An analysis of safe food act and right to safe food, the Dhaka divisional workshop was organized in UBINIG Ridoypur Biddaygho, Tangail on 30 June, 2014. The workshop was organized by UBINIG on behalf of Bangladesh Food Safety Network (BFSN). The objective of the workshop was to create public / consumer awareness on food safety issues and increase awareness on food safety matters among different stakeholders.
There were 57 participants including farmer/ farmer organizations, consumer organizations, local government, DAE, NGOs, academic institutions, food producers, food sellers, lawyers, Upazila and district administration, religious leaders, students, representatives from Ministry of Information, members from civil surgeon office participated in the event. The representatives from diverse geographical areas of Dhaka division including Manikgonj, Rajbari, Jamalpur, Dhaka, Gajipur and Tangail participated in the event.
Mr Gautam Chandra Pal, Deputy Director, Local Government, District Administration, Tangail was the Chief Guest. The special guests were Mr. Abu Kaisar Khan, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Delduar; S. M. Ferdouse, Chairman, Upazila Parishod, Delduar; Dr. John Ryder, Chief Technical Adviser, FAO Food Safety Program; Professor Shah Monir Hoseain, Senior National Advisor, FAO Food Safety Program, Dr. Sridhor Dharmapuri, Food Safety Officer, FAO Food Safety Program and Dr. Rokeya Khanam, National Advisor, FAO Food Safety Program. The workshop was chaired by Mr. Mohidul Hoque Khan, Vice President, B Safe Foundation and Member, Steering Committee, BFSN.
The workshop was initiated by a song of Nayakrishi farmers, Akkas Ali, Rupushi Begum and Arfan Ali. The song was composed by farmer Akkas Ali for raising awareness of safe food. An introductory remark on behalf of BFSN was presented by Farida Akhter, Executive Director, UBINIG and Dr.M. A. Sobhan, Research Consultant, UBINIG.
Dr. John Ryder said, the Food Safety Act 2013 as developed and in the process of implementation may become a role model for many countries across the globe for ensuring food safety for the people. The establishment of the food safety authority will resolve many issues prevailing in the food sector at present. The situation of formalin can be worrying issue. We have to determined level of formalin to be safe. The lab established in the Public Health Institute by the FAO is well equipped for essential test in relation to food safety. The national institutes, NGOs and individuals willing to test food items have open access to this lab.
Professor Shah Monir Hoseain said, food safety act if implemented can make Bangladesh a role model and ideal situation for others to follow on global accord. Formalin issue should be dealt with scientific wisdom and technologies. Food borne diseases are dealt academically by the FAO laboratories establish in the Public Health Institute, Mahakhali, Dhaka.
S.M. Ferdouse, Upazila Chairman, Delduar said, safe food and the food safety act 2013 need public awareness. In this context both the government and the NGOs should work with hand to hand. If we start working in Delduar, in a small scale involving all the stakeholders we can make us safe in respect of food.
Mr Gautam Chandra Pal, Deputy Director, Local Government, District Administration, Tangail said, I welcome all of you in this meeting on behalf of the district administration. Pure food ordinance 1959 was not practiced properly, so we are now facing some problem. Today’s workshop is important for all of us for increasing awareness on food safety.
Mr. Abu Kaisar Khan, Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Delduar said, food safety issue is very much needed for all of us. I hope and believe this workshop will helpful for increasing the awareness on food safety matters among different stakeholders.
There were different suggestions from the respective participants on strategies and activities for enrichment of the right to safe food. One of the key suggestions was given by S. M. Ferdouse, Chairman, Upazila Parishod, Delduar that program may be taken up for developing Delduara Upazila as a model for food safety. Dr. John Ryder and Professor Shah Monir Hoseain from FAO endorsed the proposal given by the Upazila Chairman for developing Delduar Upazila as a model for food safety.