The government has been scrambling to bring food producers and traders together under one roof as they are now regulated by 18 agencies which are causing complications and harassment, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said.
“There are differences of opinion between Agriculture, Commerce, Industries and the Ministry of Food on issues related to food trade. That is why the issue of regulatory authorities was raised in the cabinet which will be decided by the cabinet,” the minister said during a seminar marking World Food Safety Day 2022 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dhaka on Tuesday.
He also said that the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) works to ensure food safety and is not a licensing authority. That’s why companies don’t care.
Addressing traders, Sadhan Chandra Majumder said many businesses intentionally adulterate food to make profit.
“We want to export our food not only for Bangladeshi communities but also for foreigners by improving its quality,” he said.
The minister also informed that a law is in progress on rice processing and how to make it safe. The bill was passed by the cabinet and is now awaiting review by the Ministry of Justice. This law will help regulate rice traders more strictly, he added.
He pointed to public awareness of rising rice prices as the price rises after packing.
Food Secretary Nazmanara Khanum said the ministry wanted to strengthen authority over food safety. Although the authorities are working tirelessly, people say their work is not visible.