'Sale of loose edible oil increases health risks': Trans fat-free food must for public health: Experts


Staff Reporter :
The unabated sale of loose edible oil marketed in drums not only poses a threat to public health but also works as an impediment to the proper implementation of the 2013 Vitamin Fortification in Edible Oil Act.

PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) expressed their concern vote the matter on the occasion of National Food Safety Day through a statement on Friday.

With the theme “Shastho, Pushti o Shomriddhi Chai, Nirapod Khadder Bikolpo Nai” (Health, Nutrition, and Prosperity: Safe Food Remains the Only Key), National Food Safety Day 2024 was observed on Friday throughout the country.

According to the National Micronutrient Survey 2011-12, 20.5 percent of children aged six to 59 months and 5.4 percent of women aged 15-49 years old (excluding pregnant or lactating) are suffering from vitamin A deficiency, it said.

In recent times, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, including heart and kidney diseases, has been increasing alarmingly.

If this situation persists, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases to one-third by 2030 will not be possible, said the release.

“Public health is always on top. Everyone, including policymakers, producers, suppliers, and mass people, should be well aware of the health hazards of bulk edible oil in drums,” said ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA.


He also said edible oil from drums is vulnerable to adulteration, and the reuse of nonfood-grade drum containers can eventually contaminate the edible oil.

Meanwhile, speakers at National Food Safety Day Webinar said on Thursday, ensuring food safety is crucial for protecting public health.

Excessive amount of trans fat in food is unsafe and remains one of the leading risk factors for various non-communicable diseases, including heart disease.

Bangladesh ranks among the countries with the highest burden of deaths from trans-fat induced heart diseases.

Although the government has passed the “Controlling Trans-Fatty Acid in Foodstuffs Regulation 2021”, its implementation has not commenced in full swing yet. Speedy implementation of the trans-fat limiting regulation is essential.

Speakers highlighted this information at a webinar titled “Trans-fat-free Safe Food to Safeguard Public Health and the Way Forward”, organized by research and advocacy organization PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) on Thursday, February 01, 2024 on the occasion of National Food Safety Day.