Pran starts recalling turmeric powder | The Daily Star
12:44 AM, November 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:24 AM, November 04, 2013

Pran starts recalling turmeric powder

BSTI also detects high levels of lead

Pran yesterday began drives to withdraw its turmeric powder from the local markets after detection of high levels of lead by local and US laboratories.
"Representatives of Pran came at noon and took back all the turmeric powder we had in our store," said Abdul Matin, owner of Faisal Store at Karwan Bazar.
Other retailers at the kitchen market also shared the same experience.
On Saturday, the company in a statement requested retailers to return their entire stock of Pran turmeric powder to its representatives.
Khandaker Nur-e-Burhan, category manager (food) of superstore chain Agora, said Pran withdrew its stock of turmeric powder from the retail chain.
“We will withdraw our entire supply of turmeric powder from the market within seven days," said Kamruzzaman Kamal, marketing director of Pran.
Pran took the decision after The Daily Star published a report on November 2 that said the turmeric powder sold in the local markets contains high levels of lead -- between 40 parts per million (ppm) and 55 ppm -- that far exceeds the permissible limit of 2.5 ppm set by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).
Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) carried out tests and detected a presence of high levels of lead.
Last month, four stores in the US recalled Pran's turmeric powder after US Food and Drug Administration found excessive levels of lead, which could cause health problems if consumed.
Following the FDA disclosure and media reports, BSTI also collected samples of turmeric powder and other spices of several brands, including Pran, from the domestic market.
The BSTI results are yet to be made public.
When asked, BSTI Director (Certification Mark) Kamal Prashad Das said the agency has found the presence of lead in high amounts in Pran's turmeric powder.
"We are yet to get all the results. We will submit a report to authorities after we receive all the results and will seek explanations from the company," he said.
Pran said some tests confirmed the presence of excessive lead in its turmeric powder and some tests did not.
“It seems from our primary assessment that the level of lead might be higher in turmeric produced in certain areas of Bangladesh, whereas such excess levels of lead cannot be found in turmeric produced in other parts,” it said in the statement.
Pran said it would put its turmeric back in the market by detecting the sources behind lead contamination in the spice.

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