The High Court today directed the Bangladesh Standards Testing Institute (BSTI) to test the pasteurised milk produced by all the 14 companies registered by the institution at four laboratories in next seven days.
The laboratories are the Institute of Public Health, ICDDRB, Feed and Food Safety Laboratory under the Institute of Bangladesh Livestock and Research and Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
The laboratories will test the milk to determine whether there is health hazardous substance like total bacterial count, coliform, staphylococcus, acidity, formalin, detergent and antibiotic in the pasteurised milk.
BSTI will collect the sample of pasteurised milk of the companies from the market in presence of representatives from the four laboratories, the High Court said in the order.
The court also directed the BSTI to submit the action plan about developing its standard to detect detergent and antibiotics in the pasteurise to this court in seven days.
The High Court bench of Justice Syed Reffat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton passed the order during hearing a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Tanveer Ahmed in May last year.
The High Court bench fixed July 23 for passing further order on this issue.
Barrister Aneek R Haque appeared for the writ petitioner while Barrister Sarker MR Hasan argued for the BSTI.
Earlier in the day, the HC wanted to know what steps BSTI has taken following two test reports on milk prepared by Dhaka University researchers.
WHAT DID THE REPORTS SAY?
Dhaka University researchers have tested milk twice since last month and found antibiotics in it.
On June 25, DU’s Pharmacy Faculty and Biomedical Research Centre said they detected detergent and three types of antibiotics in packaged milk.
On the same day, the BSTI, the country’s lone quality control authority for food, submitted a report to the High Court, claiming it did not find anything harmful in the milk samples it examined.
Then, the researchers have once again tested the milk and found antibiotics used for humans -- Oxytetracycline, Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin -- in all of the 10 samples of pasteurised and non-pasteurised milk they tested.
Prof ABM Faroque, immediate past director of Biomedical Research Centre, unveiled the findings yesterday saying three of the samples contained all the four antibiotics while six had three. There were two antibiotics in one sample.