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187 milk samples were found ‘substandard’, TN tells court

22,June, 2017


The Tamil Nadu government told the Madras High Court that 187 milk samples were found to be either ‘substandard’ or ‘misbranded’.

It had launched 143 cases, convicted 81 and imposed a penalty of ₹10.26 lakh. The milk samples were taken from all the 32 districts with 886 samples analysed.

Substandard could be dilution of milk with water or addition of vegetable fats while misbranded could be labelling mistake or ingredients not mentioned.

With regard to milk products, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said in a status report submitted to the Court today that out of the 338 samples taken from all the districts, 11 were found ‘unsafe’ and 132 were found to be ‘substandard’ and ‘misbranded.’ The State government had launched 83 cases, convicted 56 and imposed a penalty of ₹6 lakh.

Out of 11 unsafe samples of milk products, six were due to presence of colours (Tartrazine, Rhodamnine and Carmoisine) while in the remaining five, there were presence of micro organisms like Coliform, detergent, yeast and mould-1.

The survey was done between August 2011 and May 2017, the State government said in the report.

Radhakrishnan filed the report on behalf of the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Department in response to the Court seeking a status report on steps taken for the implementation the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 particularly in relation to allegation of adulteration of milk meant for children.

Early this month, the first Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar sought the status report while hearing a PIL filed by Congress advocate AP Suryaprakasam on allegations of adulteration in milk by private milk companies. The PIL also referred to recent statements made by Dairy Development Minister Rajendra Balaji that private milk producers indulged in adulteration, and that samples were sent to various labs for testing.

Radhakrishnan said that the State government has reconstituted state-level steering committee/district level steering committee to ensure availability of safe milk.

The Commissioner of Food Safety and Drug Administration has been directed to check the menace of adulterated milk and take stringent action against dairy owners, dairy operators and retailers if chemical adulterants like pesticides or caustic soda were found in the milk.

The Food Safety and Drug Administration has been asked to identify high risk area where there is greater presence of petty food manufacturer/ business operator.

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