News on Adulterated Milk

2 out of 3 Indians drink milk laced with detergent, urea and paint
Thursday, 17/03/2016

NEW DELHI: Two out of three Indians drink milk laced with detergent, caustic soda, urea and paint, Union minister for science and technology Harsh Vardhan told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, underscoring the country’s struggle with adulteration of food items by unscrupulous traders. 

Vardhan said over 68% of the milk sold did not conform to standards laid down by India’s food regulator FSSAI, quoting figures from a nationwide survey conducted by the agency in 2011. 

The statement is likely to spark an outcry in the world’s largest milk producer, where the drink is used for religious rituals and is a cheap source of protein for millions of vegetarians. 

Last year, a US government report projected an increase in fluid milk consumption by 5% to reach 62.75 million metric tonnes in India in 2016 based on population growth. 

“The adulterants added are very hazardous, and could cause serious diseases. Since milk is commonly consumed in everyday diet, the issue is of grave concern,” the minister said. 

A new scanner that can detect adulteration in milk in 40 seconds and identify the adulterant will help in testing milk for safety, he said. Until now, a separate chemical test was needed for each adulterant, which was expensive and time-consuming. 

The first-of-its-kind technology has been developed by the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute in Rajasthan’s Pilani town.


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