The apex court of the country on Tuesday cleared the way for two more companies - Akij Food and Beverage Ltd and Pran Dairy Ltd - to produce, distribute and sell pasteurised milk for five weeks.
Justice Md Nuruzzaman, chamber judge of the Appellate Division, stayed a High Court ban upon petitions separately filed by the companies.
The justice further directed the companies to file separate petitions with the Appellate Division challenging the HC order within five weeks.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam appeared for the companies.
Earlier on Monday, the chamber judge cleared the way for the stat-owned Milk Vita to produce, distribute and sell pasteurised milk for eight weeks.
On 28 July 2019, the HC ordered fourteen registered companies, including Milk Vita, to stop producing and selling pasteurised milk for five weeks.
The companies include Milk Vita brand of the state-run Bangladesh Milk Producers’ Co-Operative Union Limited, Pran Milk brand of Pran Dairy Limited, Aarong brand of BRAC Dairy and Food Project, Farm Fresh brand of Akij Food & Beverage Limited, Igloo brand of Igloo Dairy Limited, Aftab Milk & Milk Product Limited, Milk Fresh brand of Uttar Banga Dairy, Dairy Fresh brand of Baro Awlia Dairy Milk & Foods Limited, MOO of American Dairy Limited, Ayran brand of Danish Dairy Limited, Pura brand of Ichamoti Dairy and Food Products, Ultra brand of Shelaidah Dairy, Safe brand of Tania Dairy and Food Products and Arwa brand of Purbo Bangla Dairy Food Industries.
According to the latest test reports published by Professor ABM Faroque, the then director of Dhaka University Biomedical Research Centre, various types of antibiotics, detergent as well as other forms of unsafe materials had been found in the test samples of pasteurised milk.
On July 14, 2019, the same HC bench asked the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to get the packaged milk of all the fourteen registered companies tested at four laboratories in the city within a week.
The laboratories are Institute of Public Health; International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh; Feed and Food Safety Laboratory under Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute; and Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The labs were asked to test for the bacterial count, coliform, staphylococcus-sp, acidity, formalin, detergent, and antibiotics in the milk samples. Afterwards, the HC asked the BSTI to inform what follow-up steps it had taken in response to the two test reports on packaged milk, recently prepared by the Dhaka University researchers.
The BSTI had also been asked (by the HC) how much time they would need to develop the laboratory and parameters to detect antibiotics in milk.
The latest and second test was done on ten samples of pasteurised and non-pasteurised milk.