Bangladesh Police -


Ministry of Information

Broad cast issues for awareness building

10. Ministry of Home 11. Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs

Assist the Inspection Agencies Formulation, Vetting, Parliamentary Approval etc.

So, food control in Bangladesh is a multi-sectoral responsibility. Mobile courts infrequently invigilate around the capital and the districts to discover different kinds of food houses, hotels and restaurants which are found to be selling noxious foodstuffs. But this invigilation is not sufficient to meet the whole demand.


5.2 Efforts by NGOs:

A wide range of activities on food safety awareness are being undertaken by a series of NGOs as Follows-.

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB)

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA)

DOSHER Bangladesh, etc

(4) Food control activities are implemented unorganized form, including scanty information on food contamination.

(5) Food laws and regulations do not embody recent international developments. It is not up to date with recommendation by CAC (Codex Alimentarius CommissionAct 1961), SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) Agreement, TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) Agreement and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) System

.(6) There are insufficient cooperation and coordination in the activities of law regulating bodies like BSTI, DGF, Bangladesh Police, Law Commission etc.

(7) There is a lack of consumer/public awareness programme.

(8) There is a constraint of financial resources.

(9) Multifarious factors are influencing food safety policies.

(10) Proper enforcement of laws, regulations and standards are absent.

(11) Both producers and consumers are lacking in knowledge regarding food safety laws, regulations and standards.

(12) Safe limits of arsenic in food have not been determined. Therefore, we have a long a way to go to ensure safe and wholesome food.


5.3 WHO/FAO supported Food Safety Program in Bangladesh

Food safety Programme a collaborative programme of Govt. of Bangladesh and WHO is being implemented in Bangladesh since 1994.Under the Food Safety Programme. The major activities are1. Strengthening of Public Health Laboratory of the Institute of Public Health, Dhaka a. Procurement of instruments, equipment and chemicals b. Training of the laboratory personnel (in home and abroad) 1. Training on Food safety for - Health Managers and Sanitary Inspectors of MOHFW and MOLGRD. 2. Training on HACCP for Quality Control personnel of Food industries 3. Orientation on food safety for- School teachers, Community leaders, Religious leaders and Hotel Restaurant Managers/Owners , Street food vendors and others 4. National and Regional seminars on food safety. 5. Information, Education and Communication activities on food safety for School children, Managers/owners of Hotel restaurants, Food vendors, Mass people and others. 6. Research works : On quality of different food items, epidemiology of food borne diseases etc



(1) A comprehensive and unified food safety policy should be formulated, unified administrative system should be established and a unified food safety law should been acted.


(2) Food ordinances, food regulations and other relevant Acts should be updated from time to time in view of the changing requirements arising out of scientific and technical developments.

(3) There should be harmonization among among the functions of law regulating bodies like BSTI, DGF, Bangladesh Police, and Law Commission etc.

(4) Problem of manpower and equipment shortage of food safety regulating bodies should be solved immediately.

(5) Corruption should be reduced in food safety regulating bodies like BSTI, DGF, Bangladesh Police, Law Commission etc. (6) Mobile court invigilation should be more frequent all over the country. (7) Media should provide more coverage on mobile court invigilation and punishment of dishonest food businessmen. (8) Measures should be taken to modernize food inspection, manufacturing procedures and research on foodborne disease outbreaks like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, bird flu, swine flu etc. (9) More organizations should be established for accreditation, regulation and certification. (10) Frequent training program should be arranged for food inspectors, food scientists, food analysts, food policy makers microbiologists, v) public health physicians, vi) food technologists, vii) serial librarians and documentation officials, viii) food law experts etc. (11) Guidelines should be formulated on good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices for all food items including fruits and vegetables.

(12) Food laws and regulations should accommodate international standards by adopting the guidelines and practices of CAC (Codex Alimentarius Commission Act1961), SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) Agreement, TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) Agreement and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) System. (13) Cleaning, grading, testing, standardization, packing, storage, labeling and marketing based on well documented principles of good practice, HACCP, scientific storage should be encouraged at farmers level so as to promote direct integration of food processing units with producers. (14) A national food control agency should be established. So, in this way we can improve our food safety situation to a great extent. We should ensure pure and wholesome food for all our citizens. Food production should be monitored along its every step. Food safety practices should be inspected from the farm to the dining table




1. FAO/WHO. Assuring food safety and quality. Guidelines for strengthening a national food control systems. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 76. See http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/fs_management/guidelines_foodcontrol/en 2. WHO. Guidelines for strengthening a national food safety program. WHO/FNU/FOS/96.2. Geneva, 1996. 3. http://www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/008/ae335e.htm 4. http://www.wikipedia.org 5. http:// www.scribd.com