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HC summons BFSA chairman for not recalling 52 products

  • Published at 02:22 pm May 23rd, 2019
File photo of Bangladesh Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

The court also served him a contempt of court notice

The High Court has summoned the chairman of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for failing to recall the 52 food products a recent Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) test found substandard, from the market.

On Thursday, the bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik Al Jalil ordered BFSA Chairman, Md Mahfuzul Hoque, to appear before the court on June 16, and provide an explanation for why he did not recall the products.

At the same time, the court also served the chairman a contempt of court notice.

Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan stood for the writ filed by the Conscious Consumer Society (CCS), Barrister Faridul Islam stood for BSFA, and Barrister MR Hasan stood for BSTI. 

This is not the first time the authorities concerned have been unable to recall products.

Previously, on May 12, the court asked BSTI, BFSA, and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) to take immediate action to remove the 52 products from the market and stop their production until they meet mandatory BSTI standards.

Ordering BFSA and DNCRP to submit a progress report by May 23, with implementation of the order, the court asked the three organizations to ensure food safety and proper standards for all products on the market.

On May 9, the court expressed its dissatisfaction and summoned BSTI and BFSA officials to explain why they had failed to withdraw the products, after CCS filed a petition to withdraw the products. 

BSTI's report was published by several print and online media, prompting CCS to send legal notices to secretaries of the food, industries, and commerce ministries; the DGs of BSTI and DNCRP; and the chairman of BFSA, on May 6.  

BSTI released their report on May 2. It found 52 food items to be substandard and/or adulterated, out of 406 food items in 27 categories that it tested.

The products included: Duncan Natural Drinking Water, ACI Coriander Powder, Danish Turmeric Powder, Pran Turmeric Powder, Pran Curry Powder, Madhuban Lacchii Shemai, Baghabari Special Ghee, Mollah Iodine Salt, Rupchanda Sesame Oil (Bangladesh Edible Oil), Well Food Lacchi Shemai, Madina Iodine Salt, Dada Super Iodine Salt, Sun Food Turmeric Powder, Teer Sesame Oil, Pushti Sesame Oil, Fresh Turmeric Powder, Mithai Lacchi Shemai, Mizan Drinking Water, and more.