POST TIME: 16 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Substandard food items of different brands
BSTI cancels licences of 7
Production licences of 18 factory units suspended
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

BSTI cancels licences of 7

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) yesterday cancelled licences of seven factory units for their three products and suspended licences of 18 factory units for 9 products. Licences of the 7 factory units were cancelled for drinking water, soft drink powder and ghee.  

Licences of 18 factory units were suspended for nine products -- mustard oil, drinking water, vermicelli, turmeric power, iodised salt, curry powder, coriander powder, noodles (stick) and chips. The BSTI, in an office order signed by its director (CM) M Ishaq Ali, came up with the action for their failure to come up with replies to the show-cause notices served on them earlier.

It also asked the companies concerned to recall their products from market within 48 hours, and urged customers to refrain from buying those errant products.  The brands whose licences were cancelled are Al Safi Drinking Water of Al Safi Drinking Water (Mirpur), Narzan Drinking Water of Shahari and Brothers (East Rampura), Morn Dew Drinking Water of Morn Dew Pure Drinking Water (Mirpur), RR Dew Drinking Water of RR Dew Purifying Drinking (East Shewrapara, Kafrul), Tasty, Tani, Taskia Soft Drink Powder of Shanto Food Products (Keraniganj), Priya Soft Drink Power of Jahangir Food Products (Kamrangirchar) and Banalata Ghee of Banalata Sweets and Bakery (Mirpur).

The brands whose licenses were suspended are Teer Mustard Oil of City Oil Mill (Konapara, Gazipur), GB Mustard Oil of Green Bleaching Vegetable Oil Industries Ltd (Rupganj, Narayanganj), Pusti Mustard Oil of Shabnam Vegetable Oil Industries Ltd (Rupganj, Narayanganj), Rupchanda Mustard Oil of Bangladesh Edible Oil Ltd (Rupganj, Narayanganj), Arra Drinking Water of Arra Food and Beverage Ltd (Uttara), Duncan Natural Mineral Water of Duncan Products Ltd. (Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka), Dighi Drinking Water of Dighi Drinking Water (Topkhana Road, Dhaka), Pran Vermicelli of Pran Agro Ltd (Sopura, Rajshahi), Danish Turmeric Powder of Danish Food Ltd. (Kachpur, Narayanganj), Pran Turmeric Powder of Pran Agro Ltd. (Natore), Fresh Turmeric Powder of Tanvir Food Ltd. (Meghnaghat, Sonargaon, Narayanganj), Molla Salt of Molla Salt Industry (Unit-2, Char Sayedpur, Narayanganj),  Pran Curry Powder of Pran Agro Ltd. (Natore), Danish Curry Powder of Danish Food Ltd. (Kanchpur, Narayanganj), ACI Pure Coriander Power of ACI Food Ltd. (Sirjganj), Doodles Noodles Stick of New Zealand Dairy Products BD Ltd. (Roopganj, Narayanganj), Sun Chips (Tomato) of Kashem Food Products Ltd. (Konapara, Gazipur) and ACI Iodised Salt of ACI Salt Ltd. (Roopganj, Narayanganj).

Talking to The Independent, Reazul Haque, deputy director of the BSTI, said the licences of the seven brands have been cancelled as they didn’t conduct “any sort of communication with the BSTI.” These companies have to re-apply to get BSTI certification for those products.

About withholding licences of the 18 brands, Reazul said the companies concerned had asked the BSTI to re-examine their products from a batch other than the sample batch on which BSTI conducted its tests.

“The companies informed us that all of their products are not substandard and they have asked us to re-examine the products from different batches. That’s why we didn’t cancel their licences, rather withheld those. If further examination finds satisfactory results, their licences will be reinstated,” he said.

The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has set a four-day deadline to the companies to withdraw the products from the market. After four days, vigilance teams from the BFSA will conduct drives in the market and will take punitive measures against companies which do not withdraw their products.

The companies, as well as shop owners, yesterday had a meeting with the Industry Minister, Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, and the BSTI director general, Mohammad Muazzem Hossain, about withdrawal of 52 products from the market, which according to them “is not possible, especially during this month of Ramadan.”

Talking to The Independent, Helal Uddin, president of the Bangladesh Shop Owners’ Association (BSOA), said they have urged the industry minister and the BSTI to consider some of the criteria basing on which the products were declared substandard.

“For example, mustard oil; the BSTI has cancelled licences of mustard oil of Teer and Rupchada because they found over 0.7ml of iron in per litre of oil. The BSTI approved standard is 0.5ml per litre. But the problem is, as urea is used in the field to grow mustard, such high level of iron can’t be avoided,” he added.