If you are of opinion that consuming milk is healthy and make you grow strong, its better you pause for a few minutes and ponder over it - as a glass of milk can be fatal for you.
A number of milk venders are resorting to unfair practices for fast money that has turned once-considered healthy glass of milk into a poisonous snare. A majority of such milk vendors has earned the dubious distinction of having the most cases of adulteration, which is posing a major challenge to the health authorities.
The matter is so grave that the Supreme Court seeks life sentence for milk adulteration.
However, not just milk, but milk products too are affected by such unethical practice, which is evident from increasing instances of milk adulteration; with this year's figure surpassing earlier records.
According to data, 171 samples of milk and milk products were collected for lab test by the health officials so far this year, of which 89 failed the test and declared unsafe for human consumption. Whereas, in 2012, as many as 117 samples were collected, of which 45 failed the lab test and declared unfit for consumption. In 2011, out of the 157 samples, 51 failed the test.
According to civil surgeon Dr Usha Bansal, the problem is quite grave in Amritsar: "Of all the failed samples of adulterated milk in Punjab, most are from Amritsar."
She added that these included both packaged and open milk sold by dairies. "All possible efforts are being made to check the problem by conducting regular raids on dairies and suppliers. Though many have been prosecuted in this connection,"she said.
District health officer Dr Shiv Karan Singh Kahlon said of the total 107 unsafe food samples, 33 were from Amritsar alone. "Action has been taken in all these cases,"said Kahlon, adding that the failed samples were divided into two categories - unsafe and sub-standard.
"Under unsafe category, if a death is caused, the defaulter can be penalised as well as imprisoned for life, while in case of sub-standard food products, the only punishment available is penalisation,"he said.
What adulterators nix in milk and milk products
· Harmful starch
· Caustic Soda
· Unapproved colours
· Prepared in unhygienic conditions
Effect of adulterated milk
According to Dr Shiv Karan Singh Kahlon, consumption of adulterated milk can lead to acute gastroenteritis and kidney problems.
Data of failed samples
Year Samples collected Samples failed
2013 171 89
2012 117 45
2011 157 51
I welcome the apex court for seeking life sentence for milk adulteration. This will help curtail the problem to a great extent.
Dr Shiv Karan Singh Kahlon, District Health Officer
The health department is doing its best to deal with the suppliers who resort to adulteration to earn some extra bucks.
Dr Usha Bansal, Civil Surgeon:
Adulterated milk can jeopardise children's intellectual and physical development and cause various deficiencies in them.
Dr NS Neki, professor of medicine:
There is a dire need to maintain a check over what goes into the mouths of the public, especially the children.
Aparna Kapoor, head, Mother's Pride Pre-School
The penalty proposed by the Supreme Court is definitely appreciable and would go a long way in protecting consumers.
Gagandeep Singh, Consumer:
This matter is pertaining to health and well-being of the masses and should be taken very seriously.”
Mukesh Kumar, Consumer: