Around 68.7 per cent of milk and milk products sold in the country is not as per the standards laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a member of the Animal Welfare Board said Wednesday.
Mohan Singh Ahluwalia, member, Animal Welfare Board of India said the most common adulterants are detergent, caustic soda, glucose, white paint and refined oil.
“The state of adulteration in milk and milk products in the country is such that 68.7 per cent of milk and milk products sold is not as per the standards laid down by the FSSAI,” he said.
Quoting a report by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Ahluwalia said 89.2 per cent of such products are adulterated in one form or the other.
He said the production of milk in the country up to March 31, 2018 has been registered at 14.68 crore litres per day against the consumption of 480 grams per capita per day.
The member was chairing a meeting of heads of different departments in Ludhiana.
He added that adulteration in milk is more prevalent in northern states as compared to the southern states.
Mr Ahluwalia said the National Survey on Milk Adulteration had conducted a survey some years back and found that due to lack of hygiene and sanitation in handling and packaging, detergents used in washing containers and other surfaces find their way into milk and milk products.
“However, detergent and other contaminants like urea, starch, glucose and formalin are also used to deliberately adulterate milk as they provide thickness and preserve the milk for longer periods,” he said.
The Animal Welfare Board member said the adulterants in milk are hazardous and can cause irreversible damage to human organs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently issued an advisory to the Government of India stating that if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 per cent of citizens would be suffering from serious diseases like cancer by the year 2025.
Mr Ahluwalia warned that with excessive use of pesticides, even wheat is getting poisonous in north India, which is a “dangerous trend”.
He urged the heads of all agencies involved in checking adulteration of food products to intensify the sampling process.
“With a view to equipping the Food Safety and Standards Act with more teeth, a committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely. The committee will investigate the ground realities of the issue and submit feedback,” the member said while chairing another meeting at Nawanshahr.