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The dark side of the nutrition security


Published : Saturday, 18 May, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 142
Tarequl Islam Munna

Tarequl Islam Munna

Tarequl Islam Munna

Bangladesh has been playing a significant role for nutrition security to survive human life, agro-ecosystem and economy by livestock and dairy sector. The use of antibiotics in livestock and dairy production is favourable to farmers and the economy as well because it has generally improved livestock and dairy performance effectively and economically but at the same time, consumer rights have been deprive using by antibiotics transmission to humans via the food chain leading to serious threat of health hazards as well as killing our present and future generating.

Bangladeshi farmers are not so much literate that they can think about the residual effect of antibiotics which have been developed due to continuous use of these antimicrobial drugs.  Inappropriate uses of antimicrobials in livestock is also developing AMR bacteria which can be transferred through human contact with animals, Prof Ahmed Abu Saleh, chairman of DMIsaid, "The biggest problem is that some 19 kinds of antibiotics are massively used in poultry and fisheries."

Antimicrobial resistant superbugs could be responsible for up to 80per cent of deaths in intensive care units (ICUs) in Bangladesh, a senior doctor has warned. Prof Sayedur Rahman, chairman of Pharmacology Department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), told the Telegraph that approximately 900 patients were admitted to the unit in 2018. Of them, 400 died, he added.

Poultry Sector: The sector contributes between 1.5 and 1.6 per cent to the national GDP. It is the second largest industry after readymade garments, according to the Centre for Policy Dialogue. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates 10 lakh entrepreneurs and 80 lakh people are involved in Bangladesh's poultry sector and commercially produce 10.22 billion eggs and 1.46 million tonnes of poultry meat annually. But according to the Department of Livestock, Bangladesh is already producing 15.52 billion eggs against the current annual demand for 17.13 billion.

USDA report published last month, Bangladesh's poultry sector is moving towards exporting eggs and meat by 2024. It said the gap between domestic demand and supply of egg and meat is closing with a growth rate of 15 per cent a year.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) report, 'Poultry Industry in Bangladesh', an investment of Tk55,000-Tk60,000 crore is needed to achieve the 2021 production goals. So far, the sector has attracted investment of about Tk30,000 crore.

The study titled "Value Addition and Standardization of Nutritional Level in Selected Food items from Animal and Poultry Origin" was conducted jointly by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Patuakhali Science and Technology University.

A study conducted by BARC and Patuakhali Science and Technology University found numerous types of antibiotics in almost 50 per cent of poultry feed samples of 14 brands gathered from four districts. The samples, tested at a certified lab in India, were found to have levels of antibiotics exponentially exceeding those acceptable to human health. For example, the permissible levels of Chlortetracycline and Oxytetracycline in poultry feed are 0.2 to 1.6 parts per million (ppm) respectively. But the study found the level of Chlortetracycline to be 5,066.85ppm in one sample while that of Oxytetracycline 3860.59ppm in another. That's 25,334 times the permissible level. The numbers are jaw-dropping and extremely worrying.

Collected from Dhamrai of Dhaka, Barisal, Manikganj and Dinajpur, the samples were examined last month at SGS Chennai, an accredited lab in India. The study found antibiotics including Lincomycin, Chlortetracycline, Oxytetracycline, Epichlortetracycline and Epioxytetracycline above the levels acceptable for human health. ABM Faroque, former dean of Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Dhaka, said all these antibiotics are popularly known as gross spectrum antibiotic--used for a number of diseases, and they are a serious public health threat. "These antibiotics create antibiotic resistant microorganisms in poultry. If such chickens are consumed, the microorganisms will enter the human body and multiply. The antibiotics will not work anymore."

 "The presence of antibiotics in the poultry feed poses risks to public health because it creates antibiotic resistance in human bodies, said" Monirul Islam, director of Nutrition Unit of BARC. If chickens are sold in the market less than seven days after being fed antibiotics, they would not be safe for human consumption, he added.Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, said, "It is very unfortunate and alarming. If antibiotics are found in the poultry feed, it will create antibiotic resistance in human body through food chain. We are working to contain the use of antibiotic."

Dr Abdul Jabber Sikder, acting director general of the Department of Livestock, said, "The use of antibiotics in poultry feed is banned. If anyone uses it, we will take stern action." He added, "Still there is a lack of awareness among people in the field level, so we have to motivate them."

Recently, the government set up the 'Nutrition Security and Vision-2021'. One of its objectives is to promote and ensure poultry items as safe food with cheaper prices for everyone. Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) President, Moshiur Rahman, citing their data, said the sector would need to produce two million tons of chicken and 15 billion eggs annually by 2021.

Tarequl Islam Munna, Correspondent, American International News Service, Columnist and Conservator, Wildlife and environment. He can be reached at: munna_tareq@yahoo.com

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