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17 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Now food safety agency finds lead in milk of 11 brands

Ensure that cows are not given antibiotics without prescription of vets, orders HC
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Now food safety agency finds lead in milk of 11 brands

A report submitted to the High Court (HC) by the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) declared that it has detected lead in 11 brands of pasteurised milk out of 14 approved by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI). The products containing lead are: Milk Vita, Dairy Fresh, Igloo, Farm Fresh, Aftab milk, Ultra milk, Arong Dairy, Pran milk, Ayran, Pura and Safe. After receiving the report, the HC bench directed the BFSA to submit a report before it by July 28 on what action it has taken against adulteration of milk, curd and cattle feed. It also directed the government to ensure that antibiotics are not given to cattle without the prescriptions of veterinary doctors.

The HC bench, comprising Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam, came up with the order after hearing an argument placed by BSTI and BFSA lawyers while hearing on a suo moto rule issued by it earlier in this respect. The HC also issued a rule asking the registered milk- and curd-producing companies to explain why they should not be directed to contribute from their corporate social responsibility fund to conduct laboratory tests and research on their milk and curds.

Barrister Sarker MR Hassan, counsel for the BSTI, told the court that cow milk contains antibiotics if fed or pushed into the cow. The BSTI lawyer also informed the HC bench that it would submit a report to another HC bench on June 23 in this regard. The BSTI will also submit that report to this court on July 28.

After submitting the report, BFSA lawyer Barrister Faridul Islam told the court that the BFSA has detected lead in 11 brands of pasteurised milk out of 14 brands.

He also said the BFSA tested 12 samples of animal feed, 14 of pasteurised milk and 50 of raw milk. But it did

not test this sample for detergent and antibiotics.

The BFSA also found cadmium in some raw milk, and it has tested 50 raw milk samples, according to the report.

All the samples were tested in the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Plasma Plus, Wafen Research, the Atomic Energy Commission's laboratory and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in line with the HC directive, the BFSA lawyer said.

Later, the HC bench fixed July 28 for further orders on the matter. On February 10 this year, the HC bench had issued a suo moto rule over the matter following reports on adulteration published in some national dailies. According to the report, a government study has found in raw cow milk excessive levels of lead, regular consumption of which is harmful for human health. Conducted by the National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL) of the health and family welfare ministry, the study also detected high levels of chromium in cow feed. Besides, it found excessive presence of pesticides, antibiotics and bacteria in raw cow milk.

During yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) proceedings, Barrister Faridul Islam stood for BFSA, Sarkar MR Hasan represented the BSTI while deputy attorney-general AKM Aminuddin Manik represented the state.

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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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