Bangladesh National Budget 2019-20: ‘Most shoddy food taken off shelves’
12:00 AM, June 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:31 AM, June 14, 2019

‘Most shoddy food items taken off shelves’

BFSA all set to claim before court

Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has prepared a report claiming that it has removed most of the 52 substandard food items from the market across the country and filed 52 cases against the companies concerned as per the High Court directives.

The report will be submitted to the HC on June 16, BFSA lawyer Mohammed Faridul Islam told The Daily Star yesterday.

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“Bangladesh Food Safety Authority has worked to confiscate the 52 food items which were found to be substandard by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution after the High Court had directed to do so. Bangladesh Food Safety Authority has handed over its report to me for placing it before the High Court,” the lawyer said.

But he refused to disclose the contents of the report and the names of the confiscated products and the companies concerned.

Replying to a question, the lawyer said BFSA Chairman Mahfuzur Rahman would appear before the HC on June 16 and offer unconditional apology for not fully complying with its May 12 order.

Following a writ petition, the HC on May 12 directed the BFSA and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to immediately remove the 52 substandard food items from the market and to submit a report to the court on May 23 after complying with the order.

During a hearing on the petition on May 23, the HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil came down heavily on the BFSA for not abiding by its May 12 order to get 52 substandard food items off the shelves.

The court also rebuked the BFSA chairman, summoned him, and issued a contempt of court rule against him for not complying with its order.

It asked the chairman to appear before it on June 16 to explain as to why his office had not abided by its May 12 order. The chairman cannot go unpunished, the bench said.

Meanwhile, the BSTI handed over a report to its lawyer Sarkar MR Hassan on June 10, saying that samples of most of the 52 food items, which were previously found to be substandard, passed a retest by the quality regulator.

The lawyer yesterday told this correspondent that he would submit the BSTI’s latest report to the HC on June 16.

In May, a BSTI report, signed by engineer SM Ishaq Ali, director (CM), had said samples of the 52 products failed BSTI tests.

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