News on Adulterated Milk

Govt yet to accord sanction for prosecution
Sunday, 01/06/2014


http://www.kashmirtimes.com/newsdet.aspx?q=32951 &NewsID=416707

SRINAGAR, June 1: After its toned milk was found adulterated lost year, pro biotic curd being manufactured by Khyber Agro industries has been found containing detergent

Official analysis report dated May 2, 2014 accessed by Kashmir Times reveal that Central Food Laboratory (CFL) Kolkata has found sample of Khyber pro biotic Dahi containing detergents.

The analysis report, a copy of which is in possession of Kashmir Times, opines: “The sample (Khyber Pro-Active Probiotic Dahi-pasteurized toned milk) does not conform to the standard laid down under regulation number 2.1-2.1.4 (1) of Food Safety and Standards regulations, 2011 as it shows presence of Detergent in it.”

In this analysis report, the experts have said that the sample of Khyber Dahi also contravenes regulation 2.3.1 (5) and 2.2.2 (3) of Food Safety and Standard (packaging and labeling) regulation 2011 for violating manner of label declaration and general requirements. “Hence the sample is unsafe and misbranded as per section 3 (1) (zz) (iii) (zf) (A) (i) respectively of FSS Act 2006,” reads the analysis report of CFL Kolkata bearing number G.14-6/DO/2014-205 dated May 2, 2014.

The sample was lifted and sent for analysis to CFL Kolkata by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation in March this year. The sample was analyzed by Dr A K Adhikari on April 2, 2014 and the analysis was completed on April 30 this year.

Reliable sources revealed to Kashmir Times that a total of 84 samples of milk both toned and curd were lifted by the SMC and five out of 84 were found adulterated. These five adulterated samples of milk included Khyber toned and the curd being sold in the market with the brand name of Khyber toned milk and Khyber Active Probiotic Dahi.

The authorities in SMC have already issued show-cause notice to the Khyber Agro Industries but are still awaiting sanction for prosecution from the government. In December 2013 the authorities had cautioned general public from using Khyber Toned Milk as according to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner Food Safety Kashmir Division, CFL Kolkata had reported that the Khyber toned milk was substandard and unsafe for consumption. According to CFL report the Khyber toned milk was found contained detergent.

Deputy Commissioner Food Safety Kashmir Division in a press statement had said that according to report number DO/FSSA/070/279-281 dated 16-11-2013 from designated officer District Budgam regarding the subject ‘analysis report of CFL Kolkata Tonned Milk (Khyber Milk), bearing lot number MD E S.P 17 manufacturing date July 2013 with net content one litre was declared substandard, misbranded and unsafe by CFL Kolkota vide their analytical report reference number G.14-6/DO/2013 (pt.1)-725 dated 25-11-2013.

Both the commissioner and deputy commissioner food control department were not available for their comments.

In December 2013 last week the High Court had directed the owners of the companies--Khyber Milk, Kanwal Spices and Avon agro industries private limited to deposit Rs 10 Crores each before the office of director Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) who in turn has been asked to file a report about diseases caused by the consumption of adulterated milk and spices by the next date of hearing.

The deputy commissioner food safety Kashmir had submitted documents which according to the court had suggested that Khyber Milk, Kanwal and Avon Spices contain detergents and colouring agents which can prove fatal for the consumers.

The documents submitted by the deputy commissioner Food Safety Kashmir were based on report given by CFL Kolkata which had confirmed presence of detergent in Khyber milk and tartarzine and carmoisine-colouring agents in turmeric and saunf powder manufactured by Kanwal and Avon companies.

Director SKIMS Dr Showkat Zargar was further directed to submit his report on the nature of diseases that can be caused by consumption of coloring matter and detergent after analyzing the reports of central food laboratory Kolkata.

On April 8, 2014 the High Court observed that the presence of detergent in milk samples collected on its direction from the market reveals that milk is being manufactured with constituents highly harmful for human consumption.

The High Court also rejected the “grievance” projected by the milk producing companies in Kashmir regarding use of expression “synthetic milk” by the court in its earlier order.

“Synthetic milk,” the High Court observed, “as per available scientific research is prepared by mixing urea, caustic soda, refined oil and common detergents. The detergents are used to dissolve oil in water giving frothy solution characters of white colour of milk. Refined oil is used as substitute for milk fat. Caustic soda is used to blend milk and to neutralise acidity preventing it from turning sour during its transport from the place it is manufactured to the consumers.”

The Court added: “Urea and sugar are added to maintain Solid Non Fat (SNF) ratio. Synthetic milk looks like natural milk except taste and nutritional qualities. The cost of manufacturing one litre of synthetic milk is approximately Rs 5 per litre and it after blending with natural milk is sold at Rs 25 to Rs 30.00 per litre.”

It further observed: “The synthetic milk may cause cancer as it has carcinogenic properties. It may cause cancer and other serious ailments of vital organs of a human being…Presence of detergents in a milk sample, are strong indicators of milk having been manufactured with the afore-stated constituents and by the said process.”

“As the sample lifted from M/s Khyber Agro Milk Farms, on analysis, has been found to contain detergents, there is a strong suspicion that toned milk, from which the sample was taken, was synthetic milk or synthetic milk was added to it to increase its volume and earn more profit that the company would have made, had no synthetic milk been added to it. The grievances, therefore, is without any basis.”

The court further rejects the argument advanced by counsel for the respondents that “presence of detergents may be due to washing of processing machines with detergents” saying the argument prima facie sounds preposterous and far from convincing.

The court also did not find merit in the stand taken by M/s Khyber Agro Milk Farms which pleaded that it imports buffalo milk from outside, mixes it with the cow milk procured locally, makes it homogeneous in its milk plant to maintain ratio of fat and Solid Non-Fat (SNF) components.

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