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Why 52 substandard food items not removed from market: HC

Dhaka, May 23 – The High Court on Thursday summoned the chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for not complying with its May 12 order to remove 52 substandard food products from the markets across the country.
The HC bench asked Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, chairman of BFSA, to appear before it on June 16 to explain why he had flouted the HC directive for removing 52 substandard food products of 43 companies from the market.
It also issued a rule asking the BFSA chief to explain in two weeks why it shall not take punitive action against him for violating the High Court directive to withdraw the substandard food items from the
The HC bench comprising Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al Jalil issued the summons and rule while hearing a writ petition seeking order to withdraw the substandard items.
During yesterday’s proceedings, the HC bench said it has been found that the BFSA is yet to remove the 52 substandard food items from the market. It only exchanged some letters. So, the chairman of BFSA
cannot go unpunished, the HC said.
Later, the HC bench fixed June 16 for passing further order on the matter.
Earlier, a surveillance team of the BSTI collected 406 samples of 27 types of popular food products in the last two months. These samples were tested in the BSTI lab. Out of these samples, the BSTI received
the results of the tests for 313 samples.
The HC bench also asked the BST to submit the test reports of other 93 products before it on June 16. BSTI collected 406 samples and received the test result of 313. Now, the HC bench sought test result of
remaining 93 samples.
Out of 313 samples, the BSTI have been found 52 samples substandard quality as they failed in the parameter tests.
The High Court on May 12 had asked BSTI, BFSA and Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to conduct joint raids and destroy the products after seizing those from the markets. The three
organizations were also asked to submit a report on the progress within 10 days.
Following the order, BFSA submitted a report yesterday through its lawyer. But the High Court expressed discontent as there was nothing in the report to indicate its action on complying with the court’s order.
“BFSA has not removed even a single packet (of food) from any shop anywhere in the country as per the court’s order. There is not a single word in this report regarding that,” the HC said.
Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan stood for the petitioner, Faridul Islam for BFSA, and Barrister M R Hasan for BSTI during the hearing on the petition.
Among the 52 food products are Teer mustard oil of City Oil Mill, GB mustard oil of Green Bleaching Vegetable Oil Industries Ltd, Pusti mustard oil of Shamnam Vegetable Oil Industries Ltd, Rupchanda mustard oil of Bangladesh Edible Oil Ltd, Sun chips of Kashem Food Products Ltd, Ara drinking water of Arra Food and Beverage Ltd, Al Safi Drinking Water, Mizan drinking water of Shahari and Brothers, Morn Dew drinking water of Morn Dew Pure Drinking Water Section, Duncan natural mineral water of Duncan Product Ltd., RR Dew drinking water of RR Dew Purifying Drinking, Dighi Drinking Water, Pran vermicelli of Pran Agro Ltd, Dudli noodles of New Zealand Dairy Products BD Ltd, Tasty, Tani, Taskia soft drink powder of Shanto Food Product, Priya soft drink powder of Jahangir Food Products, Danish turmeric powder of Danish Food Ltd., Pran turmeric powder of Pran Agro Ltd, Fresh turmeric powder of Tanvir Food Products.
Other products are ACI Pure coriander power of ACI Food Ltd., Pran curry powder of Pran Agro Ltd, Danish curry powder of Danish Food Ltd, Banalata Ghee of Banalata Food Ltd, Pure Hathazari chili powder of SS Consumer Products, Mishtimela vermicelli of Mishtimela Food Products, Madhuban vermicelli of Madhuban Bread and Biscuit Industry Private Ltd, Mithai vermicelli of Mithai Sweets and Bakery, Oil food vermicelli of Well Food and Beverage Co., ACI iodised salt of ACI Salt Ltd, Molla salt of Molla Salt Industry (unit-2), King flour of KR Food Industries Ltd, Rupsa fermented milk (curd) of Rusha Food Products, Mokka chanachur of Taiyeba Food Products, Mehedi biscuit of Imtiaz Bread and Food Products, Baghabari special ghee of Baghabari Special Ghee Co, suji of Messrs Nishita Foods, vermicelli of Messrs Madhuban and Products, turmeric power of Messrs Manjil Food and Products, Madhumati iodised salt of Madhumati Salt Industries, Sun turmeric powder of Sun Food, Greenlane honey of Greenlane Milk Products, Kiron vermicelli of Messrs Kiron Traders, Dolphin chili and turmeric powder
of Messrs Abbas Ali Mudi Dokan, Surja chili powder of Messrs Rafiq Store, Jeddah vermicelli of Messrs Jeddah Food Industries, Amrit vermicelli of Messrs Amrit Food Products, Dada super iodised salt of
Messrs New Jhalakathi Salt Mills, Tin Teer of iodised salt of Messrs Quality Salt Industries, Madina, Starship iodised salt of Messrs Lucky Salt Industries, Taaj iodised salt of Messrs Taaj Salt Industries and
Noor Special iodised salt of Messrs Noor Salt. – Staff Reporter