Over 68 pc of milk in country not safe

Over 68 pc of milk in country not safe

Centre makes submission before Supreme Court

Over 68 pc of milk in country not safe

Over 68 per cent of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Centre admitted before the Supreme Court while replying to a plea for curbing sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and other dairy products.

The Centre, in its affidavit, referred to a survey conducted by the FSSAI, which had found that over 68 per cent of the adulterated milk was found in urban areas, 66 per cent of which was not packed but sold in loose.

According to the FSSAI's 2011 survey, the most common adulterated milk had water glucose and skimmed milk powder. It also found that in some samples, detergent was mixed.

The affidavit was submitted in response to the notice issued on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a group of citizens, led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, seeking a check on the sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.

Notice issued

Notices had also been issued to Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi governments on a PIL alleging that synthetic and adulterated milk and milk products are prepared using urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda and white paint which, according to studies, are “very hazardous” to human life and can cause serious diseases including cancer.

The affidavit said that over 83 per cent of the milk that does not conform to standards is sold in rural areas. The FSSAI had analysed 1,791 samples of milk randomly collected from 33 states and Union territories to identify the common adulterant in milk, both loose and packaged.

Samples collected

It had gathered samples from rural and urban areas and after analysing them at five different public sector laboratories, it had found that 68.4 per cent of the samples were non-conforming (adulterated) to its standards.

“Of the 1,791 samples, only 565 (31.5 per cent) samples were found to be conforming to the FSSAI standards whereas 1,226 (68.4 per cent) samples were found to be non-conforming.

If further said that 381 (31 per cent) of the samples not conforming to standards were collected in rural areas and of which 64 (16.7 per cent) were packed samples while 317 samples was the milk sold in loose (83.2 per cent). In urban areas, the total number of non-conforming samples was 845 (68.9 per cent) of which 282 (33 per cent) were packed and 563 (66.6 per cent) were loose samples,” the Centre said.

The PIL said that the alarming situation and imminent danger to public health requires immediate action on the part of the Central government and the state governments to ensure supply of healthy, hygienic and natural milk to the people.