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HC: Don't let foreign dairy companies take over domestic market

  • Published at 09:58 am July 29th, 2019

The court fixed October 20 for the next hearing regarding the matter

The High Court has ordered authorities concerned to ensure that foreign companies do not take over the domestic dairy market amid the ban on selling of pasteurized milk.

The bench of Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and KM Hafizul Alam passed the order on Monday. 

Earlier on Sunday, the High Court ordered 14 registered companies — including Milk Vita, Pran and Aarong — to stop production, distribution and selling of their pasteurized milk across Bangladesh for five weeks.

During Monday’s hearing, the court said it does not want the domestic milk producers, dairy farms and companies suffer loss because of the ban, rather, it just wants to keep people away from harmful substances in the milk produced by the 14 companies. 

Also Read- All the fuss over milk

The court also fixed October 20 for the next hearing in this regard. 

The court issued the ban as four separate lab reports on pasteurized milk of the 14 companies in the market showed presence of harmful substances for human body.

On July 23, the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) submitted reports of three laboratories — Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), and the Feed and Food Safety Laboratory of the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.

On July 14, the same bench had directed the BSTI to test pasteurized milk at the four aforementioned laboratories and submit their reports separately on July 23.

Also Read- HC suspends pasteurized milk production of 14 companies for 5 weeks

The labs were ordered to test for total bacterial count, coliform, staphylococcus-sp, acidity, formalin, detergent, and antibiotics in the milk samples.

The High Court on July 14 also wanted to know what steps the BSTI had taken following the two reports prepared by a group of Dhaka University researchers.

In those reports, the researchers led by former director of Biomedical Research Centre Prof ABM Faroque said they found antibiotics, detergent, coliform bacteria, and other hazardous matter in pasteurized milk products sold in the market.

In a press release issued on July 13, the Biomedical Research Centre said they had found antibiotics in dairy products in their latest research. The centre had published its first report on pasteurized milk on June 25.

On May 17, 2018, several media outlets published articles based on the iccdr,b report that stated 75% of pasteurized milk was not safe. The report came to the High Court's attention and the court ordered a writ to be filed on the issue.

Later, Supreme Court lawyer Tanveer Ahmed filed the writ petition.

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