Keep production suspended for 5 weeks, HC asks pasteurised milk companies

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Dhaka, July 28: The High Court on Sunday instructed all the pasteurised milk-producing companies, including Aarong, Milk Vita, Pran and Fresh, to refrain from producing, marketing and selling milk for five weeks.The HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued the suo-moto order with immediate effect, UNB reports.

The HC also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the selling of pasteurised milk containing antibiotic and lead for people’s consumption should not be declared illegal and unlawful, and why it would not be the violation of articles 15, 18, 31 and 32 related to ‘right to life’.

Besides, the HC wanted to know why directives should not be given to the respondents to take immediate and effective measures in resolving the current problem.

Advocate Anikar Haque, a counsel for previous writ petitioner, said the court took the reports of Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) and Institute of Public Health with importance and ordered all the 14 the milk companies, which are registered with the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), to refrain from producing, selling and marketing milk for five weeks.

On July 14, the High Court sought the test reports of pasteurised milk of all companies within a week after testing the samples of those in four different laboratories — International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Institute of Public Health, Food Safety Laboratory under the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.

A new test conducted by Prof ABM Faruque, former director of Dhaka University’s Biomedical Research Centre, found the traces of antibiotics in pasteurised products of Pran, MilK Vita, Igloo, Aarong, and Farm Fresh.

On June 25, scientists said they found the traces of detergent and antibiotics in samples of raw and pasteurised milk of Pran, MilK Vita, Igloo, Aarong and Farm Fresh.