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POST TIME: 23 May, 2019 10:37:12 PM
Failure to Remove substandard food
Food safety authority chief summoned
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Food safety authority chief summoned

The High Court (HC) yesterday summoned the chairman of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for not complying with its May 12 order to remove 52 substandard food products of 43 companies from markets across the country. The HC bench asked BFSA chairman Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque to appear before it on June 16 to explain why he had flouted the HC directive. 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 HC directive to withdraw the substandard food items from markets. The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al Jalil issued the summons and rule while hearing a writ petition seeking the court’s order to withdraw the substandard items. During yesterday’s proceedings, the HC bench said the BFSA is yet to remove the 52 substandard food items from markets. It only exchanged some letters. So, the BFSA chairman cannot go unpunished, it observed.

Later, the HC bench fixed June 16 for passing further order on the matter. Earlier, a surveillance team of the BSTI had 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. Out of 313 samples, the BSTI found 52 samples to be of substandard quality as they failed in the parameter tests.

The HC bench also asked the BSTI to submit the test reports of other 93 products before it on June 16. The BSTI collected 406 samples and received the test result of 313. Now, the HC bench sought test result of remaining 93 samples. On May 12, the HC had asked the BSTI, BFSA and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to conduct joint raids and destroy the products after seizing those from markets. The three organisations were also asked to submit a report on the progress within 10 days.