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India Acts to Curb Unsafe Milk Production

12 October 2016

INDIA - With a fake milk factory busted by the food and drug administration in the Madhya Pradesh state of India, fears of unsafe milk flooding the Indian market are becoming stronger, writes Basudev Mahapatra.

Huge quantities of chemicals, detergent power and oil used to produce fake milk besides 1,200 litres of milk and 5 kg of skimmed milk were seized during the raid. The chemicals and other materials were mixed in milk and milk products to increase the quantity and add flavour, according to officials.

While milk is considered the preferred nutritional supplement in India, adulterated milk is a growing issue. Apart from chemical use, illegal application of banned drugs such as oxytocin to boost milk production has increased public health concerns.

Consumption of milk contaminated with oxytocin drug can lead to irreversible hormonal imbalance in humans. It is also considered to be a reason behind early onset of puberty in children.

“It's illegal to do so, but all dairies use the hormone," says Arpan Sharma, director of FIAPO, a non-profit working on animal rights.

With hundreds of vials of the drug seized by concerned departments in several parts of the country during the last few months, the scale of illegal use of the hormone drug to enhance milk production has become a concern of the government.

In order to curb such practice, the Kerala government recently issued warnings to dairy farmers against administering the hormone.

The Indian government banned the retail sale of the oxytocin in 2014 to curb its misuse by dairy owners and farmers. The hormone drug is now supplied to hospitals directly and is available on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner or a veterinary doctor.

However, the drug is supplied to farmers in several parts illegally under disguised names of peptides and amino acids.

In order to ensure pure and healthy milk, distribution and sale of the drug is under close observation of the drugs control departments. Violation of the law would attract strong action from the government, according to Kerala drugs controller P. Hariprashad.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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