Wednesday, 9 May 2012

88% of Milk in Uttarakhand is adulterated

Written by Anil Singh

 In response to a PIL filed by a group of citizens, led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, and represented in SC by Advocate Anurag Tomar, the Apex Court of India on Wednesday sought the response of the Centre and various state governments regarding a check on the sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia issued notices to the Centre and the state governments of Haryana, Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi on a PIL which also sought framing of a "comprehensive" policy on the production, supply and sale of healthy, hygienic and natural milk.

What was said in the PIL filed:

In the PIl filed by the group, its is being said that synthetic and adulterated milk and milk products are prepared using urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda, white paint etc which, according to studies, are "very hazardous" to human life and can cause serious diseases like cancer.

In its plea, the PIL quotes a January 2011 survey report by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) conducted in different cities in 33 States, The report reveals that out of total 1,791 random samples taken 1,226 samples were found not fit for human consumption. This means that on national level 68.4 percent of milk samples were found adulterated. In states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, 88% of milk samples were found adulterated. The said study indicated presence of adulterants like fat, 'solid not fat (SNF)', sugar, starch, urea, detergents, formalin etc in milk samples.

Calling the situation alarming and requiring immediate attention, Advocate Anurag Tomar sought framing of a "comprehensive" policy on the production, supply and sale of healthy, hygienic and natural milk.


Adulteration in Milk is indeed a worrisome scenario. And the people reaching SC should be praised for the activism (although the timing of the PIL coinciding with the Milk producers agitation can be questioned as well).

Moving ahead, it will be too difficult to comment on the extent of adulteration in milk and dairy products, as we don’t know whether the adulterants found are in trace or in significant quantities. The fact that almost all edible items today contain traces of items considered hazardous to human health (these hazardous items like urea, have come in food chain); hence the quantities of these adulterants can only tell, whether the situation is alarming or not.

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