News on Adulterated Milk

Nearly 70% milk in market found adulterated, Centre tells SC
Monday, 22/10/2012

Ahead of the festive season, states have been asked to crack down on adulterators of milk as a countrywide survey showed that just one-third of the commodity sold in the market met safety and standards norms, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court.

The survey was conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) in 33 states and Union Territories by randomly collecting as many as 1,791 samples. An analysis of the samples showed that only 565 samples or 31.5 per cent conformed to the FSSA standards.

Of the 1,226 samples (68.4 per cent) found to be non-conforming, 381 (31 per cent) were from rural areas and 845 (69 per cent) from urban areas. Both in rural and urban areas, loose samples were mostly adulterated — 83.2 per cent and 66.6 per cent, respectively.

The study showed that addition of water to milk was the common adulterant. This not only reduced the nutritional value of milk but also posed health risks to the consumer if contaminated water had been used, FSSA Assistant Director Kamal Kumar said in an affidavit filed in the SC last week.

Several samples showed that milk powder had been used to reconstitute the milk but this information was not conveyed to the consumer. “The study also indicated traces of detergent in some cases,” FSSA said.

“However, none of the samples failed on account of neutralisers and acidity percentage,” the authority said.

The authority said that under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, milk samples could be collected by any individual and sent for testing. Based on it, the food safety officer could launch prosecution proceedings.

The authority said survey results had been sent to all states and UTs while asking them to check adulteration in milk. In view of the action being taken against the adulterators, the authority has prayed for dismissal of a PIL filed by Swami Achyutanand Tirth and others.


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