Letter on food safety

To the Maldives Food and Drug Authority:

It has been repeatedly noticed that foodstuffs like eggs and fish sold at various shops in Hulhumale’ have been found rotten. These shop owners know that customers don’t take rotten eggs back to the shops and that they can easily make money out of the old stock they purchase from Male’ shops at very cheap prices.

Let me also share a similar information regarding cooking oil found in yellow cans (20 litres) and in bottles (2 litres) coming under OKI brand. Normally products packed in the Free Trade Zone in Singapore are labeled as a product of Singapore. But it seems import of this product has been rejected by Singapore’s Food & Drug Authority (FDA) and is exported to Somalia and Maldives where FDA surveillance is poor.

I understand from an importer of food items that many times he receives egg shipments containing numerous rotten ones but he receives no complaints from customers. This means either people are using such food without knowing the danger or taking it easy and simple.

I believe this is a critical issue because we hear doctors saying they are concerned over the very high number number of cancer, kidney and heart problems diagnosed with causes unknown.

I think it’s very irresponsible if we wait and see if these problems relate to lifestyle changes. We must make our FDA work in line with the times, and with today’s technology.

In the old days we used very fresh eggs and very fresh fish which we did not even need to refrigerate. We used eggs direct from the nests and fish we used a few minutes after catching them.

I believe this is a health hazardous issue that has to be brought to your notice so that you can discuss the issue with relevant agencies or stakeholders.

Mohamed Saeed

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12 thoughts on “Letter on food safety”

  1. If you think Male', Hulhumale or Vilingili to be places worth living, you are wrong!

    If you will remove the dust collected on your fan blade, collect them for 3 months and test them for contents, apart from the petroleum smoke, you will find industrial waste of polypropylene (which is plastic), cement, ceramic and silicon particles which all of these are injurious to health. Especially lungs!

    Try it yourself please!

  2. Mohammed Saeed.

    I am very happy to see the public bringing up serious issues to the Government like this.

    I was reading Thoreau on Civil Disobedience today (since reading about Maldivian politics lately I had started to pull out all my old text books from my uni days many years ago which had not been touched for what feels like centuries.) I read him stating that if the legislators of his USA had not had the complaints of the masses to contend with, if the mases had remained unchallenging, unquestioning and subservient to their professed 'greater wisdom, education and ability to rule' (just obey it's for your best rulership attitude) that the advances and progress of the USA would have gone backward. This, complaints from the public and how the Government responds is the essence of a progressive Government.

    I am happy to see what I perceive to be constructive and needed advice from public political opinion rather than the usual reactionary jargon I hear many Maldivians go on with which is counter-productive.

    I hope, Mohammed Saeed, that you would continue to exert pressure for this and that your ppl would support you on this so that the Government helps you in Hulumale' receive a better deal in your purchase of food and medicine.

  3. it is often heard that food and drug inspectors recieve tips to do a dishonest job. I urge such inspectors not to do so and to understand that the wellbeing of a lot of individuals are in their hands.

  4. Hulumale is a wondersful place to live. the air is fresh, and recently atleast one very good shop was opened there. they provide very fresh items and are very honest. If hulumale needs anything, its a good pre school, as all the preschools are full.

  5. hey mr Saeed have got any idea about HACCP and what is it if you know this than keep going but if you dont know just shut your mouth

  6. Dear saeed: what you said in your letter on vital health issues which are so important to us all is so true and the situation in this country is as bad as you described it. i support you for your efforts to open the dull minds, specially those in the Health sectors and bring them accountable to their grave failures. Thanks saeed. keep up!

  7. Naadu Kaloa...HACCP was born at Saeed's place, don't worry about that, he knows MUCH better than u know and that he is trying to bring the serious issue to relevant authorities and public so that they b careful about it....Naadu, why don't u request FDA to check and comment as our MWSC commented about the desalinated water that v use here...Naadu, pls try to talk sense!!! Sorry for yr poor thinking capacity...

    Naadu, a Psychologist who visited Maldives mentioned that he was surprised that he saw all Maldivians with smiling faces BUT they were not provided with medical facility, majority don't earn a dollar a day and very basic food items were so expensive compared with Asian and Asean countries...no law and order and da social fabric was torn according to some senior citizens and so on...

    So, my dear Naadu, b careful about how he would comment about your mental health...sorry Naadu, i just tried to make u understand the topic in an easy way

  8. For God's sake, please wake up my our beloved Food & Drug Authority and try to do something to change the current sad status of the Food & Drug safety in our country for the sake of the country....

    A child admitted at ADK hospital with Bronchitis was not improving even in 2 weeks and that parents took the child to KIMS Hospital in Trivandrum and was recovered in a week...Parents noticed the same injection and same doses were given at KIMS...Now the question is whether the injections imported here are genuine? Likewise, we see foreign pharmacists asking customers, do u want original or this one which price has a big DIFFERENCE.....Being we all are are human beings, the medicines we all take have to be original and genuine, isn't it??? We can wear clothes or use cosmetics depending on our income BUT not the medicines right????

    That's why some countries do not allow importing medicines that traders can sell same medicines at different prices, medicines MUST be ORIGINAL and same quality, be it a rich, a minister, an MP, the Chief Justice or a poor fisherman. FDA, please try your best to do something as soon as possible...please don't take another 30 years...please look at how the Queens of Netherlands dredge our Shallows

  9. I am surprised and feel sorry for Mr Saeed, unnecessarily worrying about things that are happening here….well, i agree with Saeed on the issue he raised but why i am surprised and feel soory for him is because we all know that shop owners be it in Male’, Hulhumale’, Villingili or elsewhere can openly sell rotten food items like old stocks from the importer go-downs and make money…Importers can import smelly cabbage packed in gunny bags though they are so smelly…bags look like mixed with cow dungs but dumped into a lorry, get out of Customs and let the cheap laborers clean them and display for sale. FDA says they are doing their job to the best of their ability….Customs feel it’s FDA’s duty to decide the required standard….we don’t see anyone from the Trade Ministry or Food and Drug Authority (FDA) monitoring shops if expired goods or goods unsuitable for human consumption being sold or displayed in the shops, even in the shops, teashops, cafe’ or restaurants, we see unskilled laborers doing everything, including cashiers job but there is no government or non-government agency that monitors and taking action…So, Mr Saeed, why are u worrying about such issues???? take it easy and breath normally

  10. STO Shahid,

    Why not STO Pharmacy at Hulhumale' is not having the medicines that STO Pharmacies in Male' has?????

    U have opened a pharmacy just because someone has asked u to open one at Hulhumale' right???? Not for the purpose of making peoples' life easier? 5 out of 6 prescriptions are taken to Male' coz 1 or 2 medicines not available...SAABAS Kaloa! A real OPPORTUNIST u r.....

  11. Dear Shahid of STO,

    Do u know a People's Choice Shop is much, much IMPORTANT in Hulhumale' because there those greedy & dirty money hungry illiterates are uplifting prices of the very basic foodstuff together as a team daily and that people are forced to go and shop in Male'.

    People were screaming but u did not listen to the people but u only listened to those who are squeezing people in the name of trading...u know people suspect that u get COMMISSION from these DIRTY money hungry guys.....U r a real OPPORTUNIST like yr bafaa doa????


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