Prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed the authorities concerned to curb food adulteration in Bangladesh with an iron hand alongside creating awareness among businesspeople against such offences.

‘You’ll have to make unscrupulous businesspeople understand about such offences on one hand and curb that with an iron hand on the other. It’s essential to take both measures simultaneously,’ she said.

The prime minister said this while addressing a programme held at Hotel Intercontinental in the city, marking the National Food Safety Day-2021. She joined the event virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

This year, the day is being observed with the theme — Teksoi Unnyan-Somriddho Desh, Nirapod Khadyer Bangladesh. (Bangladesh: A country of sustainable prosperity and safe food).

Sheikh Hasina said unscrupulous businesspeople sell adulterated or rotten food to earn extra money harming the public health. ‘But it’s needed to make them realise that they can make the same profit by spending money on the sale of safe food.’

Mentioning that a central food testing laboratory is being set up in the country, the prime minister instructed the relevant authorities to take steps for setting up one food testing laboratory in every divisional city as well.

Sheikh Hasina said it is also essential to set up a food-testing laboratory in every divisional city as the government is developing 100 economic zones giving importance to food-processing industries.

Laboratory testing certification is essential to export agricultural products, most importantly the food items, the prime minister said adding that there will be a scope for setting up food-testing systems up to rural level.

Referring to the safe food plan being implemented in 100 food-related industries, Hasina asked the authorities concerned to execute it throughout the country gradually. ‘It’ll have to be taken up to the village level,’ she said.

Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque and fisheries and livestock minister SM Rezaul Karim also spoke at the function presided over by food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder. Food secretary Nazmanara Khanum delivered the welcome speech.

The prime minister distributed prizes among the winners of a quiz contest and essay competition arranged marking the 4th National Food Safety Day. On behalf of the prime minister, the food minister handed over the prizes to the winners.

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