News on Adulterated Milk

MP dairy owners caught adulterating milk with bleaching agent
Tuesday, 12/08/2014

Officials have discovered that milk from several dairies in Bhopal was adulterated with chemicals, Hindustan Times reported.

According the report, Food and drug administration officials recently detected hydrogen peroxide, potassium hydroxide and hypo, a bleaching agent, in the milk at some dairies.

"This is the first time when the department noticed use of these chemicals whose short term consumption can cause gastroenteritis but damage liver and kidneys if ingested for a longer period. Of these, hydrogen peroxide in particular is almost impossible to detect in laboratory tests, leading the officials to suspect the dairies could have been using these in plenty," the report says.

Recently, the government said it would amend the Food Safety and Standards Act to make adulteration of milk and food items a serious crime punishable with a harsh penalty.

Pointing to a Supreme Court observation that had sought "appropriate amendments" in the Act so that "such type of crimes could be curbed", Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had told the Rajya Sabha that his ministry would push for amendments in the light of the SC observations.

He also admitted that adulterated milk is adversely affecting the health of people.

"The 'synthetic' milk, a proven health hazard, is a mixture of washing powder used for woolens, vegetable oil, water, glucose powder and a chemical substance called RM," it says.

The apex court had said earlier: "Considering the gravity of the situation as well as in larger public interest it is highly necessary that Union of India should think of making appropriate amendments in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, so that such type if crimes could be curbed to a large extent".

The court had suggested that the crime of adulteration of milk should be made punishable with life imprisonment.


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