Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 19
Milk in India is largely safe for human consumption, the government told Parliament today to assuage concerns around deteriorating milk quality across the country.
In a reply to Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Shamsher Singh Dullo, who had asked the government if 60 per cent of all milk and milk products in Punjab and other states had been found unfit for human consumption, the Health Minister said only 9.9 per cent (one in 10 on average) of the samples analysed nationally this year have been found unsafe for consumption. “The National Milk Safety and Quality Survey 2018 suggests milk in India is largely safe,” the government said. The survey was initiated by the national apex food regulator in May 2018 through VIMTA Labs with a sample size of 6,000 samples for qualitative analysis and 1,800 for quantitative analysis.
“The interim report of the survey suggests that 39 per cent of milk samples were non-complaint with reference to quality parameters which include the presence of fats, solids not fats, sugar and maltodextrin (white powder made from rice and corn). But all these samples were found without any safety issues. Only 9.9 per cent samples were found to be unsafe for consumption,” the government said. The samples unfit for human consumption are ones that are found to have 13 listed adulterants, antibiotics, pesticides and chemical aflatoxin M1.
The survey collected samples from 1,100 towns of India and a uniform protocol and precise sampling plan was followed with trained manpower and well-equipped labs.
This survey was intended to identify hotspots of milk adulteration and design a framework for continuous monitoring of milk quality.
The government also shared national data with Dullo revealing that between 2017 and 2018, 4,150 milk samples of 11,998 analysed (34 pc) across India were found misbranded or adulterated.
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