The BSTI has been asked to conduct testing at Institute of Public Health, ICDDRB, Feed and Food Safety Laboratory and BCSIR
The High Court on Sunday directed the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to test pasteurized milk produced by all of the 14 registered companies in the market, and submit the lab reports separately on July 23.
The court asked the BSTI to perform the tests at the Institute of Public Health (IPH), International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research Bangladesh (icddr,b), Feed and Food Safety Laboratory under Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, and the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR).
The High Court bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed in May, last year, by Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Tanveer Ahmed.
As per the court order, BSTI will randomly collect samples of pasteurized milk marketed by the companies from the market in presence of representatives from the four laboratories.
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The lab will test total bacterial count, coliform, staphylococcus-sp, acidity, formalin, detergent, and antibiotic from the milk samples.
The petitioner's lawyer, Barrister Anik R Haque informed that the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has been made respondent for this writ.
The apex court also directed BSTI to submit, within seven days, its action plan for upgrading its laboratory to be able to test for detergent, and antibiotics in pasteurized milk.
Barrister Sarkar MR Hassan represented BSTI, and argued on its behalf at the hearing.
Earlier in the day, the High Court wanted to know what steps BSTI had taken following the two reports prepared by Dhaka University researchers.
In the report, a group of researchers led by Professor ABM Faroque, former director of the Biomedical Research Centre, claimed that antibiotics, detergent, coliform bacteria, and other forms of hazardous material were found in pasteurized milk products being sold in the market.
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 centre had published its first report on pasteurized milk on June 25.
On May 17, last year, several media outlets published articles based on the report "75% of pasteurized milk is not safe," published by iccdr,b, which was later brought to the High Court's attention. Then, the court ordered for a writ to be filed on the issue.