Traders in the capital yesterday announced DCC-North kitchen market at Gulshan-2 formalin and carbide-free in efforts to promote the market where people can buy unadulterated fish, fruits and vegetables.
It is the fourth kitchen market to be so announced in the capital after Malibagh, Shantinagar and Mohakhali markets.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) organised a programme at the market to make the announcement.
Commerce Minister GM Quader inaugurated the formalin-free market by handing over a sophisticated formalin detector machine to the market committee.
"This market is now formalin free. In case of any doubt, buyers themselves can do the test in the market," Quader said while addressing the programme.
DCC-North kitchen market traders association in cooperation with Gulshan Society will monitor the initiative at the kitchen market.
The apex trade body trained two staffs of the Gulshan Society to operate the Tk 1.35 lakh formalin detector donated by Exim Bank Ltd.
Abul Kashem, president of the market committee, said "We will no longer allow traders to sell fish, fruits and vegetables in the market without checking them with the machine."
The move 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 upon the traders to refrain from selling adulterated fish and vegetables only for short-term gain.
Helal Uddin, a director of the apex trade body, said FBCCI had a plan to declare Dhaka a formalin-free city within the next couple of months.
"We have around 30 big kitchen markets in the city. We will supply similar machines to those markets with the help of banks and other private organisations," said Helal, the key initiator of the formalin-free ideal market project.
The commerce minister said the government has recently imposed a restriction on wholesale import of formalin to prevent misuse of toxic chemicals in foodstuff and fish.
Quader said the country has necessary rules, regulations and laws to ensure punishment of formalin suppliers for using formalin in foodstuff and fish.
He stressed the need for building awareness against the misuse of formalin.
The minister said the government would soon launch special drives at the four kitchen markets that had been declared formalin free to check the misuse of toxic chemicals.