The High Court today directed the government to conduct laboratory test of formalin detector machine ‘Formaldehyde Meter Z-300’ to find out its capacity and accurateness for detecting formalin in food items.
The government has been asked to test the machine at Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI), Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) and National Food Safety Laboratory and submit the reports before the court in four week.
In response to a writ petition, the court issued a rule upon the government to explain in four weeks why its action to use the machine to detect formalin in fruits and vegetables should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Md Habibul Gani came up with the order and rules following the writ petition filed by two fruits traders recently.
In the petition, the traders – Sirajul Islam and Swadhon Chandra Das -- said the machine is faulty and it is not fit for testing formalin in food items.
The machine shows presence of formalin in all the fruits when it is used to detect the harmful chemical in food items.
And therefore, the law enforcers had damaged all fruits during the anti-formalin drive in the capital, which created an adverse impact on the economy.
The petitioners said that the US company named Environmental Sensors Com, which produce the machine, said Formaldehyde Meter Z-300 is not fit for detecting formalin.
The machine is used for examining the purity of air, the company said.
In reply to a query, the US company has informed the matter through e-mail, petitioners’ counsel Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.
This statement of Environmental Sensors Com has been annexed to the writ petition, he added.