Sunday, 13 May 2012

contamination of safe food ?

Did you take your poison today?

So what type of poison is there in our food...............

There are three major sources of concern relating to food safety
in Pakistan:

1. Chemical contamination. This includes pesticides and
antibiotics that are used by farmers to help them reduce
crop losses. Some of these chemicals remain in the food
when it reaches the consumer. (including the heavy metals from synthetic fertilizers.

2. Biological contamination. This includes bacteria (e.g.
Salmonella), mould and other micro-organisms. These
things start to grow on food when it is processed under
unhygienic conditions, or it is not stored properly.

3. Illegal preservatives and additives. This includes borax,
formalin, and toxic food colouring. These are added by
wholesalers and retailers to improve the appearance of
the food.

Pesticides only affect farmers, right?

Wrong. Everybody should be concerned about pesticides.
Although farmers have more contact with these chemicals,
and suffer more problems, other people come also into
contact with pesticides. This is how:

♦ Food that is sold and eaten often contains pesticide
residues. The amounts are usually small, but if we eat
these residues every day they can make us sick.
♦ Pesticides from farms can get into the air, soil and
water, creating a risk for everybody.
♦ Factories that make pesticides, and shops that sell
them, are sometimes located close to residential
areas; this increases the possibility that these
chemicals will contaminate the environment in which
people are living.
♦ Pesticides are also used in homes, offices, schools and
factories to control cockroaches, mosquitoes, termites
and other pests

One may ask following questions:

1. Did you take your poison today?
2. So what type of poison is there in our food?
3. What are pesticides?
4. Why should we be worried?
5. Pesticides only affect farmers, right?
6. What types of pesticide are used in Pakistan?
7. Where do these chemicals come from?
8. Are those factories safe?
9. So why are farmers using these chemicals?
10. How dangerous are these chemicals to humans?
11. How does a person know if they have been poisoned?
12. Do these pesticides stay in the body?
13. Are there any long-term effects from pesticides?
14. Can these chemicals actually kill somebody?
15. How many people are poisoned by pesticides in Pakistan?
16. Under what kind of circumstances can somebody get killed?
17. Never mind the farmers, what about my food?
18. What do you mean by “acceptable level”?
19. Who is testing our food for residues?
20. What can consumers do to avoid pesticide residues?
21. Is it realistic to expect housewives to take action on this issue?
22. What does ‘organic’ mean?
23. How is ‘organic’ food different from ‘safe’ food?
24. What about all these other labels?
25. I’m confused. Are labelled foods safer than other foods?
26. If I want healthy food, can the markets provide it?
27. Are my children at risk?
28. What can I do to protect my children?
29. What can schools do to protect children from pesticides?
30. What about restaurants; are they using safe food or not?
31. Why doesn’t the Government just ban these chemicals?
32. Are any Pakistani farmers growing crops without pesticides?
33 What is Integrated Crop & Pest Management?
34. Is anybody helping organic farmers in Pakistan?
35. Are pesticides doing any harm to the environment?
36. Do we have laws to deal with this problem?
37. Who in the Government is responsible for food safety?
38. What is the Ministry of Public Health actually doing?
39. What about the Ministry of Agriculture?
40. Are the Royal Projects involved in solving this problem?
41. When will all our food be safe?
42. Where can I get more information about pesticides and food safety?

post by Hadi Laghari 

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