Traders in the capital yesterday announced Mohakhali kitchen market formalin and carbide-free in efforts to promote the market where people can buy unadulterated fish and vegetables.
It is the third kitchen market to be so announced in the capital after Malibagh and Shanti Nagar markets.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in association with Shop Owners Association organised a programme to make the announcement.
The apex trade body trained three people of the market to use a formalin detector donated by Standard Bank Ltd.
"This market is now formalin free. In case of any doubt, buyers themselves can do the test in the market," said Commerce Minister GM Quader after handing over a machine to the market committee.
The initiative comes at a time when rampant food adulteration is raising concerns about its deadly impact on health.
Unscrupulous traders spray fish, fruits and vegetables with formalin and other chemicals that are normally used for preservation of tissues and also in textile and leather industries.
Speaking on the occasion, FBCCI President AK Azad called for identifying the food adulterators.
"Those who contaminate food with formalin should be tried in special courts and be given exemplary punishment," said FBCCI Director Helal Uddin. "There are 30 big kitchen markets in the capital now. We want to announce all of them formalin-free within the next two months."
The commerce minister said the government tightened the rules for importing formalin. "In most cases, formalin-tainted fish is not imported. The chemical is rather applied to fish after they are imported."
He said the government earlier found that traders applied formalin to fish imported form Myanmar. "We have taken steps to a make law to punish those who use formalin in food items."
Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed, chairman of Standard Bank, said traders in the market would see increased turnout of buyers if fish and vegetables were chemical-free.