Bangladesh enforcing tougher food safety law from February
30 January 2015, Nirapad News: Mobile courts would be empowered to judge food crimes, while Pure Food Courts would be formed to ensure safe food, said Food Minister Qamrul Islam at a press briefing at the Secretariat on Thursday. Carrying a five-year jail term and a fine of Tk 20 million for food adulteration, the Safe Food Act comes into force from Feb 1.
The Safe Food Act will replace the Pure Food Ordinance-1959. But pending work, and cases and appeals filed under the ordinance would be allowed to continue. Parliament passed the Safe Food Bill-2013 on Oct 7, 2013 and on Nov 23 last year, the High Court ordered the food ministry to implement the law within three months.
According to the previous ordinance, no one could directly file a case against an unsafe food producer, processor or seller. Now, that could be done under the new law, said Islam.
A letter had already been sent to the law ministry to form the Pure Food Courts, he said.
“The ministry has been sent a letter to include the Act in ‘Mobile Court Act-2009’ to have mobile courts under the Safe Food Act.” The minister said the committee was formulated in accordance with the Act.
He said a five-member panel, to be known as the Safe Food Authority, would coordinate the work of all bodies associated with safe food management.
It would supervise safe food management activities including food production, processing, manufacturing, marketing, monitoring, and better practices and risk analysis, said the minister.
He also said the chairman of the Safe Food Authority would head a 28-member Central Food Management Committee to be formed with high-ranking representatives from the ministries, departments, agencies, and organizations.
“The committee would coordinate all administrations and organizations directly or indirectly involved with safe food management.”