Past, present and future driving force in the enforcement and management of food safety law in Bangladesh

M. Mufizur Rahman, SM Lutful Kabir, M. Minara Khatun, M. Hasibur Rahman, N. Parvin Ansari



Food safety has become an important topic in Bangladesh as large numbers of consumers are becoming victims of serious food-borne illnesses due to poor hygienic measures, indiscriminate use of chemical substances as adulterants and malpractices in production of foods. It is estimated that 45 million people in Bangladesh suffer from food poisoning or food-borne diseases round the year. Print and electronic media, different organizations and the public have drawn the attention of the government to this grave threat and demanded formulation of appropriate law and supervisory body to address the issue. In absence of a national food safety control system, two-thirds of the total food items hit the market without any quality check. The food hygienists, scientists, law makers and consumers strongly feel that food adulteration and malpractices to produce health hazardous foods are not matters to be dealt only by the BSTI. To wipe out the threat of widespread food adulteration and ensure availability of safe foods in the country the government is now in the process of forming a single agency styled Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and has drafted a Safe Food Law, 2013. Recently the government is advocating the concerned marketing authority to use a special preservative detector machine to check food for formalin at the sourcing in order to make sure that the customers receive safe food. Food Safety Governance is although an abstract idea in Bangladesh, but health and trade implications of governance gaps are significant. These gaps could be filled gradually using existing resources, researchers believe that implementing of global governance approach, and single coordination approaches are feasible for piloting food safety governance in Bangladesh. In the near future, the country will appreciably face challenges to develop awareness profiling force and activities linking perception on improving safety, quality and control of foods.

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