HC orders assessment of cow fodder, milk contamination

Dhaka, Feb 11 – The High Court on Monday directed the authorities concerned to conduct a survey to determine how much cow milk, dairy products and cow fodder containing bacteria, antibiotic, lead and pesticides are supplied across the country, which is harmful to public health.
In a suo moto move, the HC bench comprising Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam came up with the order following a report published in different national dailies on adulterated milk.
Different national dailies yesterday published several reports citing a survey report on the presence of pesticides, antibiotic and bacteria in raw cow milk.
In its order, the HC bench asked the authorities concerned of the government to submit the survey report before it in 15 days.
The HC bench also issued a rule asking the government to explain within four weeks why its inaction and failure to stop the adulteration of cow milk and dairy food should not be declared illegal.
It also asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to bring the offenders under justice who were involve in contamination of the cow milk.
In the rule, the HC bench also asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to explain why it should not be directed to take action against the persons responsible for this adulteration. The ACC chairman has been asked to implement the HC order.
The HC bench said that food adulteration is a “corruption” but no appropriate action was taken against the responsible persons.
Food, agriculture, fisheries and livestock and health secretaries, cabinet secretaries, all members of Bangladesh food safety authority, members of central food safety management coordination committee, and chairman of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution have been made respondents in the rule.
The HC bench also fixed March 3 for next hearing on the matter. Some national dailies yesterday published the reports based on a government-commissioned study, revealed on Sunday, found that raw cow milk contains excessive levels of lead, regular consumption of which is harmful to human health.
The National Food Safety Laboratory of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a study detected high levels of chromium in cow feeds. It also found excessive presence of pesticide, antibiotic and bacteria in raw cow milk.
The study was conducted after collecting 96 samples of cow raw milk, 30 of cow feed, 33 of curd and 31 of packed milk — randomly from 18 places in Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj between August and December last year, according to the report.
It was aimed at providing baseline data about the contaminants in milk and milk products and cow feed in the country and raising awareness among consumers and stakeholders and suggesting appropriate remedies. – Staff Reporter