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17 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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Inspect food products in bazaars at random

High Court directs BSTI
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Inspect food products in bazaars at random

The High Court (HC) yesterday ordered the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to inspect and re-examine food products at random throughout the year across the country with the help of other agencies to ensure the quality of food. It also observed that there are allegations of underhand dealings before testing and re-testing of food items.

However, the HC bench warned that miscreants would be sent to prison instead of the ACC if the court finds any proof of anyone’s involvement in any such underhand dealings.

The HC bench, com­prising Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Rajik-Al Jalil, came up with the observations.

It summoned Mahfuzul Haque for not implementing the order to confiscate or destroy the food products that failed the quality tests of the BSTI.

Haque appeared before the court yesterday and sought unconditional apology. The HC exempted him from the charge after that. It said Haque must not disobey the court anymore and will continue the drive against adulterated food. As the Food Safety Authority mentioned its limited manpower, he will take help from other ‘government agencies’ to continue the drive against adulterated food.

The HC also ordered the National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection to open a hotline in two months to provide emergency services to consumers. It also said that even before the introduction of hotline, the authorities concerned should provide consumers with 24-hour emergency services through telephone number of the directorate (01777753668), the Prime Minister’s Office (333) and the national hotline (999). All the phone numbers, including that of the National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection, should be

accessible for 24 hours, including weekends and holidays, the judges said, adding that consumers should be made aware of these facts.

On May 12, the HC had directed the authorities concerned to immediately remove from the market 52 food products which are found substandard by the BSTI. On May 23, the HC

rebuked the BFSA chairman, summoned him, and issued contempt of court rule against him for not complying with its order to get 52 sub-standard food items off the shelves.

Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan stood for the petitioner, Conscious Consumer Society (CCS), while advocate AM Amin Uddin and barrister Kamal Ul Alam stood for the BFSA chairman, barrister Faridul Alam stood for the BFSA, barrister Sarkar M.R. Hassan stood for BSTI, and barrister Kamruzzaman Kochi stood for the DNCRP. Earlier, a surveillance team of the BSTI had collected 406 samples of 27 types of popular food products from the market. These samples were tested in the BSTI lab. Out of these samples, the BSTI received the results of the tests for 313 samples, among which 52 were found to be of substandard quality. The BSTI released the test report on May 2, which was published on May 3.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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