Govt silent on FSSAI report on milk quality
The State government and the department responsible for maintaining food safety standards in Nagaland, it appears, have chosen to keep mum on a recent Food Safety and Standards of Authority of India (FSSAI) survey report on milk quality in Nagaland. According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) report released on August 28 last, Nagaland stood fourth among states not conforming to Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 with regard to milk produced and sold here. The information, the PIB release stated, was provided by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Rajya Sabha. Local dailies had also carried the PIB report subsequently.
“In the National Survey conducted by the FSSAI to ascertain the quality of milk throughout the country, 68.4% samples were found to be non-conforming to Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011,” the PIB release stated. Nagaland stood fourth (at 86 percent) in the state-wise details of non-conforming samples in the descending order of percentage with respect to the total samples collected in different states and union territories. The report did not specify what kinds of adulterants were found in the samples which deemed the samples as not conforming to safety standards.
“Random samples of food items including milk are drawn by the State Food Safety Officers and sent to the designated food testing laboratories for analysis,” it added. Surprisingly, food safety officials were unaware of milk samples from Nagaland making it to the non-conforming list. Sources stated there was no recent activity of the state food safety authority collecting milk samples for quality checks and also there was no confirmed report of samples being sent to the FSSAI as part of the national milk quality survey. Neither the Commissioner & Secretary nor the principal director of Health and Family Welfare could be reached for ascertaining the credibility of the information.
The food safety wing of the department of Health and Family Welfare is vested with the responsibility of maintaining food safety standards in Nagaland with the Commissioner & Secretary designated as the overall incharge for food safety.