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Consumer alert – Iron nail found in Priya Gold biscuits

Retailer : Amar General Store, Munirka , New Delhi

Product : Priya Gold Zigzag biscuits

Issue : Nail found in biscuit

Photo as posted by consumer

Consumer complaint as posted in India Consumer Complaints Forum by Mithun Sahoo on Aug 19th

I have purchased Priyagold Snacks Zigzag biscuits from a general store namely Amar General Store, Munirka, New Delhi on 19August, 2017 in morning. On the same day during evening while I was taking snacks I found a piece of iron nail from its biscuit. I also doubt that might I have taken a piece of iron nail. So, I claim to ban the particular product.

PESPRO Comments :

As a consumer you need to file a complaint with the food regulatory authority – District Designated Officer (Food Safety) of your area.

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Aug 20

AP / TELENGANA

Officials plan crackdown on street food joints

VIJAYAWADA: Food safety officials are bracing up to inspect street food centres in the city as complaints against food carts have been increasing day by day. Officials say that cooking oil and water used at food carts are highly dangerous. Food adulteration or use of unsafe ingredients in food items is quite common in street food joints and push carts.The majority of food carts in the city are unlicensed and they are preparing food using adulterated ingredients at unhygienic places. 
Consuming food from these places may bring serious health problems. 
Food safety officials admit that they are getting many complains against push carts in the city. They claim that at the time of inspections, the push carts will remain shut or or they change their places.Speaking to Express, N Poornachandar Rao, Assistant food controller, said, “In a short span, we are going to raid all the food carts in the city — both licensed and unlicensed. We have received many complaints from the public regarding unhygienic conditions of street food centres. In fact, many of these carts are unlicensed. Many of them are on encroached spaces or on the drains. In many cases, we found that these joints are using adulterated ingredients like used oil, unsafe water and rotten vegetables.”
He warned that people must be careful in choosing a food cart especially when it is not located in a clean environment. 
“Fast food joints like noodles and fried rice stalls generally use adulterated oil and spices. In some cases, noodles and rice are cooked in wastewater. In food carts where they sell bhajji’s, usually the batter and chutneys would have a mix of leftovers, which is highly dangerous.” complained second year student P Sowmya, who was badly affected with food poisoning after eating from a roadside shop. 
“Usually I like to have golgappas and have them at my regular place. But one day, I had with my friend at another place in Satyanarayanapuram, where the cart is just adjacent to an overflowing drain and the food is not that great. Ignoring all this, I started eating. Later, I was admitted to a hospital.”
“It is the worst experience for me, which made me to avoid all roadside foods,” she says.
 

ASSAM

Chemically treated bananas seized

A team of district administration officials seized stalks of chemically treated bananas from two godowns in Kalibari here on Tuesday evening. The crackdown was led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Dutta, Assistant Commissioners Runabh Ramsiary, Uday Shankar Dutta and Food Safety Officer Dilip Panging. They seized huge quantity of bananas as those were found unfit for human consumption.

GOA

FDA finds unhygienic conditions at Curlies restaurant, shuts it

Mapusa/Panaji: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Thursday ordered the closure of the restaurant at Curlies Beach Shack at Anjuna after its inspecting team found that it operated under extremely unhygienic conditions.
The FDA noted 30 deficiencies, including food cooked in the open, kitchen having direct access to washrooms and use of food colour in cooking, among others.
FDA director Salim Veljee told TOI that the food handlers were not following basic hygiene. “The storage of food items as well as intermediate items was not hygienic, and while cooking was done in an open area, the kitchen had direct access to toilets,” said Veljee.
The restaurant manager also failed to produce the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license, Veljee said.
A source said the FDA officials noted that the refrigerators were not only rusted, but were unclean, too. Besides, the right refrigeration temperature was not maintained.
As to the use of food colours, senior food safety officer Rajiv Korde said, “As per the Food Safety Act, use of food colours is not allowed in any food preparation as the food become unsafe. We found food colours used in cooked items and ordered that the food be destroyed.”
The restaurant will remain shut till the compliance report is filed by its operator and deficiencies are not rectified.

