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Many people in the country are dying from diseases including heart attacks and cancers caused by unplanned and unhealthy eating habits, while a lot of food is wasted due to poor management, experts said.

Law enforcement as well as public awareness are needed to get rid of these problems, but government alone cannot do this without the participation of the people, experts said at a panel discussion on health and food waste management to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 3 (SDG-3) on Saturday.

Gen Lab and the H&H Foundation co-hosted the roundtable at the National Press Club.

On the show, Barrister Shameem Haider Patwari, MP for Gaibandha-1 Constituency, said, “The amount of cadmium and lead in the air of Dhaka city is sufficient to declare a state of emergency at any time.

“In the past, much emphasis was placed on communicable diseases, but now 60% of deaths in the Indian subcontinent are caused by non-communicable diseases, including heart attacks and cancer.”

Noting that the general public has to bear 70% of the cost of healthcare, he said, “Drugs worth Tk 2,500 crore were sold in Bangladesh last year to treat gastric diseases. We also need to be more aware of trans fats.

“Every year, about 5-6 lakh people in the country suffer from blindness caused by diabetes. These people did not know about the disease, but it is possible to diagnose this disease by spending Tk 50 per person,” he said. he adds.

On food management, former Electoral Commissioner and retired Brigadier General M Sakhawat Hossain said Ratan Tata, an Indian industrialist, was fined 70 euros for ruining a restaurant in Germany. They said that no one has the right to waste food, because many people suffer from the scarcity of it.

“A lot of food is wasted in Bangladesh every year, while it is the least wasted in India, but we often laugh at their habit of buying food. In our country, there is no authority to manage waste, except individual management. Understood correctly, such a management system will withstand a huge amount of food,” he said.

Md Rejaul Karim, a member of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, said: “We have already formulated the ‘trans fat policy’. We hope to start working with oil producers and users from 2023. “.

He also said that the authority is drafting very strict advertising regulations and expressed his hope to implement them by June this year.

“There are no rules and regulations for food businesses in our country. We want to regulate all food businesses. We cannot ensure food safety just by condemning restaurants,” he added.

Gen Lab Executive Director, Ratul Dev, moderated the discussion program during which public health expert, Dr. Anupam Hossain, Head of Food and Beverage Productions, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, Jahida Begum, Member from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Salauddin Yusuf delivered speeches.