Ethical Issues Facing the Food Industry in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh most of the foodstuffs, manufactured or processed, are unsafe for consumption or adulterated in varying degrees. This problem persists at every level of food from preparation to consumption. Food manufacturers, processors, restaurants, fast food outlets and so forth are all involved in one way or another in this corrupt practice of adulteration. Foods are adulterated by using various harmful chemicals and toxic artificial colors on the one hand; and rotten perishables turning to be poisonous foods are stored, sold and served to consumers in an unhygienic atmosphere on the other. This unsafety of food is contributing to the public health seriously with numerous chronic and non-chronic diseases.
What is food ethics ?
Professor Rob Peeler of Penn State university, he wrote in an article published in Apr 22, 2015 in the website ‘' that ‘Food ethics is an interdisciplinary field that provides ethical analysis and guidance for human conduct in the production, distribution, preparation and consumption of food'.
In response to more recent technological and social changes in food practices, many critical analyses have emerged, raising public awareness and calling attention to ethical issues with respect to food.
Eating is an ethical act

Wendell Berry wrote, "Eating is an agricultural act" ( HYPERLINK "" \l "bib3" Berry, 1990). With approximately 800 million people suffering from food insecurity, one out of every three people burdened with some form of malnutrition, and a saddled global food system, the view that "eating is also an ethical act" resonates well ( HYPERLINK "" \l "bib9" FAO, 2013). Through the act of eating, we are more than just consumers. Eating often involves moral decision-making rooted within the context of cultures, traditions and social structures that impact human nutrition and health outcomes in a globalized way
Why food is adulterated?
Food is mainly adulterated because of higher income. It is an unethical behavior. The problem of lack of ethics in food chain cannot be solved only by food law and standards because people influence food safety by their behavior, decisions, work attitude. Ethics should be the primary rule of all activates within food sector. (Sikora 2005)
Major Food Safety Concerns in Bangladesh and Their Impact on Public Health :
World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed its anxiety about the impact of food safety upon public health in Bangladesh. Unsafe food can be a significant reason of many chronic and non-chronic diseases including diarrhea, cancer, heart diseases, various kidney diseases and birth defects. In the article ‘Food safety and public health issues in Bangladesh: a regulatory' by Abu Noman Mohammad Atahar Ali, he discussed some of the unethical ways food are adulterated in Bangladesh. He also mentioned which food is mixed with what adulterate. Below is a discussion concerning food safety issues and their specific potential impact upon the public health.
* Unhygienic Practice in Food Handling
Unhygienic practices in food handling become a common phenomenon in the Bangladesh food industry. Countless restaurants, fast food outlets are cooking, baking and processing foods in extremely unhealthy environments. Unhygienic food is a significant reason of diarrheal diseases as well as malnutrition. Referring the data of International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB), WHO suggested that in Bangladesh at least 501 people visits hospital every day for diarrheal diseases that are related to food safety.
The DGHS report suggests, from 2003 to 2009 17,999,284 people were attacked by diarrhea and among them 4,674 people died,16 which signifies that in average at least 3,850 people die for diarrhea each year. NTFS report also mentioned that each year 5.7 million people become disable due to diarrheal diseases in Bangladesh.
* Use of Formalin and DDT19 in Foods
Formalin use in foods is a crucial problem in Bangladesh currently. Supermarkets openly sell fruits, fishes and vegetables that have been treated with formalin to keep them fresh. This widespread use of formalin in various foods is considered to be gravely dangerous for public health.
Scientific scholarships suggest that consumption of formalin directly through food can cause different types of cancers, especially the lung cancer. Using of DDT is a significant reason of cancer especially breast cancer, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer. DDT has also many adverse effects on various