Saturday, April 6, 2013

Milk Adulteration in India

This post is a departure from my normal range of topics.

I have done some research on Milk contamination in India. In the past two weeks during my visit to India I have personally recognized "suspicious milk" in either chai in various dhabas or in paneer in various meals. Milk that smells funny, looks a little weird and tastes 'synthetic'; and Paneer that is just "too white" when I cut into it - and too pasty or chewy than what i remember paneer to be.

I spent a few hours researching this - and here is what I found and I thought it was worth sharing.

State by state milk samples were taken across the country and after various chemical tests, the milk standards conformity across states varied differently. 

I was shocked to see that 100% of West Bengal milk sampled by the government of India is adulterated and contaminated. Punjab 81%, Delhi 70% milk is contaminated, and Maharashtra is 65% - see the report link in PDF.

This means the suppliers to brand named milk marketeers like Mother Dairy, Amul etc are adulterated as well as "loose milk" is contaminated. Profit over health - see the video report.

Here is what the scientific tests done by the Govt. of India reports:

"The non-conforming sample in the descending order of percentage with 

respect to the total sample collected in different states were as follows: Bihar 

(100%), Chhattisgarh (100%), Daman and Diu (100%), Jharkhand (100%), 

Orissa (100%), West Bengal (100%), Mizoram (!00%), Manipur (96%), 

Meghalaya (96%), Tripura (92%), Gujarat (89%), Sikkim (89%), Uttrakhand 

(88%), Uttar Pradesh (88%), Nagaland (86%), Jammu & Kashmir (83%), 

Punjab (81%), Rajasthan (76%) Delhi (70%), Haryana (70%), Arunachal 

Pradesh (68%), Maharashtra (65%), Himachal Pradesh (59%), Dadra and Nagar 

Haveli (58%), Assam (55%), Chandigarh (48%), Madhya Pradesh (48%), 

Kerala (28%), Karnataka (22%), Tamil Nadu (12%), and Andhra Pradesh 

(6.7%). "


Executive Report from FSSAI

News Report

What actions or behavior modifications should be taken? I think we need to drop consumption of all milk based products and switch to green tea, black coffee, no curd, lassi or paneer, butter or ghee. It may be too extreme a step but I believe there is a risk of contamination and ill health. 

If you must drink milk - make sure you see it come out of the cow and bring it home, or else find Organic certifications that are reliable.