Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 13:00
A workshop was organized by the Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN) and Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation (BBF) with the financial support from UNICEF at Hotel Lake Castle in 1st October, 2016 on BMS Act 2013. The workshop aimed to identify the clauses of Breast-milk Substitutes, Infant Foods, Commercially Manufactured Complementary Foods and the Accessories Thereof (Regulation of Marketing) Act, 2013 for taking action where bylaws are not in place and review of the law with regard to its strengths and challenges of enforcement and implementation to recommend effective method of implementation.
Mr. Md. Abdul Malek, Joint secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was presented as the Chief Guest of the workshop and experienced lawyers from different district and divisional level were attended the workshop. The work shop was divided into four segments e.g. welcome note and presentation of objectives, brief on BMS Act 2013 and present scenario of violation, open discussion of the lawyers in accordance to the objective and finally summarization of the workshop.
The following are the brief of the open discussion of the workshop.
- Some clauses (5, 8, 9, 10 & 11) of BMS Act 2013 need bylaws for law enforcement and implementation.
- Clause no 4 of the BMS Act 2013 can be implemented without bylaws.
- The lawyers proposed to initiate the application of the existing bylaws from the Ordinance, 1984 for different clauses (especially clause 4) of the BMS Act 2013.
- According to clause 16 and 17 of the BMS Act 2013, there are two option of enforcement to take action against the violation. The first one is taking the help of the mobile court and the second one is conventional court or traditional criminal court. But, once have selected one option another would not applicable for the same offence.
- Regarding the enforcement of the law, once any offence have been identified in the society the Director of the IPHN or any authorized person by the director could enter into the sites where the violation is taking place and search for the BMS goods and accessories. In addition, the director or the authorized person could submit a written complain to the nearest police station for seizing.
- The Director, IPHN or any authorized person by the director could give a Legal Notice to the accused person through a lawyer.
- The power of seizing, inspection and monitoring for any prohibited BMS product by the Director, IPHN and any authorized person is very effective measure for the implementation of BMS Act 2013. The section could be added by an amendment to strengthen the power of the law.
- To work with the eixting, law some vital clauses (5, 8, 9, 10 & 11) of BMS Act 2013 could be segregated for formulating bylaws on urgent basis.
- The consumers & stakeholders needs to be sensitized on BMS Act 2013 and the type of action could be taken against its violation.
- There exists some serious lacuna in the law regarding the process of registration of BMS products and action against professional conspiracy or corruption.
- The BMS Act 2013 and its different clauses have some contradiction and loopholes so the law could be approach for review.
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