Most milk in Hyderabad unsafe to drink: GHMC
HYDERABAD: Denizens beware as the milk you give to your child everyday before school and at night is unsafe for drinking.
A new report submitted by the GHMC commissioner to the state human rights commission following a complaint says eight brands of packaged milk were either found to be unsafe or sub-standard, after they were examined by the state-run Institute of preventive medicine.
Some of these brands belong to multi-national as well as well-known dairy companies.
The new report comes months after police busted a huge milk adulteration racket in the city in which some miscreants were caught mixing hydrogen peroxide with water and inferior quality milk powder and sell them as packaged milk.
Surprisingly in 2011, a milk survey undertaken by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) found AP to be in the ‘mostly safe’ zone compared to other states in the country.
But when contacted on Monday, FSSAI officials called for strong action against the guilty firms.
"If there are brands which have been categorized under unsafe, then it is a cause of concern," Pradip Chakraborty, director FSSAI told TOI from New Delhi. "These companies will attract sections 50 to 63 under Food Safety Act. Apart from being slapped with penalty, the managements of these companies are liable to face criminal charges," he added.
Health experts said adulterated milk adversely affects human health in numerous ways with scientists saying that adulterated milk mostly contains salmonella, e-coli and other chemicals.
"It is a clear sign that polluted water is being used in the processing of these packaged milk," said Veena Kshatrugna, leading nutritionist from the city.
"The immediate affects of consuming the adulterated milk can be frequent gastroenteritis, high fever and typhoid," she said.
Adulterated milk consumed for a prolonged period could weaken the immunity of the body, said Suhatha Stephan, another practicing nutritionist from the city.
Officials sitting on report, alleges city RTI activist
"The initial signs may be intestinal disturbances, but those consuming it regularly may fall prey to various other ailments too over a period of time," Stephan said.
The complainant, Achyuta Rao, activist and petitioner in the case said he was hopeful that strong action would be taken. "I first filed this case in January 2013 in the human rights commission after I had got some milk samples tested which proved adulteration," he said.
The Human Rights Commission has however decided to post this matter to January 23, 2014, a good four months after the report was tabled without considering the seriousness of the issue.
"It is shocking that officials are still sitting on the report and not doing anything. The commission should have given directions and closed the case. One should understand that milk is majorly consumed by children and it is having devastating effects on their body," Rao said.
But so far no action has been taken by the authorities on these milk manufacturers even after being in possession of laboratory evidence.
"This case is in the purview of the GHMC commissioner and we will act once he instructs us on it," said a senior of health department, GHMC dodged questions on why they were taking so long to act.