Collect samples following scientific method, rights groups ask BSTI

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:27, Jul 18,2019 | Updated: 00:45, Jul 18,2019


Several green organisations hold a discussion at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Wednesday over a recent research on packed pasteurised milk. — New Age photo

Environmentalists and doctors on Wednesday demanded that the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution should follow scientific method to collect milk samples for their tests as directed by the High Court following recent outcry about contaminated milk.

They apprehended that there could be irregularities in collecting the samples and the BSTI might take the method of collecting samples from preselected spots or samples supplied by the disputed companies.

They demanded the samples should be collected randomly from the open market and follow World Health Organisation guideline of testing and that the milk samples should be sent to the court designated laboratories and WHO reference laboratories as well.

The environmentalists and doctors made the demand at a discussion on recent research findings on milk by a group of researchers of Dhaka University at Dhaka Reporters Unity on Wednesday.

Paribesh Banchao Andolan, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, Doctors for Health and Environment and several other organisations jointly organised the discussion.

The High Court on Sunday directed the BSTI to test pasteurised milk produced by all of the 14 registered companies in the market, and submit the laboratory reports separately on July 23.

The court asked the BSTI to perform the tests at the Institute of Public Health, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh or ICDDR,B, Feed and Food Safety Laboratory under Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, and the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

The court directives came following recent findings of Dhaka University researchers that antibiotics and detergent were traced in pasteurized milk marketed by different companies.

In the report, a group of researchers led by ABM Faroque, immediate past director of the Biomedical Research Centre at Dhaka University, claimed that antibiotics, detergent, coliform bacteria, and other forms of hazardous material were found in pasteurised 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 pasteurised milk on June 25.

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