News on Adulterated Milk

Chennai : Nestle, Reliance milk powder has chemicals, claims TN Minister

Wednesday, 28/06/2017

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/nestle-reliance-milk-powder-has-chemicals-claims-tn-minister/article19158893.ece

CHENNAI : ‘Decision on banning product will be taken after consulting CM, Health Secy.’

Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Minister K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji on Tuesday alleged that the milk powder supplied by Nestle and Reliance in the State contained chemicals like caustic soda and bleaching powder that were “silent killers”.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Bhalaji claimed that adulterated milk supplied by private companies in Tamil Nadu could cause several diseases, including cancer.

On Tuesday, he said such adulterated products could cause problems in the kidney, liver and heart, besides leading to ulcers and diabetes.

After the private companies condemned him for his earlier statement as he could not provide any proof, the Minister convened a press conference on Tuesday to allege that Nestle and Reliance were supplying milk powder containing chemicals.

Asked if both brands would be banned in the State, Mr. Bhalaji said he would consult the Chief Minister and Health Secretary, and efforts would be taken to ban the products.

“When we tested samples at the Aavin laboratory in Madhavaram, no one believed us. We sent the samples to the Pune lab, which refused to test our samples but leaked information to the media. Therefore, we have indirectly tested the samples in a Central government-certified lab in Chennai,” the Minister said.

He then released copies of the test report from Chennai Mettex Lab, Guindy, on the ‘dairy whitener’ of Nestle and Reliance.

‘Facing threats’

Asked whether more such adulterated products were being distributed, Mr. Balaji said the results of a few more samples were yet to come, and whenever he had information about adulterated products, he would share the details. “As there are legal loopholes, the companies could pay fines and get away with it. I’m informing the media to create awareness and to warn people,” he said.

“Not all private milk producers are into adulteration. Anyone could sell milk but no one can be allowed to indulge in adulteration and go scot free as this affects everyone. Children and senior citizens suffer the most,” the Minister said.

Mr. Bhalaji said he had been ridiculed by his own partymen and had received threats over phone in the past month.

However, he would not be cowed down but would continue to expose the guilty, however big they may be. “I’m not afraid of losing my Cabinet post,” he said. The Prime Minister would also be informed about the milk adulteration in Tamil Nadu, he said.

Aavin, the largest supplier in the State, had increased its sale from the time he started talking of adulterated milk.

Of the 1.92 crore litres of milk supplied in the State, private companies supplied 40 lakh litres only, and Aavin, whose milk had been certified pure, would be able to cater to the demand in future, he assured reporters.

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