Milk Is Indeed Adulterated, Reveals RTI!
Repeatedly, research data and raids by the food safety authorities show that there is adulteration of milk with urea, starch, detergent, caustic soda, formalin, glucose and water. However, the lack of stringent action emboldens the culprits to carry on with this adulteration at the expense of the health and lives of citizens of all ages.
 
Early this year, Pune-based activist, Satish Deshmukh, who campaigns for farmers’ issues, filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the food and drugs commissioner (FDA) after he read a news item which stated that 8,497 litres of milk from Shivkrupa milk collection centre, Kharda village, Jamkhed taluka, Ahmednagar was seized at Baramati. 
 
As Mr Deshmukh did not receive a reply from the public information officer (PIO), he filed his first appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA). After 102 days, he recently received a reply, which confirmed that the entire quantity of milk was adulterated with glucose and detergent and declared unsafe for consumption.
 
 
He says, “Milk is considered the ‘ideal food’ (purn-ann) because it is a great source of nutrients like protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. However, the mafia is playing with the lives of people. Farmers provide good quality milk, but dairy owners and workers, the milk distribution team and collection centres are involved in this nefarious activity.’’ 
 
Mr Deshmukh calls for stringent punishment and feels that the state government should have flying squads to check adulteration at places where raw milk is sold in rural areas of Maharashtra.
 
In 2018, the Advanced Milk Testing Research Laboratory, Post Graduate Institute of Veterinary Education & Research at Jaipur and University of Veterinary and Animal Science at Bikaner in Rajasthan researched to detect the presence of urea in milk. 
 
The report concluded that “in all the divisions of Rajasthan, the milk consumed by customers is urea adulterated. This shows that milk quality is not checked completely as per the standards prescribed by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). It is important to have a quality control system that regularly checks and ensures that only good quality milk is sold. And awareness campaigns and monitoring agencies of the government can alert the public for milk adulteration.”
 
In September this year, four people were arrested in Nashik from a milk collection centre that unabashedly adulterated milk.
 
As reported by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) India, 70% of the milk collected by food safety authorities did not conform to the standards. 
 
It states that the survey reveals something startling. Most Indians are consuming detergents and other contaminants through milk. Adulteration of detergents in milk causes food poisoning and gastrointestinal complications. The immediate effect of drinking adulterated milk with urea, caustic soda and formalin is gastroenteritis but the long-term effects are far more severe.
 
For information on how to test whether your milk is adulterated, visit this website - https://vikaspedia.in/health/health-campaigns/beware-of-adulteration/adulteration-in-milk-and-milk-products
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife. She is also the convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting, which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
 
Comments
star9999
3 weeks ago
one should think alternate way :- pl comment

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ragup
3 weeks ago
Several years ago, a union minister revealed to the parliament that 70% of milk in India was adulterated. I suspected that milk in polythene packs could be adulterated easily, as the packaging is being done locally. I also heard about an instance in Tamil Nadu. Aavin milk lorry en route to packing plant was getting stopped, certain volume of that milk was replaced with adulterant like water, in collusion with the driver.

After these news, we switched to tetra pack milk of a reputed brand. The belief/hope is that there are lesser chances of adulteration as the packaging is done near the source (like cooperatives). To bring down the price, we get the boxes directly from a distributor who gives a decent discount. There was a milk testing kit available on amazon which found no issues with the distributor provided tetra pack milk. We thought that is all we can do, and are hoping we don't get adulterated milk.

Reading such blatant adulteration is disturbing. There is no guarantee the milk products such as ghee, ice cream, etc are made from unadulterated milk. Sticking to good brands might help a bit, with the hope that these brands care about their brand image and stringently check the quality of the milk that goes into their products.