KERALA

Special food safety drive during Onam

 
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In order to prevent food safety issues during Onam season, the food safety commissioner has constituted 40 squads to carry out inspections in manufacturing units, restaurants, hotels and wayside shops across the state.
Food safety commissioner Navjot Khosa has also sent letters to food safety commissioners in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, urging them to increase surveillance during the period.
Being a consumerist state, Kerala depends on these states for its food requirements. Khosa‘s letter has expressed concerns over possible adulteration of products like milk, coconut oil, fruits, vegetables and chicken which are brought from other states.
Khosa requested the neighbouring states to increased surveillance and inspection in the production units there.
Food safety department officials said that manufacturers use innovative methods to hide adulteration. Food safety assistant commissioner Anil Kumar said that cheaper oils like palm oil and palm kernel oil are pushed into the market, instead of coconut oil. “It is difficult to detect this through tests because the manufacturers have found new ways to ensure that the samples meet the parameters of coconut oil,” he said.
PUNJAB

FSDA collects 61 food samples in anti-adulteration drive

Meerut: Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) officials raided at least 60 different sweet shops and bakeries during a week-long drive around Raksha Bandhan and collected 61 suspected food samples. In a report regarding the same, FSDA said that the results of samples testing are expected within a month after which action will be taken if required.
“Ahead of Raksha Bandhan, we conducted a week-long drive against adulteration and took samples of oil, milk, milk products, sweets, sauce and other suspected items from various food outlets in rural and urban areas. The 61 samples have been sent to Lucknow laboratory for testing,” said Archana Dheeran, designated officer, FSDA.
“We also issued improvement notices to outlets which were found to be preparing food in unhygienic conditions. If they are again found to be doing the same, an inquiry will be ordered against them,” added Dheeran.

TELENGANA

UTTAR PRADESH

UPFDA to tighten its grip on unlicensed, unregistered FBOs

 
Uttar Pradesh, the State Food and Drug Administration has decided to initiate a drive across the state against unlicensed and unregistered Food Business Operators (FBO). The step is taken to ensure high quality and safety in the state’s food business.
One of the officials of the UPFDA informed that FBOs can only operate their business freely if they possess legal license or registration as per the mandate of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Ramaraj Maurya, Additional Commissioner, UPFDA, stated that the state authority had planned a drive and will check if there is any FBO operating without a valid license or registration.
“It has been mandated by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 that any FBO found operating without a valid license or registration will be penalised,” he added. 
“We will ensure that every FBO operates with a prescribed license or registration as required. For this, we plan to start a drive,” Maurya reiterated. However, he did not specify a timeline for the drive. Last Year, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has given the deadline of 4th August, 2016 to obtain the license and it has stopped taking the requests after that. The apex body was more keen on educating FBOs about the responsibilities under the act rather than merely providing a license to them.
Commenting on the issue, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said, “It is a continuous process, and FSSAI regularly issues directives to the state authorities to make sure that the FBOs operate with valid licenses and registrations.”
“However, no directive has been issued to a particular state. Each state has been given the autonomy to act independently of others. They can take action, including penalising or compounding errant FBOs. The powers have been mentioned in the Act,” he added.
Agarwal said, “To further strengthen the process of licensing and registration, FSSAI plans to use technology-based solutions. For instance, it plans to use mobiles to check whether the licensing and registration regulations are being complied with.”

