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Thursday, January 8, 2009
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HC lifts ban on five milk powder brands

The High Court (HC) yesterday withdrew its ban on sale and display of powdered milk of five brands as laboratory tests found them safe.

The brands are Dano, Red Cow, Diploma, Nido and Anlene.

The HC bench of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Quamrul Islam Siddiqui came up with the ruling on the basis of test reports from a German and three local laboratories.

The court directed the government to have powdered milk of the other brands too tested, and report back within six weeks.

The HC ban on eight leading brands followed a writ petition filed by lawyers of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).

Manzil Murshid, counsel for the petitioners, yesterday told The Daily Star that the ban on selling and displaying the milk powder of the three other brands--Yashili-1, Yashili-2 and Sweet Baby-2--will remain in force.

On November 17 last year, the Supreme Court directed the health ministry to send samples of powdered milk of all brands available on the market to a European laboratory through World Health Organisation and submit reports to the HC.

So far, milk powder from only five brands--Dano, Red Cow, Diploma, Nido and Anlene-- have been tested.

According to the test reports, these brands contain melamine below 0.1 parts per million (ppm), which is not harmful to child health.

The three local laboratories that carried out tests on milk powder of the eight brands are Dhaka University (DU) chemistry department, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).

DU chemistry department detected melamine in all eight brands, BAEC in seven and BSTI in only one.

The brands that will have to be tested as per HC orders are My Boy Elodrin-1, Sweet Baby-1, Nestle al 110, Kwality, DANO Instant, Diplomilk, Fresh, My Boy Elodrin-2, Nestle Lactogen-2, Baby Care-3, Mother's Smile, Mami Lac-1, Anchor, Framland, Mother's Smile (Prima), DANO vitakids, Lactogen-1, NAN-1, Baby Care-1, Lailac-1, Fabimilk-1, Primavita-1, NIDO-24, NAN-2, Biomil-1, Prolene, Star Ship and Marks, said sources.

Amir-ul Islam, Rokanuddin Mahmud, Mahmudul Islam and Tania Amir stood for the powder milk companies and Deputy Attorney General Razik-Al Jalil for the state.

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