The High Court Division on Sunday directed Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution to submit by July 15 the list of companies and individuals illegally marketing cow milk and curd in poly bags across the country.
A bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam issued the directive after BSTI in a report said that only 18 companies had the licences to market pasteurized cow milk in poly bags across the country.
The BSTI also informed the court that milk sold by these companies was safe for consumption.
But the Institute of Public Health found bacteria and lead in 96 raw cow milk samples, 31 samples of cow milk in poly bags, 30 curd samples in plastic containers and 30 fodder samples collected from the capital, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Savar, Ashulia and Keraniganj, according to the IPH test report submitted to the bench by IPH Laboratory chief Shahnila Ferdousi on May 21.
Out of the 31 companies marketing contaminated milk in poly bags, 11 companies had BSTI licenses, according to the IPH report.
The 11 companies include Milk Vita brand of state-run Bangladesh Milk Producers’ Co-Operative Union Ltd., Pran Milk brand of Pran Dairy Ltd, Aarong brand of brac dairy and food project, Farm Fresh brand of Akij Food & Beverage Ltd., Igloo brand of Igloo Dairy Ltd, Cowhead Pure Milk brand of Rafi & Brothers, Aftab Dairy Milk brand of Aftab Milk & Milk Product Ltd, Milk Fresh brand of Uttar Banga Dairy, Dairy Fresh brand of Baro Awlia Dairy Milk & Foods Ltd., Ultra Milk brand of Shilaidaha Dairy and MOO Pasteurised Milk band of American Dairy Ltd.
The 20 other companies marketing cow milk never obtained licenses, according to the BSTI.
BSTI submitted in the court that that the samples of curd marketed by Manikchand Mistanya Bhandar, Srimangal and and Ma Mistanya Bhandar on Medical Road, Jamalpur, were found to be unsafe for consumption.
BSTI submitted that it had collected and tested samples of 305 companies.
BSTI director SM Ishaq Ali and its lawyer Sarkar MR Hasan submitted that BSTI was not mandated to monitor companies operating without licences.
They said that the BSTI was authorized to monitor only 18 licensed companies.
They submitted that the Department of Agricultural Extension and Department of Livestock Services were authorized to monitor the unlicensed dairy firms.
On May 21 the court directed the BSTI to submit the list of companies and individuals that market milk and milk products within a month.
The BSTI was also directed to submit a report about what legal action it had taken against companies and individuals marketing adulterated milk and curd.
The order was issued after the BSTI questioned the authenticity of a report submitted by the National Food Safety Laboratory that found chemicals in samples of liquid and powdered milk and milk products.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country