The High Court on Wednesday asked the chief of the National Food Safety Laboratory of the Institute of Public Heath to appear before the court on May 21 to explain her study that found bacteria in cow milk, curd and cattle feed marketed in Bangladesh.
The bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam, however, extended till June 23 the deadline for the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority for the submission of the details of manufacturers marketing adulterated cow milk, curd and fodder after investigating study.
The bench also gave the Anti-Corruption Commission fresh time until June 23 to investigate the allegation that adulterated cow milk, curd and fodder were on the market and take action against the perpetrators.
The court said that it would spare none, whoever they might be, involved in adulteration of food products.
The commission sought time saying that it could not take action unless the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution and the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority submitted the list of the perpetrators.
The bench asked the laboratory chief, Shahnila Ferdousi, to appear before it as the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution argued that she should be summoned claiming that its conducted lab tests of 86 samples of cow milk and dairy products marketed by companies licensed by it but found no contamination.
The bench said that Shahnila flouted its directive issued on February 11 asking her to submit the study within 15 days.
On February 11, the bench issued the directives suo moto after seeing reports published by newspapers.
According to the reports, Shahnila detected presence of Salmonella, Escherichia Coli, Aflatoxin and residues of deadly pesticides like Endosulfan and chemicals like Chromium and Lead in 190 samples of cow milk, curd and fodder tested between August and December in 2018.
The Institute of Public Health has tested 96 samples of cow milk from the dairy firms, 31 samples of imported and locally produced milk brands, 30 fodder samples and 33 curd samples.
The samples were collected from 18 places of six upazilas in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj.
Presence of Escherichia Coli bacteria was found in 96 per cent of the milk samples.
Salmonella bacteria were found in one of the samples.
Lawyer Sarkar MR Hassan appeared for the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution and lawyer Faridul Islam stood for the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority while the commission was represented by Syed Mamun Mahbub.
Deputy attorney general AKM Amin Uddin appeared for the government.
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