News on Adulterated Milk

Chemicals in milk a health hazard
Wednesday, 23/07/2014


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-263416-Chemicals-in-milk-a-health-hazard

LAHORE: A Majority of citizens unknowingly is consuming highly unhygienic and chemical-mixed milk, which is seriously affecting their health, The News learnt. 

The mafia behind unhygienic and chemical-mixed milk is so strong that they don’t feel any fear or hesitation in threatening officials of Punjab Food Authority (PFA) responsible for ensuring safe and healthy milk to the consumers. 

A few days ago a PFA team stopped a milk van and found dangerous chemical contamination in the milk after a lab test. After this, the PFA officials confiscated the van near Kahna. The PFA officials said they had found formalin, a dangerous chemical, in the milk. They said when the officials tried to take the vehicle to their office, the milkmen threatened them of dire consequences. They said they called the police to control the situation. Later, a case was registered against the milkmen. 

According to official statistics, daily consumption of milk in Lahore in summer season is around 1.8 million-litre and major portion of the demand is fulfilled by loose milk. 

Nutrition experts and senior PFA officials said chemicals like formalin, urea, caustic soda, used refined oil, cheap cooking oil and used detergents are mixed in the milk to increase its shelve life and to remove the traces of adulteration. 

They further claimed that sewerage water as well as untreated tap water is also mixed in the milk to increase its quantity. They said detergents are added to emulsify and dissolve the oil in water, giving frothy solution, a characteristic white colour of milk. 

Refined oil is used as a substitute for milk fat. Caustic soda is mixed in the milk to neutralise the effect of increased acidity, thereby preventing it from turning sour during transport. Urea/sugar is added for levelling the contents of solid-not-fat (SNF) as are present in the natural milk. 

Dr Mansoor, a senior general practitioner, said natural milk is an emulsion of fat in a watery solution of sugar and mineral salts and proteins in colloidal suspensions. Chief constituents of natural (buffalo) milk are generally Water 84.00pc fat 7.00 pc protein 4.30pc carbohydrates 4.70pc. The protein, carbohydrates or salts of milk are termed milk solids-not-fat or solids-not-fat. Dry matter is commonly designated as total solids. 

He said mafia of certain milk traders have started mixing different chemicals and water in the milk to increase the quantity and the practice has now become common. He said as far the physical appearance is concerned the taste of milk after adulteration totally changes. The adulterated milk also losses its nutritive values and becomes a health hazard and harmful for human health. 

A senior PFA official claimed that there is a mafia who is involved in preparing milk using different chemicals in and around the city. This kind of milk, worldwide, is known as Chemical Milk or Synthetic Milk. He said use of chemical or synthetic milk has been found to have cancerous effect on human beings. 

“Urea and caustic soda are very harmful to human heart, liver and kidneys,” said Dr Mansoor, adding presence of urea overburdens the kidneys as they overwork to remove urea contents from the body while caustic soda, which contains sodium, acts as a slow poison for those suffering from hypertension and heart ailments. 

He further said caustic soda also deprives the body from utilising lysine, an essential amino acid in milk, which is required by growing babies. Such artificial milk is harmful for all, but is more dangerous for pregnant women, foetus and persons who are already having heart and kidneys problems. 

The milkmen and farmers are also using oxytocin injections, a human female hormone, on buffaloes and cows to get more milk, said Dr Nusrat, a family physician from Wapda Town. He said people, especially children, run risk of developing female characteristics in the body like breasts, shrill voice and loss of hair on the face after taking such milk. These injections are easily available and the use of this injection should be banned, he demanded. 

Spokesperson of PFA admitted that hazardous chemicals are being found in milk and intake of these chemicals can cause various dangerous diseases and the spurious and adulterated milk is particularly harmful for infants and children and can be life threatening. 

Answering a question about checking of adulterated milk, she said PFA has already initiated a campaign against adulterated milk and during Ramazan some 50 vehicles containing more than 16,000-litre adulterated milk were confiscated. 

She said checking of milk vans being carried out daily at Saggiyan Bridge, Kahna and Qainchi at Ferozpur Road, GT Road, Gulberg, Naseerabad, Samanabad, Thokar and Multan Road. She said the department would soon lunch the campaign in other big cities.

 

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