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Food wing collects seven samples in Kapurthala

21,July, 2019

Chennai: The number of convictions for misbranding and adulteration of milk has nearly doubled and the penalty collected by the state has gone up by nearly three times (250%) between 2017-18 and 2018-19, according to Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey.

Replying to a question from Rameshbhai Lavjibhai Dhaduk of Porbandar on the action taken to check adulteration in milk and to penalise the criminals involved by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as per the Supreme Court direction, Choubey said a nationwide qualitative screening of milk samples for on-spot qualitative and quantitative analysis of milk samples was conducted by the Authority. It checked for quality parameters such as fat, solid not fat (SNF), added water, protein content and safety parameters and 13 adulterants, antibiotics, pesticides and aflatoxin M1.

The survey was initiated in May 2018 screened 6,432 samples taken across the country. Analysis showed about 39% of milk samples were non- compliant with reference to quality parameters [fat, Solid not-fat (SNF), sugar and maltodextrin] but were without any safety issues. But 9.9% samples were found to be unsafe for consumption due to presence of harmful contaminants in excess of specified limits coming mainly from poor quality of feed, irresponsible use of antibiotics and poor farm practices, he said. To ensure quality and safe milk, the state food authorities keep a strict vigil by regularly drawing food samples, he said.

In 2017, Tamil Nadu dairy development minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji accused two private milk companies of adulterating their products with chemicals before selling them. The two brands are using caustic soda and bleaching powder in spoilt milk, convert it to milk powder, he said. The same year, the state wing of FSSAI had lifted 393 samples of which 101 we found to have misbranded or adulterated their product. While seven criminal cases were filed 63 cases were filed in the civil court. The same year, 64 cases ended in conviction and penalty of ₹4.19lakh was levied from 64 cases.

In 2018, however, 847 samples were lifted and 157 were found to have misbranded of adulterated the milk. Three criminal cases and 93 civil cases were filed. This time, however, 97 were convicted and the FSSAI collected ₹14.9 lakh as penalty from 125 cases. “We have been doing spot tests in many shops regularly. Since we have managed to record violations we have been able to win legal cases,” said a senior FSSAI official. The amount collected was second only to Gujarat, which had collected ₹16.2lakh from 80 cases.

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