News on Adulterated Milk

Telangana govt for stringent laws to check milk adulteration

Tuesday, 09/08/2016

Hyderabad: The Telangana government will soon make adulteration of milk a non-bailable offence with a maximum punishment of life term.

The Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) has been asked to send proposals for stringent punishment for milk adulterators following the recent directions of Supreme Court to the Centre and states not to show any leniency to such persons. The state government is also considering booking of repeat offenders under the PD Act.

Telangana along with several other states, too uncovers cases of adulterated milk every now and then. A few months ago, Ghatkesar police arrested two milk vendors who were mixing a paste of urea, oil and milk powder with milk. The police seized abound 40 kg of urea, five sunflower oil packets and 18 milk powder packets which were used to make the paste for adulterating milk. A similar racket was busted by the police in Regimental Bazaar a couple of years ago where a gang involved in the business was mixing chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, water and milk powder to make milk. The police also found a banned hormone oxytocin used for enhancing productivity in cattle in the gang's possession.

The Special Operations Team (Malkajgiri), a couple of months ago caught a milk vendor in Neredmet on charges of adulteration of milk by mixing water in branded milk packets. Sources in health department said food safety officers rarely check for adulteration of milk as it is considered a 'least' priority. In the last two to three years, the department collected only a few samples but none of them yielded any results even as the police department has been successful during the same period in bringing such adulterators to book.

Adulteration of milk is generally of two types. One is substandard milk where water is mixed with milk and the other is done by mixing harmful chemicals which renders the milk unsafe for consumption. Diluting of milk with water is being treated as a normal crime where joint collectors have powers to impose fine up to Rs one lakh.

Water adulteration is okay but not chemical adulteration which must be dealt seriously at all costs. They must not be given bail at all till the proceedings and punishment is over. Time we get tough on crminalsChandra Sekhar

IPM officials said the state government can amend only Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which provides for a maximum punishment of three months for adulteration of milk. The Centre's Food Safety and Standards Authority Act prescribes (under Section 59) for a minimum jail term of seven years and maximum of life term in addition to a fine of Rs 10 lakh in cases where the adulteration results in death of persons. In cases of where it does not result in any injury, the punishment meted out is six months of imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.

When contacted, IPM in-charge director K Shivaleela said they received orders from the state government a couple of days ago asking for proposals to amend the laws.


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