HC orders chemical tests for Pran spices

Business Desk :
The High Court has ordered chemical testing of all kinds of spices marketed by Pran Agro Ltd to find out whether there are any ingredients in the products which are harmful to human health.
The Bench has asked the Chairman and the chief of the Chemical Testing Wing of Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) to conduct the tests.
The court ordered BCSIR to collect the samples of chilli, ginger, cumin, coriander and garlic of the company from different shops within 48 hours for the laboratory test and come up with a report in four weeks.
It also issued a rule upon the government to explain in two weeks as to why its inactiveness to take necessary steps to collect the samples of the five kinds of Pran spices and send those to laboratory for test to be sure whether these products have any elements that are injuries to the human health should not be declared illegal.
Besides, the rule also wanted to know as to why the government should not be directed to examine the products of other companies in laboratory to find out whether there is any harmful element in those.
The health and food secretaries, the Inspector General of Police, the director general of Rapid Action Battalion, the BSTI DG, the BCSIR chairman and the BSTI director have been made respondents to the rule.
The HC bench comprising Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice M Habibul Goni came up with the order and the rule following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB). Advocate Manzil Morshed filed the petition on behalf of HRPB.
The organisation filed the writ petition in December last year after reports were published in different national dailies on the existence of lead in Pran’s coriander.