Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper
HC orders to conduct survey on contaminated cow milk
The High Court (HC) on Monday directed the authorities concerned of the government to conduct a survey to determine how much raw cow milk and curd supplied across the country are mixed with lead, antibiotic and bacteria, which are harmful for human bodies.
The concerned authorities will have to submit a report in the HC within 15 days.
The court also directed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman to take necessary action against the persons who were involved in mixing lead, antibiotic and bacteria with raw cow milk and curd.
The HC Bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice K M Hafizul Alam passed the order on a Suo Moto (voluntary) move following news reports published in various dailies yesterday on adulteration of raw cow milk, curd and cow fodder.
The court issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks as to why their inaction to prevent adulteration of raw milk, curd and cow fodder should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the court also asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman to show cause as to why it should not be directed to take action against the persons responsible for this adulteration.
Food Secretary, Fisheries Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Cabinet Secretary, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, Central Safe Food Management Coordination Committee, ACC and BSTI Chairman are asked to comply with the rule within four weeks.
The court said, food adulteration is a "serious corruption" but no appropriate action was taken against the responsible persons. The court said, "People are just walking behind the money. Nobody is thinking about the country and the people of the country. If health is not good, then what will you do by the huge amount of money?"
The news reports were based on a government-commissioned study, revealed on Sunday, found that the raw cow milk contains excessive levels of lead, regular consumption of which is harmful to human health.
Conducted by the National Food Safety Laboratory of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the study also detected high levels of chromium in cow feeds. Besides, it found excessive presence of pesticide, antibiotic and bacteria in raw cow milk. "Heavy metals found in milk basically came from cattle feeds, while pesticide is present because of its excessive use in grass and other agricultural feeds," Professor Shahnila Ferdousi, Head of the National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL), told the media on Sunday.
"This happens mostly due to the lack of awareness among farmers and feed manufacturers," she said.
The study was conducted after collecting 96 samples of cow raw milk, 30 of cow feed, 33 of curd and 31 of packed milk--- randomly from 18 places in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj between August and December last year.
It was aimed at providing baseline data about the contaminants in milk and milk products and cow feed in the country and raising awareness among consumers and stakeholders and suggesting appropriate remedies.