Ensure fortification of Vitamin 'A' in edible oil or face music
Published :Wednesday, 25 May, 2016, Time : 12:00 AM View Count : 76
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu on Tuesday warned of punitive actions against the edible oil manufacturing companies failing to ensure fortification of Vitamin 'A' in the item within 24 hours. Such fortification of Vitamin 'A' is a must to meet nutrition deficiency of the people. "If any refining companies fails to fortify right proportion of Vitamin 'A' in edible oil, we'll take harsh decision against those companies", said the Minister while addressing a workshop on 'Implementation of Regulatory Monitoring of Edible Oil Fortification in Bangladesh' at a city hotel. The workshop was jointly organized by the Industry Ministry and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Amu asked the companies to resolve the issue of fortification of Vitamin 'A' within the time frame, otherwise the ministry will cancel the license of the companies who do not comply with the instruction. The government plans implementation of more fortification projects in essential products as soon as possible to save lives, the Minister said. "We'll definitely take actions against the vested groups involved in manufacturing sub-standard products because no one can play with people's lives," Amu affirmed. The government is committed to implementing edible oil fortification project to ensure Vitamin 'A' for the people, especially for the poor and underprivileged, he said. The government has already instructed the Bangladesh Standard Testing Corporation (BSTI) to conduct mobile court operation to prevent the illegal inflow of the adulterous essential commodities in the market, said Amu, suggesting a month-long such monitoring during Ramadan. Md. Lutfor Rahman Tarafder, Project Director, Fortification of Edible Oil Project in Bangladesh, presided over the workshop. The project is funded by the Netherlands. Tarafder underscored the need for raising public awareness on Vitamin 'A' to save their life. "People, especially the poor, are suffering from multifarious diseases for not getting adequate proportion of Vitamin 'A' in their bodies," he observed. Laurent Umans, First Secretary, the Dutch Embassy in Dhaka, lauded Bangladesh government's efforts to implement human welfare projects. He also said food security and pure drinking water are two basic needs the people. "We're sincerely working with the Bangladesh government to implement the Fortification of Edible Oil Project," Umans said. Subhash Chandra Sarker, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appreciated development partners UNICEF and GAIN as well as the Industries Ministry to undertake such a development project. The Health Ministry will also provide all logistic supports to implement the project. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Senior Industries Secretary, also spoke on the occasion.