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14 May, 2019 12:40:54 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 May, 2019 11:35:37 AM

52 products still in market despite HC directive

52 products still in market despite HC directive

Even though the High Court (HC) ordered the authorities concerned on Sunday to immediately withdraw 52 food products of different brands from the market, most of those were found in the capital’s kitchen market yesterday (Monday). The companies whose products were found to be substandard by the Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI), because of which the latest HC directive was given, said they need some time to withdraw the products. Teams of the BSTI, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, who were asked by the HC to take measures, however, swung into action yesterday. Talking to The Independent, BSTI magistrate Sarwar Alam

said they have received the court order and conducted drives in Karwanbazar yesterday. “We found that some of the products were still being sold as the companies didn’t withdraw these from the market,” he added. Sarwar said one day is not good enough to remove “all the products” from the market and they understood it. “We conducted the drives to mainly let the wholesalers and retailers know that they shouldn’t sell those products anymore,” he added.

Nurun Nabi, a large retailer of Karwanbazar, told The Independent that he still has products like Madhumati iodised salt, Molla Salt, Pran Turmeric powder and Danish Curry powder in his shop. “I read in the newspaper that these products are being withdrawn from the market on High Court orders. But no one from the respective companies have contacted us yet,” he said.

Nabi, however, said a BSTI team visited his shop and asked him to remove the products. “We are just sellers. Unless the company people come and take back the products, we will incur losses,” he added.

Abu Shahid Saleh Mohammad Jubery, a director of the BFSA, told The Independent that they have already sent four separate groups of officials to different kitchen markets of the capital.

“Our teams are acting as vigilantes so that wholesalers and retailers get the message that they wouldn’t get away by selling those products,” he said.

Jubery said they would continue monitoring the market for the next few weeks. “From the BFSA, we would make sure that the HC directive is being properly followed,” he added.

Talking to The Independent, Mohammad Mofazzal Haque, director (marketing) of the TK Group which markets Pushti brand mustard oil, said they were yet to get the official order. “We will comply with the HC order once we receive it,” he said.

Kamruzzaman Kamal, director (marketing )of the PRAN-RFL Group, however, said they are confident about the quality of their products.

“Our products are getting produced as per BSTI approved standards, maintaining the highest level of care at every level of production, starting from the sourcing of raw materials to packaging of finished products. Recently, we got a letter from the BSTI where they have termed our turmeric powder, fish curry powder and Lasscha semai as substandard, since they were not meeting certain parameters of the standards as per their lab test report,” he stated.

“We checked the products once again in our own laboratory and also in a certified external laboratory where we found the products 100 per cent okay as per BSTI standards. Accordingly, we requested the BSTI with a formal letter to retest the products and give us genuine results. Hope we will get the retest report of the BSTI soon and all issues would be resolved. With regard to the direction of the High Court, we are yet to get a copy of the order. We are a compliant and law-abiding company and we will take action as per the directive of the court on getting the papers,” he added.

Well food managing director Syed Nurul Islam told The Independent yesterday that they have already begun withdrawing their product from the market, respecting the HC order.

“But we are confused as the standard of the product was approved by the BSTI just one month before, when they collected the product sample from Chittagong. The product that was identified as substandard bearing our brand may be not ours, and actually a counterfeit product. We have informed the court and the BSTI,” he added.




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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