On behalf of GIZ, Consumers International (CI) conducted a study ‘Food Safety Control Measures in Developing Asian Countries’ (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Bangladesh) with its objectives are to take stock of the existing food safety control measures in place in the studied countries and examine possibilities for strengthening the role of consumer organisations (COs) in monitoring and carrying out market surveillance. Although the study mainly focuses on the ASEAN region, Bangladesh is included in this study because of the presence of COs which are already working with agencies to address food safety concerns – a movement which is absent in the other three surveyed countries.
Key findings of the study indicate that consumers in all four countries are mainly concerned about: high use of agricultural chemicals; limited number of food inspectors; lack of properly equipped infrastructure and trained personnel to test and identify food safety risks; and poor hygiene practices among consumers, producers and food handlers.
The report is structured as follows: Firstly, a general overview of the necessity for a credible food safety system in the ASEAN region is provided. Secondly, the report examines the food safety concerns of consumers in each of the selected countries. Thirdly, the study gauges Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar’s readiness for the ASEAN food safety harmonization process. The report also analyses Bangladesh’s experience with food safety control measures and COs. Best practices from Malaysia and Thailand are then discussed as possible ways to strengthen and enhance activities in the four surveyed countries. Lastly, recommendations are offered and conclusions drawn. This report is supplemented with individual country reports for the countries surveyed (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Bangladesh).