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Bangladesh: Unsafe food leaves nasty taste by Stephan Uttom and Rock Ronald Rozario June 17,2019   |  Source: UCA News

In February, Bangladesh’s High Court ordered the state-run Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) to submit test reports on a range of food items in response to a public interest writ petition. The BSTI, the regulatory body for standardization of services and products, followed the order and tested 406 samples of items including salt, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, mustard oil, bottled drinking water, butter, flour, noodles, crisps and biscuits. The initial test reports, submitted in May, showed 52 items out of 313 tested were substandard and they were from 46 leading companies in Bangladesh. The court ordered immediate removal of these items from the market and revocation of their licenses. It also asked the government to wage “a war against food adulteration” like the recent war on drugs. Then, in the second phase of testing reports published in June, the BSTI found 22 of the remaining 93 food items to be below standard and ordered parent companies to remove them or face legal action.

The revelations were shocking but not surprising in the developing South Asian country, which has struggled with food adulteration for years. “Ours is an impoverished and overpopulated country where a large number of people are illiterate and ignorant about the

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