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BFSA chief exempted from contempt of court charge

  • Published at 04:18 pm June 16th, 2019

He charged after not complying with the court's order to recall and remove 52 substandard products from the market

Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) Chairman Mahfuzul Haque has been exempted from the charge of contempt of court.

The court forgave him after he offered an unconditional apology before the High Court for not complying with its orders.

The High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik Al-Jalil passed the exemption order on Sunday. 

On May 12, the court asked Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (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.

Following that, on May 23, the court rebuked the BFSA chairman, summoned him, and issued the contempt of court charge as he did not comply with court's order from May 12.

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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.

A BSTI report was published by several print and online media, prompting Conscious Consumer Society (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.