HC asks BSTI to submit list of milk sellers in Dhaka

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

The High Court on Sunday sought a list of milk and curd sellers in the capital, reports UNB.

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) has been given two weeks to file the list of such companies operating with and without licences.

Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice KM Hafizul Alam's bench fixed 15 July as the next hearing date.

BSTI officer Nurul Islam and its lawyer Sarkar MR Hasan insisted that BSTI is not responsible for the supervision of companies operating without licences.

They said that the BSTI is only responsible for supervising 18 licensed companies and claimed that milk and curd from only these companies are sold at high-end shops.

But the court showed a report by Shahlina Ferdousi which pointed out that milk and curd of unlicensed companies are also sold at high-end shops in Gulshan.

"Your statement is not correct," the court told them.

Islam and Hasan claimed that supervising producers without licences was the task of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Department of Livestock Services.

But the court expressed dissatisfaction at the response.

The High Court on 21 May asked BSTI to make a list of companies and file a report within a month after testing milk and dairy products across the country. In the report, the BSTI was asked to include legal measures taken against companies involved in adulteration.

The order was issued when BSTI questioned the authenticity of a report provided by National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL) which found chemicals in samples of liquid and powder milk and dairy products.

Prof Ferdousi, chief of NFSL, filed the report.

On 15 May, the court asked BFSA and BSTI to submit a report by 23 June containing a list of companies involved in adulteration of milk, and dairy products. The BFSA was ordered on 8 May to submit a list of companies involved in adulteration of milk and curd within 15 May.

BSFA submitted a report on 8 May which said harmful chemical lead and antibiotics were found in 96 samples of unpacked milk collected from the market.

Besides, adulteration was evident in 18 of the 31 samples of packaged milk but the names of the milk-producing companies responsible for the adulteration were absent in the report.

On 11 February, the court directed the authorities concerned to conduct a survey to determine how much cow milk, dairy products and cow fodders containing bacteria, antibiotic, lead and pesticides are supplied across the country.

Various national dailies published reports on 10 February citing survey findings on the presence of pesticides, antibiotic and bacteria in raw cow milk.

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