But with the recent news of adulterated honey from almost all the brands, we may not have much hope there either. Probably, the best way is to stop drinking milk and avoiding milk products or at least reduce the consumption. This is a hard thing to do (considering milk is a key nutritious food we take). But it is something we can consider for the poor treatment meted out to the animals for extracting their milk.
saharaaj
3 weeks ago
master mind of criminal activity sit is a/c Law chambers
ksknerul
3 weeks ago
Is there a simple lactometer that can give us Go/NoGo indication for milk quality before we boil it ? Dont want complex chemical analysis . Green and Redlight would do
dr.sikarwar
Replied to ksknerul comment 3 weeks ago
Cats are the best lactometer, my cats lick only Amul...they refuse to even sniff other milk brands
ragup
Replied to ksknerul comment 3 weeks ago
Simple lactometer is not enough as there are so many different adulterants. Chemical analysis is important. This is easy to use https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B082L5GBLX

Yet, I don't think this analysis is enough. The link provided in the article pointed out adulterants that require lab testing to detect. I am not sure where such labs could be found.
ganeshiyer88
Replied to ksknerul comment 3 weeks ago
Everything is there but nothing shall work. Even these can be manipulated by marking all products fine
sysman.computer
3 weeks ago
As milk is an essential item and consumed by almost all, especially children; any adulteration must be made a cognizable offense as deliberate attempt to murder (IPC sec 307).

But, high risk exist that it will not be done as almost all law makers are involved in this game. Out of Rs. 100 crores per day vasuli (as illustrated in Parambir/Anil Deshmukh case) , some may be contributed by this activity.
Meenal Mamdani
3 weeks ago
The authorities are lax and perhaps complicit but perhaps consumers can spread the information about the adulterated milk, which entity is the one that has this kind of milk, and whether they send their milk to a larger entity.
Consumers can stop buying this milk and hit the merchant in her/his pocketbook.
Perhaps that will reduce the adulteration of milk.
ganeshiyer88
Replied to Meenal Mamdani comment 3 weeks ago
Truth about milk production is still a suppressed subject. India and Maharashtra was the highest milk producer in the world higher than the USA. When the production ws at the zenith exces milk could not be processed for other products so the govt. decided to pump excess milk into the ocean near Worli. This was a debate in the Assembly of this criminal act. Lately the Aarey diary one oof the best organisation in the State is now almost reduced to history. If one visits the arraey diary in Goregaon, you can see the huge infrastructure with automated steel plants to manufacture processed milk like yog hurt, panneer, butter milk, ghee but the entire machinery including the cold storage is just lying shut in dust. I also noticed huge packs of Butter Oil known as ghee donated to us from Govt. of New Zealand which had also donated plants and machinery as a gift at Goregaon. The cold storage door was not fully closing at Nehru Nagar plant of mother diary and rats were running in and out with bad smell. Once such a systematic running organisation with so much staff and centres in every street is now selling ghutkas n sandwiches in their outlets. If this aarey dirt would have functioned how many workers would find job in a organised sector instead the private players who are selling and distributing milk are rulling the markets and there is no way to check and control the quality and stuff sold. This is the sad behaviour of we indians as a whole we destroy organised govt. managed institutions and have vested interests with private players. There is only one option check details of product before buying. Also the private milk vendors use excessive heavy injections like oxytocin on cows to produce more milk and these cows can hardly survive for three to four years with these chemicals injections and torture. A most criminal work of using automatic milk sucking vaccum machines are now being used in cows by pressing a electrical switch that milks vows for a period beyond existing milk causing pain and agony. The automatic milk sucking machines is a criminal act on innocent animals and should be banned. But who has time to see who suffers and how much is the pain. In India it's impossible to expect change except change oneself by change of attitude. The loose local milk are most vulnerable to adulteration.
avinash.munde
3 weeks ago
This problem will never solve due to corruption in government system....
jasvinsinghrehal
Replied to avinash.munde comment 3 weeks ago
what stops people from being honest?
ganeshiyer88
3 weeks ago
Past several months the milk carrying container in Panvel, Navi Mumbai distributing loose milk to local vendors carries a plastic can kept open on the back. The milk is measured in this plastic CAN which is left open while driving gathering all dust and mud from air to enter the CAN. I stopped buying loose milk, but hope authorities will take stringent action on these milk container vans to keep the CANs closed with lid while driving.
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