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HC seeks list of milk, curd producers in city

June 24, 2019 00:00:00

The High Court (HC) sought on Sunday a list of milk and curd producers in the city, 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 July 15 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 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 Dr Shahlina Ferdousi which pointed out that milk and curd of unlicenced 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 May 21 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 May 15, the court asked BFSA and BSTI to submit a report by June 23 containing a list of companies involved in adulteration of milk, and dairy products. The BFSA was ordered on May 8 to submit a list of companies involved in adulteration of milk and curd within May 15.

BSFA submitted a report on May 8 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 February 11, 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 February 10 citing survey findings on the presence of pesticides, antibiotic and bacteria in raw cow milk.

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