Submit test report within a week
HC asks BSTI for testing milks in 4 labs
Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) on Sunday directed the Bangladesh Standards Testing Institute (BSTI) to test the pasteurized milk produced by all the 14 companies registered with the institution at four laboratories within next seven days.
The laboratories are the Institute of Public Health (IPH), ICDDRB, Feed and Food Safety Laboratory under the Institute of Bangladesh Livestock and Research Institute (BLRI) and Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
The laboratories will test the milk to determine whether there is health hazardous substance like total bacterial count, coliform, staphylococcus, acidity, formalin, detergent and antibiotic in the pasteurized milk. BSTI will collect the sample of pasteurized milk of the companies from the market in presence of representatives from the four laboratories, the High Court said in the order.
The court also directed the BSTI to submit the action plan about developing its standard to detect detergent and antibiotics in the pasteurized milk in this court within July 23.
The High Court bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order during hearing of a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Tanveer Ahmed in May last year.
The HC bench fixed July 23 for passing further order on this issue.
Barrister Aneek R Haque appeared for the writ petitioner, while Barrister Sarker M R Hasan argued for the BSTI.
Earlier in the morning yesterday, the HC bench wanted to know what steps BSTI had taken following two test reports on milk prepared by Dhaka University researchers.
In the report, a group of researchers led by Professor A B M Faroque, immediate past Director of the Biomedical Research Centre, claimed that antibiotics, detergent, coliform bacteria and other forms of hazardous materials were found in pasteurized milk products.
In a press release on July 13, the Biomedical Research Centre claimed that they found the presence of antibiotics in dairy products in its fresh research.
The BSTI has been asked to inform the High Court how much time it would take to develop its laboratory and parameters to detect antibiotics in the milk.
During the hearing, petitioner's lawyer Barrister Aneek R Haque placed report on DU test reports on milk.
Dhaka University researchers have tested milk twice since last month and found antibiotics in it.
On June 25, DU's Pharmacy Faculty and Biomedical Research Centre said that they detected detergent and three types of antibiotics in packaged milk.
DU researchers announced that they had found traces of detergent and antibiotics in samples of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk of Pran, Milk Vita, Igloo, Aarong and Farm Fresh.
The same day, the BSTI, the country's lone quality control authority for food, submitted a report to the High Court, claiming it did not find anything harmful in the milk samples it examined.
Following the release of the research findings, an Additional Secretary of the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry, Kazi Wasi Uddin, on July 9 threatened legal action against the researchers who claimed to have found antibiotics in pasteurized milk of different brands.
Then, the researchers have once again tested the milk and found antibiotics used for humans--- Oxytetracycline, Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin--- in all of the 10 samples of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk they tested.
Prof A B M Faroque unveiled the findings on Saturday saying three of the samples contained all the four antibiotics while six had three. There were two antibiotics in one sample.