 

Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu updates – Aug 20 – 2017

DHARMAPURI

DINDUGAL

உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு, டெங்கு விழிப்புணர்வு கூட்டம்

பழனியில் புதன்கிழமை உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் மருந்து நிர்வாகத்துறை சார்பில் உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் டெங்கு விழிப்புணர்வு கூட்டம் நடைபெற்றது.
சண்முகநதி புறவழிச் சாலையில் தனியார் மினரல் வளாகத்தில் நடைபெற்ற இக்கூட்டத்தில் வளாக இயக்குநர் பழனிக்குமார் வரவேற்றார். மேலாளர் அருண் முன்னிலை வகித்தார்.
இதில் பங்கேற்று உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் ஜாபர்சாதிக் பேசியதாவது: பழனி சுற்று வட்டாரப் பகுதிகளில் உள்ள குடிநீர், உணவு உள்ளிட்டவற்றை விநியோகம் செய்யும் விநியோகஸ்தர்கள் தாங்கள் வாங்கும் பொருள்களின் தயாரிப்பு தேதி, காலாவதி தேதியை பார்த்து வாங்கிய பின்னரே விநியோகம் செய்ய வேண்டும்.  குறைகள் இருந்தால் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட தயாரிப்பு நிறுவனங்களுக்கோ அல்லது உணவுப் பாதுகாப்புத் துறைக்கோ தெரிவிக்க வேண்டும். உணவு மற்றும் குடிநீரால் டெங்கு பரவும் நிலையில் இவற்றை விநியோகம் செய்பவர்கள் விழிப்புணர்வுடன் இருக்க வேண்டும் என்றார்.
இக்கூட்டம் முடிந்ததும் 25-க்கும் மேற்பட்ட விநியோகஸ்தர்களுக்கு விநியோகம் செய்யும் உரிமைக்கான உணவுப் பாதுகாப்புத்துறை சான்றுகள் வழங்கப்பட்டன.
முன்னதாக கிராமப்புறங்களில் வழங்குவதற்காக டெங்கு விழிப்புணர்வு ஸ்டிக்கர்களை பழனிக்குமார், உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகளிடம் வழங்கினார். தொடர்ந்து பழனி சுற்றுவட்டார பகுதிகளில் உள்ள குடிநீர் தயாரித்து விற்கும் ஆலைகளில் ஆய்வு மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்டது

KARUR

போலி வாட்டர் கேன் விற்பனை படுஜோர் கண்டுகொள்ளாத உணவு பாதுகாப்பு துறை அதிகாரிகள்

கரூர்: போலி வாட்டர் கேன் நிறுவனங்கள், சுகாதாரமற்ற குடிநீர் விற்பனை செய்வதால், நோய்கள் பரவும் அபாயம் உள்ளது. இதை உணவு பாதுகாப்புத்துறை அலுவலர்கள் கண்டு கொள்வதில்லை என, புகார் எழுந்துள்ளது. 
கரூர் மாவட்டத்தில், போதிய மழையில்லாததாலும், நிலத்தடி நீர் மாசடைந்துள்ளதாலும், குடிநீர் தட்டுப்பாடு பிரச்னை விஸ்வரூபம் எடுத்துள்ளது. இதனால், சுத்திகரிக்கப்பட்ட கேன் தண்ணீருக்கு மவுசு அதிகரித்தது. இதைப்பயன்படுத்தி, போலி மினரல் வாட்டர் நிறுவனங்கள் கொள்ளை லாபம் சம்பாதித்து வருகின்றன. 
இதுகுறித்து மினரல் வாட்டர் நிறுவன உரிமையாளர் ஒருவர் கூறியதாவது: ரிவர்ஸ் ஆஸ்மாசிஸ் எனப்படும் ஆர்.ஓ., முறையில், தண்ணீரை சுத்திகரித்து, கேன்களில் அடைத்து, விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுகிறது. தண்ணீர் சுத்திகரிப்பு நிறுவனங்கள், ஐ.எஸ்.ஐ., முத்திரை தரச்சான்று பெற்றிருக்க வேண்டும். இதற்கு உரிமக் கட்டணம், ஒரு லட்சம் ரூபாய் செலுத்தி பெற வேண்டும். ஆய்வுக்கூடம் அமைக்க, மற்றும் டெக்னீஷியனுக்கு ஊதியம், போன்றவைகளுக்கு, குறைந்தபட்சம், மாதம், 10 லட்சம் ரூபாய் வரை செலவாகிறது. ஆனால் போலி நிறுவனங்கள், தரமற்ற ஆர்.ஓ., பிளாண்ட் மூலம், தண்ணீரை சுத்தம் செய்கின்றன. இந்த தண்ணீரை எந்த பரிசோதனையும் செய்யாமல், கேனில் அடைத்து விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்புகின்றனர். சில போலி நிறுவனங்கள், 20 லிட்டர் தண்ணீர், 10 ரூபாய் என, விற்கின்றன. 
இதில், கேன்களை முறையாக சுத்தம் செய்வதில்லை. இதனால், கிருமிகள் பரவ வாய்ப்புள்ளது. இந்த தண்ணீரை குடித்தால், நோய் தொற்று ஏற்பட வாய்ப்புள்ளது. இதுபோன்ற போலி மினரல் வாட்டர் நிறுவனங்கள், நாமக்கல் மாவட்டத்தில் அதிக அளவில் செயல்படுகின்றன. 
இவ்வாறு அவர் கூறினார். 
இதுகுறித்து, உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் மருத்துவ நிர்வாகத் துறை மாவட்ட அலுவலர் மீனாட்சிசுந்தரத்திடம் கேட்டபோது, “மாவட்டத்தில் போலி சுத்திகரிக்கப்பட்ட வாட்டர் கேன் விற்பனை எதுவும் நடக்கவில்லை. இது தொடர்பாக புகார் வந்தால், நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப்படும்,” என்றார்.

