It’s official that almost every second glass of milk is adulterated in Punjab.
It is not just water which is being added to the milk, but you are consuming highly toxic substances like urea and formalin that were found present in the milk samples collected and examined by Punjab’s Food and Drug Administration.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, this year, a total of 1,353 milk samples were collected till October 31, out of which around 495 were found adulterated. It means 36.5 per cent samples were found adulterated.
The situation was not very good even last year when 37 per cent samples were found adulterated.
Adulteration is being noticed in milk for the past several years. It was anywhere around 25 per cent.
When it comes to nature of the adulteration, it was found that milk was not only adulterated with water but highly toxic substances like urea and formalin too. Besides, other common adulterants were foreign fat, starch, soap, carbonate, bycarbonate, maltodextrin and table sugar.
According to the state’s Food and Drug Administration, the adulteration was found in both loose and packed milk.
The situation is not much different when it comes to milk products such as butter, ghee and ice cream. Forty per cent adulteration has been found in them as well. Out of the total 982 samples, 384 were found adulterated.
Food and Drug Administration officials attribute the rise in adulteration percentage to increased surveillance and enforcement of food safety standards by the Food Safety Cell.
“Under the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011, we work on specific leads and collect samples,” said Husan Lal, Secretary, Health, Punjab, who is also state’s Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. He said the number of samples had doubled in the past two years.
Earlier, the National Survey on Milk Adulteration, 2011, which was conducted nationwide to ascertain the quality of milk and identify different types of adulteration, had found that 81 per cent of milk samples in Punjab were either substandard or adulterated.