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Threat to public health from DDT mixed dry fish

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10th-Jan-2017       
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DISHONEST businessmen are processing sea fish with DDT and such other chemical additives at Cox's Bazar, Chittagong and other coastal areas where fishing trawlers unload their catch from the sea. Traders are regularly taking delivery of such adulterated fish and supplying the market throughout the country. Dry fish is a delicious food to households but such processing and marketing are going on unchecked without any concerns for public health from any quarter. Businessmen are using chemicals to dry fish to protect it from roots and attacks from insects. But people are falling victim at the end from this process without much knowing about the potential danger. It is a business of thousands of crore taka annually with powerful people behind it.
 
It appears that traders are making good fortune while people remain vulnerable to many diseases eating such chemical mixed dry fish. We must say that the concerned government agencies must come forward and take quick step to make sure that unadulterated dry fish are entering the market. In our view it can only be ensured by strengthening vigilance against the malpractice. Public health inspectors, particularly BSTI (Bangladesh Standardization and Testing Institution) inspection team and law enforcers must act vigorously in this respect. The most effective remedy lies in massive public awareness. But the question is whether or not the government will take such steps in view of the fact that interest of powerful people is involved in it.    

As per expert opinion DDT is a kind of poison for human body and businessmen add salt with it to increase weight. Needless to say several species of dry fish is very popular brands that sell in abundant in the markets and even being exported to some global points having big concentration of Bangladeshi national. It is used as supplement for fresh fish and meat in their daily food menu.

At least we have three laws to effectively deal with adulteration of dry fish. We have Special Powers Act 1974, Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009, and Pure Food Ordinance 1959; which are enough to stop the malpractice. But it appears that the government from the Ministerial level to local administration is not taking the public concerns seriously. Because nobody does so in the government.


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