LAHORE: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court banned import and sale of genetically engineered hormone injections-recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) used to enhance milk production in buffaloes and cows.
The bench ordered authorities concerned to seize the stock immediately.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar passed the orders while hearing a suo motu notice taken against substandard milk, at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.
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As the proceedings started, Advocate Salman Akram Raja assisting the bench submitted that those injections were not only harmful to human health but also for buffaloes and cows. He submitted that it also affected farmers financially as they lost their cattle early due to the effects of these injections.
He submitted that these injections were being imported by two companies, including the ICI and the Ghazi Brothers.
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He said after a detailed study, those injections were banned in 2015 but the companies got stay orders from the Sindh High Court (SHC) and these were still being imported and sold all over the country. At this stage, the record of the SHC cases was also submitted before the bench. However, ICI and Ghazi brothers' counsel submitted that the injection was approved by FDA and WHO and it did not cause any harm to human health.
They sought time to place some material on record in this regard. After hearing detailed arguments, the bench banned the injections across the country while vacating SHC stay order. The bench also directed companies counsel to file a reply.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2018.