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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Will mere formalin import ban suffice?

Mete out exemplary punishment to adulterators

It is heartening to learn that the commerce ministry has slapped restrictions on the unregulated import of formalin -- a substance designed for preserving biological specimen in laboratories which also has industrial applications. Sadly, this chemical has become the choice ingredient for unscrupulous traders to preserve foodstuffs in a bid to keep them fresh in wholesale and kitchen markets in the city. Now we are told that importers will have to obtain ministerial permission before importing the chemical.

FBCCI, the apex body of all chambers of commerce in the country has been busy in overseeing that the substance finds no place in some of the larger markets in the city including Shantinagar and now Mohakhali. While the introduction of modern detection machines in these markets is undoubtedly a good move, we are perplexed as to why there is no serious move to introduce legislation to nip in the bud the wholesale practice of adulteration. Again, the offer to hold 'dialogue' with stakeholders will surely grab a lot of headlines, but unfortunately, fall short of attaining its intended objective, i.e. act as a serious deterrent to errant traders.

The horrible side effects of ingesting food treated with formalin are now quite clear to the affected general populace of Dhaka city. The fact that it breaks down blood cells causing a lack of blood in the body and is source to a great many ailments in the human anatomy should be cause enough for the authorities to take decisive action in this regard. Yet, we find ourselves in a situation that smacks of a rotten deal when our public representatives shy away from doing what the public elected them to do -- work for public interest and benefit. Needless to say, food is big business in any city with a population of 1.5crore. But business must also be responsible in nature and not unbridled laissez faire. The citizens of Dhaka are entitled to consuming unadulterated food. Time has surely arrived to introduce laws that will send out a clear message to adulterators that there are serious consequences for playing with peoples' health.

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FBCCI failed to perform its basic duties by not making sure that those who were behind the two (2) biggest stock market debacle were punished, those who are behind the biggest bank-loan scams, MLM scams, by not making sure that Manpower exporters did not cheats those poor people from every corners of the land and of latest the private hajj agents cheating hajjis through their fraudulent business activities, etc. BAIRA, BMET, BOESL, HAAB, they are all institutional members of FBCCI...list can go for so long. Some of the wealthiest people in Bangladesh earned their fortune from the manpower trade which later turned into other wealth accumulating activities through many other legitimate & illegitimate business activities. Huge amount of wealth are into the hands of some of the powerful members in our societies who are owners of multiple banking institutions. Political power has significantly rolled into their hands too, 60 to 70% MPs in our parliaments are FBCCI members in one way or another and they are a powerful bunch virtually in every branch of economic activities who are the powerful lobbyist group or syndicate whatever you may call it. If FBCCI were serious enough and meant business ethics…I am sure scenarios would be very much different. Unfortunately luck is not on people's side ever.

: OpeeMonir

That simply means more corruption at the ministerial level and it will be also absurd to think that FBCCI can be entrusted with this gruesome responsibility. What has gone wrong with the country is that those who are at the top suppose to do all these policies making are simply failing to do their task. This is a pathetic situation and the country is greatly in danger. Only solution is to educate mass people on the issue, NGOs should come into picture, schools & colleges should make the students aware of the grave situation and finally all of us from all different religious background...let's make it part of our prayers every night that the nation is relieved of from this horrifying episode.

: Sheikh Monirul Islam, Opee


  • Concerned
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 02:04 AM GMT+06:00 (170 weeks ago)

    Banning import of chemical formalin is indeed NOT ENOUGH. But why so late in giving thought to it? Formalin is in use for at least three years! Unbelievable! The nation is held hostage by some BAD businessmen and has suffered immeasurably for 3 years. Govt. has never been sincere in banning or controlling its use.

    Yet, even the Editorial is SO LATE. But it is now to be seen when, how and how much formalin is banned or controlled.





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