MADURAI

TUTICORIN

திருச்செந்தூரில் காலாவதியான குளிர்பானங்கள் 38 லிட்டர் பறிமுதல்

திருச்செந்தூரில் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு துறை அதிகாரிகள் நடத்திய சோதனையில் தடைசெய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை பொருட்கள் பறிமுதல் செய்யப்பட்டு அழிக்கப்பட்டு வருகிறது.
தூத்துக்குடி மாவட்ட கலெக்டர் வெங்கடேஷ் உத்தரவின் பேரில் உணவு பாதுபாப்பு துறை நியமன அலுவலர் டாக்டர் தங்க விக்னேஷ் ஆலோசனையின் பேரில் திருச்செந்தூர் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு துறை அலுவலர் பொன்முத்து ஞானசேகரன் திருச்செந்தூர் பஸ் ஸ்டாண்ட் பகுதியில் உள்ள கடைகளில் சோதனை நடத்தினர். அப்போது ஒரு கடையில் அரசால் தடை செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை பொருட்கள் இருப்பது கண்டறியப்பட்டு அழிக்கப்பட்டது. இதன் மதிப்பு ஆயிரத்து 325 ஆகும்.
அதேபோல் காலாவதியான குளிர்பானங்கள் 38 லிட்டர் பறிமுதல் செய்து அழிக்கப்பட்டது. இதன் மதிப்பு ரூ.2 ஆயிரம் ஆகும்.
இதே போல் தொடர்ந்து தடை செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை பொருட்கள் சோதனை தொடர்ந்து நடக்கும் என உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் பொன்.முத்துஞானசேகரன் எச்சரித்துள்ளார்.

