Misleading Ads for Food

Abul Khair Group faces lawsuit

Sohel Hossain Patwary

12 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Abul Khair Group is facing legal action for violating the food safety rules by running false and misleading advertisements and promotional activities to market its Marks Diabetic Milk products.

The company was found to be violating the rules in an investigation carried out by Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA).

A case has been filed with Dhaka North City Corporation’s Pure Food Court against Abul Khair Food Product Ltd Chairman Abul Kashem and CEO VR Sharma for violating the Food Safety (Labeling) Regulations, 2017 and the Food Safety Act, 2013.

Mohammad Kamrul Hasan, safe food inspector and prosecuting officer of DNCC, filed the lawsuit against the Marks Diabetic Milk producer.

The investigation found several points of violations of the food acts and regulations, prompting the authorities to file the lawsuit against the company.

The investigation found that Marks Diabetic Milk uses marketing jargon such as ‘Expert in Milk Nutrition’ and ‘Special Milk Nutrition Formula for Diabetes’ which the food safety authorities termed misleading, false and an ill tactic to promote the food products.

It was also found that the milk product producer uses images of ‘experts’ in its promotional materials and labels the product as ‘Certified and France Pasteur Tested’ which is also a violation of the food safety regulations.

The company promotes Marks Diabetic Milk in its Youtube channel. The promotional videos flout the rules by featuring the opinions of ‘doctors’ and ‘experts’.

The findings of the investigation specify that the producer of Marks Diabetic Milk products violates the Food Safety (Labeling) Regulations 2017’s provision 7, 8, 14 (Ka), 14 (Gha), 14 (Cha) and 18 (1) and 18 (2). The company also flouts the provision 31, 32 (Kha), 41 and 42 of Food Safety Act, 2013 which is also an offence in provision 58 of the same act.

Despite repeated pleas and public service announcements circulated by Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, many food products producers continue to flout the regulations.

Sources at BFSA said the officials of Marks Diabetic Milk Powder are trying to negotiate the issue.

When contacted, Md Khorshed Alam, manager (advertisement and creative department) of Abul Khair Group, refused to make any comment on the issue.

DNCC prosecuting Officer Kamrul Hasan informed that the hearing of the case will be held this month.