Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) today submitted a report to the High Court saying that it has recently tested seasonal fruits and found no health hazardous chemicals in them.
In the report, the BSTI said it collected 40 samples of fruits from different areas of Dhaka on June 19 and 20 and did not find formalin or any other toxic chemicals in those.
Earlier this month, the institution had tested 265 samples of different kind of seasonal fruits from across the country and also found no such chemical, the BSTI report also said.
The BSTI placed the report to the HC through its lawyer Barrister Sarkar MR Hassan as per the court’s June 18 order.
Expressing satisfaction at the BSTI’s test report, the HC directed the authorities concerned of the government to continuously monitor the fruit markets and warehouses across the country so that toxic chemicals cannot be mixed with the fruits.
During hearing a writ petition, the court asked BSTI and Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) to submit separate monitoring reports before it in every two months.
The HC also ordered the chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the customs department to submit a report in three months to it on the progress for setting up chemical detection machines at all land and sea ports to monitor whether chemical-mixed fruits are imported in the country.
The court in a verdict in 2012 had directed the NBR chairman and the customs department to set up chemical detection machines at all land and sea ports to monitor whether chemical-mixed fruits are imported in the country, petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the order during hearing of the petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh seeking necessary orders on this issue.
On June 18, the HC refused to accept a BSTI report on their action against the use of chemicals in fruits as it did not conduct drives in fruit markets and warehouses across the country in a comprehensive manner.
Today, BSTI’s lawyer Barrister Sarkar MR Hassan told The Daily Star that the institute conducted the drives at different places across the country through mobile courts and surveillance teams.
Around 400 maunds of mangoes were destroyed at Jatrabari area in Dhaka as carbide was mixed with those and the dishonest traders were fined Tk 26 lakh, he added.
The HC on May 20 directed the government to form teams to monitor fruit markets and warehouses across the country to prevent use of harmful chemicals.