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Dairy milk samples to be sent abroad for lab tests

FE Report | Published: July 23, 2019 10:11:47 | Updated: July 24, 2019 16:06:39


Representational photo — Collected

The country's dairy sector entrepreneurs and milk product manufacturers have decided to send samples of their products to internationally-reputed labs to cross-check the recent results obtained in various tests.

The decision came in a meeting organised by the National Dairy Development Forum (NDDF) in the city on Monday.

The dairy companies called the meeting of stakeholders in the backdrop of repeated findings of harmful components, including antibiotics and detergent, in pasteurised milk samples in various tests.

"Initially our first and foremost task is to get the products reexamined in reputed labs, everyone agreed on that," Deputy General Manager of the Akij Food and Beverage Ltd Mohammad Ali Amzad Khan told The Financial Express.

He participated in the meeting on behalf of Akij Food and Beverage Ltd that markets the dairy milk item Farm Fresh. 

A total of 15 members of the NDDF participated in the meeting. Mr Khan said they would send product samples to globally-recognised labs or locally-reputed labs like Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) or ICDDR,B. 

"If harmful components are found in the products again, everybody will have to collectively work on it," he said.

He said it was certain no company contaminated products with harmful ingredients. If the ingredients originated from the environment, it would be a national issue.

"We all, including the government, have to work together to find a way out, one or all companies together can't solve this problem," he said. The meeting also took a decision to disseminate all reports until now done on dairy products to the media to ensure transparency.

The NDDF was contemplating appointment of a highly-experienced national consultant to work on the issue and advise the dairy food product companies.

The NDDF is an initiative of the Oxfam International. It consists of about 20 groups of stakeholders of the dairy sector, including dairy farmers, dairy processors, dairy input suppliers, researchers, academicians, dairy practitioners and development organisations and donor agencies.

The dairy industry was recently rocked by a series of test results that found antibiotics, lead, and other harmful chemicals in pasteurised milk products. The results and concurrent news reports dented confidence of the consumers, dragging down the sales volume of different milk brands.

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