THIS is the height of nightmare for policymakers, health practitioners and consumers. An entire sub-sector specializing in turning tannery waste into fake, but cheap alternative to regular poultry feed enters the supply chain. Only now are we beginning to fathom the dire effects of inordinately high levels of mercury turning up in chickens and eggs, two of the basic staples in our diet. The fact is that authorities have their hands full with formalin, carbide and other industrial-grade chemicals being used in abundance by suppliers in an effort to preserve foodstuffs. And although the government has recently enacted a food safety law, its implementation remains to be seen.
While all this is going on, consumers are left largely to their own devices to find “safe” food for themselves and their families. Going by a detailed study made public by Dhaka University's chemical department on June 28, we are appalled to learn that “the excess amount of chromium can be transported from poultry feed to the human body through the chicken leading to carcinogenic effects on human beings like cancer, ulcer, liver cirrhosis and kidney damages, etc.”
Little wonder, that the formal poultry feed sector is up in arms demanding immediate government intervention to stamp out the illicit business specializing in the manufacture of fake feed that is affecting not only chicken, but egg production in the country. It is high time authorities take decisive steps to bring this criminal syndicate to book in the interests of protecting public health and the poultry industry at large.