BCSIR report finds formalin detection kit unfit to test fruits

formalin-wb (860 x 430)DHAKA : The impugned formalin detection kit, ‘Formaldehyde Meter Z-300’, is not a proper one to detect the chemical in fruits and foodstuffs, according to a report of Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), reports UNB.
Submitted to the High Court on Tuesday. The report was submitted in compliance with a High Court order issued on July 21 this year directing the government to examine
‘Formaldehyde Meter Z-300′ to find out its precision, and submit areport within four weeks. The High Court bench of Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice  Habibul Gani issued the order responding to a writ petition filed byBangladesh Fresh Food Importers’ Association president Sadhan Chandra
Das and its secretary Sirajul Islam in the form of public interest litigation (PIL). Advocate Manzill Murshed, who moved the PIL before the HC on behalf of the petitioners, said he received a copy of the report signed by BCSIR acting secretary M Harun.
The report, quoting the manufacturers of Formaldehyde Meter Z-300, mentioned that the device is actually meant to detect formalin presence in air, said the lawyer. The manufacturer also did not provide any ‘application note’ for detection of formaldehyde in foodstuffs, the report added.
BCSIR staff collected fruit samples from the market and used the impugned device to detect formaldehyde in different temperatures.
They found out that the device gave faulty reading about the presence of formalin in fruits when the fruits are kept in warm temperature. The reading of the device is variable to different temperatures and humidity.
Although the impugned Formaldehyde Meter Z-300 has been used by the administration to detect toxic formalin in food items across the country, the media, the business community and other quarters concerned have raised questions the accuracy of the machine’s reading.