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22 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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HC orders testing of milk, curd, fodder

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
HC orders testing of milk, curd, fodder

After expressing dissatisfaction over the activities of the Bangladesh Standards Testing Institute (BSTI) and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), the High Court (HC) yesterday (Tuesday) directed them to submit a report by June 23 after conducting lab tests of raw cow milk, curd and fodder samples picked up from the market.

An HC bench, comprising Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justic KM Hafizul Alam, passed the order while hearing a suo motu rule issued by it on February 11. On May 15, the HC had directed both BSTI and BFSA to submit a report detailing the names and particulars of companies and persons responsible for adulteration of raw milk, curd and fodder, and the steps taken against them by June 23.

Prof. Shahnila Ferdousi, head of the National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL), yesterday appeared before the HC, along with a study report in line with its previous directive.

The study was conducted after randomly collecting 96 samples of raw cow milk, 30 of cow feed, 33 of curd and 31 samples of packed milk from 18 places in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj, between August and December last year.

In 93 samples of liquid milk out of the 96 collected from the market, the presence of substances harmful for the human body had been detected, the report said.

According to the report, 18 out of 31 powdered fluid milk samples contained harmful substances. The NFSL, in its report, said it found the presence of excessive levels of lead and pesticides in raw cow milk, regular consumption of which could pose threats to human health.

The study also found a high level of chromium in fodder and excessive presence of pesticides, antibiotics and bacteria in raw cow milk. Appearing before the HC bench, Prof. Shahnila Ferdousi said the test report, prepared by her organisation, was accurate as they adhered to international testing standards and published the report after the results were published by some international organisations.

She also said that the NFSL tested the samples of food in order to build awareness among people. She also described the system of testing food and publishing the report.

The HC bench asked Prof. Shahnila Ferdousi to submit her statement on oath and through an affidavit before the HC bench within a month.

The HC bench expressed dissatisfaction as the BSTI questioned the test report submitted by the NFSL.

Pointing at barrister Sarker M Hasan Mamun, counsel for the BSTI, the HC bench said: “You (BSTI) have taken the responsibility of conducting the test of various food items and others to ensure safe food for the people. But you (BSTI) are not doing your job properly. Why are you not able to find out the real truth through tests? The harmful substances were found from the international test, but you have failed to find adulteration in food. It is not proper that you only stay in air-conditioned rooms. You (BSTI) are raising questions about the result of other organisation’s examination. Why are you not conducting tests and why are you not able to submit the test results before the HC bench even after so many days since the HC order?”

The BST lawyer sought the HC’s directive to conduct tests after collecting samples from the market.

The HC bench then directed the BSTI and BFSA to submit a report by June 23 after conducting lab tests of raw cow milk, curd and fodder collected from the market in view of the rampant food adulteration in the country.

On My 14, the same HC bench had issued a serious warning, saying that companies and individuals responsible for adulterating milk and curd, would not be spared and would be punished.

“No one will be allowed to play with people’s lives and health as safe food is a matter of fundamental right. How will the nation be build if the health of its future generation is not sound?” it had said.

The HC sought reports detailing the names and particulars of companies and persons responsible for adulterating raw cow milk, curd and fodder and steps taken against them. Advocate Faridul Islam appeared on behalf of the BFSA ang advocate Syed Mamun Mahbub appeared for the ACC, while deputy attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state during court proceedings

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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.

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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