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Don’t hurt the consumer

  • Published at 12:04 am July 31st, 2019
milk glass

The decision is affecting the livelihood of farmers

The High Court order to stop a number of registered companies from producing, distributing, and selling their pasteurized milk across Bangladesh, though well-intentioned, may be an ill-advised move.

While measures should indeed be taken to protect the consumer from harmful food products, a near-total ban on milk does a disservice to the consumer, who may desperately need the product for many reasons.

The negative ramifications of this ban are already being felt: More than 50 dairy farmers in Pabna have dumped their unsold milk unto the streets, which is nothing if not a terrible waste of resources our country cannot afford.

Indeed, the decision is affecting the livelihood of farmers, who have no other source of income, and are not the ones responsible for any harmful elements that may have been found in the finished products; some 65,000 litres of milk are produced every day, the fate of which now hangs in the balance. 

Furthermore, a ban of this nature is a slippery slope, which rather than protecting the consumer, takes away the option to choose, and opens up avenues where products can be recalled or businesses shut down without a good reason.

As milk is one of our day-to-day essentials, alternatives need to be provided, because otherwise, it is the consumer who is hurt.

To that end, it is good to see that the ban on at least three of the companies has been lifted, and it is hoped that the other milk companies will also soon be allowed to continue production of pasteurized milk.