After collecting 10 random samples from pasteurised and non-pasteurised milk, Dhaka University researchers have yet again found antibiotics in milk being sold in the market. The findings were eye-opening. The second round of DU study detected four antibiotics meant for human consumption in all 10 samples. Last month it was revealed that detergent and antibiotics were detected in packaged milk. Milk is a staple in the diet of almost everyone, especially children. Antibiotics and detergent can cause cancer along with other chronic diseases. How are dairy companies getting away with this?
The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI)—the sole national quality control authority for food—also conducted tests but found no presence of such substances. According to newspaper reports, the BSTI tests milk against 9 parameters and do not have the appliance for detecting antibiotics and pesticides, whereas DU had used 19 parameters.
We are flabbergasted as to how a government organisation responsible for food safety neither has the required equipment nor the proper testing procedures. This points to severe inefficiency and disregard for public health. The government must bring the companies violating food standards to book and take action against them because enough is enough.
Mohammad Zonaed Emran, by email