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Bangladesh: Cabinet Endorses Safe Food Bill with Tougher Punishment
Source: unbconnect.com
Source Date: Monday, July 01, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Bangladesh
Created: Jul 02, 2013

The Cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of‘the Pure (Safe) Food Bill  2013′ with the provision of highest 14 years of imprisonment or a fine of Tk 20 lakh or both for the adulterators to ensure safe food for people. The draft law says the adulterators will get 7 years’ imprisonment or be fined Tk 10 lakh or both for the first time offence while 14 years’ jail or be fined Tk 20 lakh or both for the second time offence. The draft law got the government nod at the regular weekly Cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. However, earlier, Cabinet Secretary M Musharref Hossain at a press briefing after the cabinet meeting had told the reporters that the draft law was approved with the provision of death penalty for the offenders. But Food Minister Abdur Razzaque while talking to the reporters at his Secretariat office said the draft law got the cabinet nod with the provision of highest 14 years of imprisonment or a fine of Tk 20 lakh or both for the offenders. When the reporters talked to the Cabinet Secretary again for clarification he said the cabinet actually approved the draft law increasing punishment for the adulterators but not with provision of death penalty. The draft law has proposed controlling the use of various toxic chemicals in food items. Under the proposed law, a new authority will be formed, titled ‘Safe Food Authority‘, with adequate administrative and technical capability to ensure the quality of food during production, packaging and distribution.   The bill proposes punitive measures against the offenders through mobile courts for minor offences while harsher measures through regular criminal courts for major offences. The government has planned to enact the harsher law as the selling of chemical-treated food items, including fruits and vegetables, has taken an alarming turn across the country.
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