The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the ban on 11 more pasteurised milk brands, clearing bar to production and sales of pasteurised milk by all 14 companies.
On July 28, the High Court had slapped the ban for five weeks on 14 companies, including the state-run Milk Vita, following a research that claimed to have found antibiotics, detergent and various forms of harmful substances in pasteurised milk of these companies.
On July 29, Milk Vita was exempted from the ban for eight weeks. Just a day after, the Appellate Division’s chamber judge cleared the way for Pran Dairy Ltd and Akij Food and Beverage Ltd.
The chamber judge stayed the ban on the remaining 11 companies on Wednesday.
Milk Vita of the state-run Bangladesh Milk Producers’ Co-Operative Union Limited, Pran of Pran Dairy Limited, Aarong of BRAC Dairy and Food Project, Farm Fresh of Akij Food and Beverage Limited, Igloo of Igloo Dairy Limited, Aftab Milk & Milk Product Limited, Milk Fresh of Uttar Banga Dairy, Dairy Fresh of Baro Awlia Dairy Milk & Foods Limited, MOO of American Dairy Limited, Ayran of Danish Dairy Limited, Pura of Ichamoti Dairy and Food Products, Ultra of Shelaidah Dairy, Safe of Tania Dairy and Food Products, and Arwa of Purbo Bangla Dairy Food Industries.
What test reports said
According to the two separate test reports published by Dhaka University Professor ABM Faroque, various types of antibiotics, detergent as well as other forms of unsafe materials were found in the test samples of pasteurised milk.
On July 14, 2019, an HC bench asked the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) to get the packaged milk of all the 14 registered companies tested at four separate laboratories 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 bacterial count, coliform, staphylococcus-sp, acidity, formalin, detergent, and antibiotics in the milk samples. Afterwards, the HC asked the BSTI to inform the court of what follow-up steps it had taken in response to the two DU test reports on packaged milk.
The BSTI was also asked how much time it would need to develop the laboratory and parameters to detect antibiotics in milk.