ISLAMABAD: The Utility Stores Corporation (USC) and the Ministry of Industries and Production admitted before the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday that the cooking oil and ghee being sold under the Utility Store brand was substandard.The Supreme Court has ordered to present quality-control report for all food items including cooking oil and Tetra Pak milk being sold at the Utility Stores within 10 days. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar was hearing the case against substandard food items being sold in the market.During the proceedings, Managing Director USC and Secretary Ministry of Industries informed the court that companies selling substandard cooking oil including ‘Shoail and Hafeez Ghee have been blacklisted and in future only high quality cooking oil and ghee would be sold at the USC outlets.The apex court ordered that a detailed report on the quality of products being sold at the USC be submitted in 10 days time, adding that a procedure should be formulated for gauging the quality of products being sold at the storesDuring the proceedings, the USC also admitted that no third-party auditing system is in place for checking the quality of products being sold. However, he gave an assurance that in future such a mechanism will also be introduced. Suo moto notice was taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on the sale of substandard and adulterated cooking oil at the USC outlets. The action was taken on an application of Asif Nadeem Butt, president of Anjuman Tajran, Chowk Shaheedan, Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The applicant, who sent his application through Human Rights Cell (HRC) of the Supreme Court, alleged that the USC was selling substandard cooking oil. The petitioner has supported his allegations with the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) reports which said Utility Cooking Oil did not conform to the standard prescribed in the West Pakistan Pure Food Ordinance. The court ordered to present quality-control report within 10 days about all the food items, including cooking oil and Tetra Pak milk being sold at the USC outlets.