HC asks BSFA, BSTI
Submit reports on milk adulteration
The High Court (HC) on Wednesday asked Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to submit separate reports detailing the names of companies and persons responsible for the adulteration of raw cow milk, curd and fodder.
The BFSA and BSTI have been ordered to submit the reports in the court by June 23.
While hearing a Suo Moto rule, the court also asked Prof Dr Shahnila Ferdousi, the head of the National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL) at the Institute of Public Health, to appear before this court on May 21 to explain her survey report that found poisonous bacteria in cow milk, curd and cattle feed marketed in the country.
The NFSL, in the study report, said that it had found the presence of excessive levels of lead, pesticides in raw cow milk, regular consumption of which may pose threats to human health.
The study also found a high level of chromium in fodder besides excessive presence of pesticides antibiotics and bacteria in raw cow milk.
The High Court Bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice K M Hafizul Alam passed the order on the Suo Moto rule issued by this court on February 11. During the hearing, the BFSA's lawyer Barrister Faridul Alam told the court that his client could not prepare the report on the companies and the individuals responsible for adulteration of milk, curd and fodder as it requires more time.
The HC on May 8, directed the BFSA to submit the report to it on May 15.
The Anti-Corruption Commission also failed to comply with the directive to find out and take action against countrywide marketing of adulterated cow milk, curd and cattle feed saying that it could not take action unless BSTI and BFSA submitted the list of the adulterers. ACC's lawyer Syed Mamun Mahbub told the court that the commission could not take actions against those responsible as the BSTI and BFSA did not give any reports to the commission.
Deputy Attorney General A K M Aminuddin represented the state.
On February 11, the court issued the rule after Professor Shahnila Ferdousi detected presence of Salmonella, Escherichia Coli, Aflatoxin and residues of deadly pesticides like Endosulfan and chemicals like Chromium and Lead in 190 samples of cow milk, curd and cattle feed tested between August and December in 2018.
The Institute of Public Health has tested 96 samples of cow milk collected from the dairy firms, 31 samples of imported and locally produced milk, 30 feed samples and 33 curd samples.
The samples were collected from 18 places of six upazilas in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj.
Presence of Escherichia Coli bacteria was found in 96 per cent of the milk samples.
Salmonella bacteria were found in one of the samples.