News on Adulterated Milk

India's cows producing 'toxic' milk
Friday, 31/01/2014

Cows in India are producing contaminated milk because they are allowed to eat garbage in the street, lawyers state.

India's neglected holy cows are producing toxic and contaminated milk because they eat garbage while wandering the streets unsupervised, according to lawyers for one of India's top milk-producing states.

The claim was made in India's Supreme Court where judges ordered all of India's states to impose life imprisonment sentences for those convicted of contaminating milk.

Milk has a revered place in Indian spiritual life, which is one of the reasons cows are regarded as sacred.

But despite being worshipped, many cattle owners allow their cows to wander throughout India's roads and cities where they graze on rubbish dumps and eat plastic bags and other waste products.

When they return to their dairies their milk is adulterated with paint, detergents, caustic soda, urea and shampoo, the court heard.

"Cows have started eating plastic and paper besides grass and green leaves when they are sent to graze," one lawyer said.

Justice K.S Radhakrishnan said he was so concerned about the scale of adulteration that he had not taken milk in his coffee for two years.

Lawyers for the Uttar Pradesh government, where dairies are prized for their creamy milk, revealed that in tests carried out in 2012-2013 more than a quarter of 4,500 samples were found to contain detergent, starch and artificial whitener. In more recent tests after August last year more than one third of 613 samples were contaminated.

They found the scale of contaminated increased significantly in the weeks before festivals when people give milk-based Indian sweets as gifts.

Offenders are liable to a maximum of six months imprisonment but can pay a 1,000 Rupee (£10) fine instead.

Another judge, Justice Vikramjit Singh said the law's teeth had fallen out "after drinking adulterated milk". The court said offenders should be given life sentences and state governments should improve monitoring with random checks.


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