VELLORE

VIRUDHUNAGAR

 

 

Mystery behind red rice solved

Impact of Pesticides on your health ? Go organic way

The agriculture sector uses most of India’s pesticides with the products applied most liberally to crops like rice, wheat, maize, chillies, cotton and soya bean.
An average of about 200,000 people die from the toxic exposure to pesticides every year across the world, according to a UN report issued early this year. With lax regulations and safeguards in the developing world, it is obvious they contribute most to the tally.
The pesticide industry in India is worth over Rs 5000 crores and produces over 90,000 metric tonnes. The agriculture sector uses most of this with the products applied most liberally to crops like rice, wheat, maize, chillies, cotton and soya bean.
Given that the country uses generic pesticides from long discovered molecules, many of which are banned globally and even in developing nations like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Syria, one doesn’t need the UN report to realise the “catastrophic impacts” on human health and the environment.
Most studies in India have noted that more than 20 pc of food tested showed pesticide levels above the maximum residual level allowed for each. (This is against a similar 1.4 pc in EU.) Many fruits, vegetables and milk have been found to be most contaminated with WHO Class I pesticides, classified as most hazardous. DDT residues have been found in 82 pc of milk samples tested.
And still, both governments and academia (agricultural research) refuse to let go of pesticides, resorting instead to “safe” pesticides and regulation. The issue of food safety, farmer health and sustainability continues to be ignored.
With such neglect of a major health hazard (pesticides have been linked to a host of illnesses from cancer, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, sterility and so on) consumers have only one resort. To opt for food grown without pesticides. That is where organic food comes in. Using natural ecosystem services to cycle nutrients in the soil and control pests, it does away with chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
In India, one of the largest organic companies is Sresta Natural Bioproducts with its leading food brand, 24 Mantra Organic. Under its wing, the company guides more than 25,000 farmers to cultivate 1,50,000 acres across 15 States of India. Besides providing safe and nutritious food, the company has a vision of sustainability which it plans to take forward to reach 500,000 acres under organic farming by 2020.
It began in 1992, when the founder Rajsekar Seelam Reddy was working in an agricultural products company and observed the alarming use and spread of chemical usage on farms and the resulting rural indebtedness. He was disturbed by the way traditional farming was pushing the farmer into poverty as also the land. Working on a way out, he founded the company in 2004.
With strict guidelines and stricter monitoring of adherence to organic principles, Sresta ensures that its products ranging from grains, cereals to processed food are safe and pesticide free. Using state of art grain cleaning, chemical free fumigation to prevent infestation, certified aseptic processing Sresta claims to ensure organic food purety.
All its farming projects are under Organic Certification for Euro 2092/91 standards, US NOP and Indian NPOP organic standards. The company is registered with FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) and US FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). It exports its products to the US and Europe.
Recently, in a bid to promote organic food and create awareness among consumers about dangers of pesticide, the company launched a ‘freedom of pesticide’ week in Bangalore. As part of the campaign, it offered up to 30 percent saving on many of its produce. Rajashekar Reddy Seelam, founder and MD, Sresta noted on the occasion that it was “a step towards enhancing the quality of lives of farmers, consumers and environment through a unique model where we are actively involved at each stage.”
Speaking to IBTimes, he shared a few thoughts on organic farming, the need for it and Sresta’s model. “It is of concern that in India we do not have a defined permissible daily intake (of pesticide) in India. Even the maximum residue limits are way higher than in other nations and even these limits are not enforced. In fact, hardly 100 out of 200 pesticides used have a MRL value fixed.”
“Children are four times more susceptible to pesticides,” he added.
Reddy spoke of the challenges in convincing the agricultural community that yields of organic farming are comparable or even more than traditional farming. The possibility of farming without fertilisers and pesticides is still something many do not accept, he said.
Many experts have pointed to some of the reasons for pesticide contaminations as owing to indiscriminate use, no waiting for prescribed period, use of sub standard pesticides and banned ones like DDT, dealers pushing their products on farmers, etc.
Quoting various studies like done by CSE and All India Coordinated Research on Pesticide Residue, Reddy said that most of our cereals and vegetables are pesticide contaminated. It is in this context his company has, he said, come up with a model that addresses “sustainability, ethics and ensures commercial growth”.
With more than 40 projects and each spread around in 15-20 kms, covering few 100 to few 1000 acres, Sresta makes sure that for every 150–200 farmers there is a trained field associate. Procurement is done directly from farmers without any middlemen. All this is part of the company’s Farm to fork Approach to maintain the organic integrity.
“We only procure from our farmers and we ensure that there is farm to kitchen traceability. Based on batch number on a pack we can tell which farmers have grown the contents of the pack.”
Here are few questions he answered for us.
How do you make sure the products are free of pesticides and chemicals?
24 Mantra uses a five step process to ensure organic integrity. This includes:
Social pressure by forming informal groups of farmers.
Our field staff visit the fields regularly. We do more than a million field visits every year. We train the farmers in organic cultivation and also suggest timely solutions to any problems they face.
Internal inspections are done every year by our teams in every season to ensure that the farmer is practising organic methods and also to ensure there is no contamination from neighboring fields.
Inspections by internationally recognized certification agencies are conducted every season.
After harvest and before we purchase the produce is tested for 182 pesticide residues, heavy metals and microbial contaminants.
We conduct a total of over a lakh inspections every year.
How exactly do you define organic food?
Organic food is grown sustainably without using chemical pesticides, Fertilizers and ensuring that the farmer gets a fair price. The products are also made using without any preservatives, artificial colours, flavours or any other chemical additives.
Are there no pests in organic fields? How are pests managed?
Pests will be there but they can be managed using some methods. These include Proper crop rotation, integrated pest management, Using preparations made of locally available herbs like tulsi, ginger, neem, marigold, custard apple etc. In case of severe pest attack we use biological interventions by releasing natural enemies of pests. No chemical pesticides are used in organic agriculture. We find the incidence of pests and diseases is much lower in organic fields due to the practices.
Coming to the big problem with organic food, what are reasons for higher costs of organic food?
There are few valid reasons. These include the premium paid to farmers; higher storage costs — we use cold storages to prevent infestation and this is about five times more expensive than normal storage; higher treatment costs to prevent storage pests — we use non chemical modified atmospheric methods to treat the grains unlike conventional chemical treatment; better packaging to ensure good shelf life, and finally we have to give higher margins to retailers compared to conventional products.
Finally, given the present context of drought in many states, how would organic farming fare?
Organic farms withstand drought better due to healthier soils and better water retention capacity of the farms. The humus retains water and prevents evaporation. In fact, organic farms require almost 10 percent lesser water than traditional farming. Our focus in drought hit areas is on drought tolerant and locally suitable open pollinated varieties of crops.
We have also been able to achieve same kind of yield in our farms as obtained with traditional farming. This is proof that organic farming is the sustainable and healthy way ahead.

