A food court in the capital on Monday ordered the arrests of Abul Khair Milk Products Ltd chairman and chief executive officer on charge of cheating consumers through deceptive advertisements of its powdered milk brand Marks Diabetic Milk.
The court of special metropolitan magistrate Mehedi Pavel Sweet passed the order as the accused failed to appear at a hearing in the morning.
Abul Khair Milk Products chairman Abul Kashem and chief executive officer BR
Sharma face the charges of breaching four counts of safe food law.
On August 16, safe food inspector Kamrul Hasan filed the case against them.
Kamrul said that the court decided to issue the arrest warrant after the defence lawyers’ submitted that their clients were abroad.
The court also ordered police to produce the accused before it on October 23.
In the case statement, Kamrul said, the accused were using false, misleading and confusing information to promote the sales of Marks Diabetic Milk in adverts posted online, on billboards and other media.
The label of the powdered milk brand says that it is rich in nutrition required for controlling diabetes, submitted the inspector.
The company also distributed leaflets in which health experts and doctors were quoted as certifying the effectiveness of the powdered milk in preventing diabetes.
Ads providing similar information were printed on big bill boards or in videos circulated through the Youtube, said Kamrul.
‘The promotional campaigns violated the safe food law as there is no scientific evidence that this milk brand would prevent diabetes,’ said Kamrul.
Abul Khair Milk Products is a sister concern of Abul Khair Group, one of the largest business conglomerates in the country marketing a number of powdered milk brands and other food products.
The growing number of diabetic patients comprises a large customer base as companies in the country often make certain health problems a part of their promotional campaigns.
Promotional materials of Marks diabetic milk available online show that those were published targeting world diabetes day. The campaign said that Marks meets balanced diet needs of diabetic patients.
Bangladesh has an estimated seven million diabetic patients.
The company is also known for running street campaigns in which roadside tents were set up offering free diagnosis of diabetes as Marks diabetic milk was also sold from the same tents attended by people appearing to look like doctors and pathologists.
Over the last week warrants were also issued for arrests of chairmen of Glaxosmithkline and Ibn Sina Pharmaceutical on charges of publicizing products through deceptive advertisements.
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