Over 68% of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Centre has told the Supreme Court on a plea for checking sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.
The submission has been made by the Centre in its affidavit which referred to a survey conducted by the FSSAI, which had found that over 68% of the "non-conforming" milk was found in urban areas, 66% of which was loose milk.
According to the FSSAI's 2011 survey, the most common adulterant was found to be the addition of water, and the main reason for deviation from the standards was addition of glucose and skimmed milk powder. It also found that in some samples, detergent was mixed.
The affidavit was filed in response to the notice issued on a PIL by a group of citizens, led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, seeking a check on sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.
Notices had also been issued to Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi governments on a PIL alleging that synthetic and adulterated milk and milk products are prepared using urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda and white paint which, according to studies, are "very hazardous" to human life and can cause serious diseases like cancer.
The petitioners' advocate Anurag Tomar said that the affidavit is silent on many aspects which allegedly refer to adulteration of milk and its products.
The affidavit said that over 83% of the non-conforming milk in rural areas was found to be loose milk.