Commentary: More effort needed to ensure food safety for dieters

When consumed, Abamectin can cause dilated pupils, vomiting, tremors, seizures, partial ptosis, confusion and coma.

separatelyanother pesticide Carbofuran – which can result in weakness, sweating, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and respiratory paralysis or death – will be banned in Malaysia from May 1.


“The authorities should conduct regular tests on food items in the market for pesticide levels and publicize the results so that consumers can avoid the food items that were found to contain pesticides,” said the association’s president Mohideen Abdul Kader in a statement.

Meanwhile, consumers are advised to demand better food production practices. As Hatijah rightly pointed out, “Malaysians deserve safe food”.

The family of the deceased elderly couple as well as some netizens have urged the authorities to step up enforcement to prevent people from buying pufferfish. While more enforcement may be helpful in minimizing poisoning cases, it may be a challenge in areas where people have traditionally consumed it without much issue.

But when it comes to food items such as vegetables and rice which are more widely consumed, the authorities have a clear responsibility to step up monitoring before it becomes a wider public health issue.

Loh Foon Fong is a senior freelance health journalist based in Malaysia.

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