Consumer alert – Vaishnavi Food Products – Cow Ghee – labeling defects

Food Business Operator : Vaishnavi Food Products, Bhavanipuram, Vijayawada

Product : Chinni Krishna Cow Ghee

Issue : No Mfg Date, Expiry Date in the label

Consumer complaint as posted in India Consumer COmplaints Forum by Varunraaz on Aug 18th

Sir, 
my name is varun raj my number is +918801229939
I have purchased a cow ghee sachet worth 10 rs but i cannot find the manufacturing or packaged or expiry date all are left blank . i don’t know when it is manufactured or when it is gonna expiry so i request the government to take the serious actions so that these things should not be repeated .
company : chinni krishna cow ghee
manufactured and marketed by : vaishnavi food products 
bhavanipuram vijayawada- 520001
customer care no:7396524570
PESPRO Comments :
As a consumer you can file complaint with your are District Designated Officer (Food Safety) along with the original packing for taking regulatory action against the manufacturer

 

Food Adulteration : The Muck in Milk

 
Even as the apex court had directed the government to amend the Food Safety and Standards Act and IPC to award life imprisonment for milk adulterators, studies have found the presence of coliform bacteria in it~By Ramesh Menon
Some things do not change in India. Like the adulteration of milk. First it was done with plain water, then it was chemicals that included detergent. And now a study done by the Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) at Ahmedabad has found that 70 percent of loose milk sold is unfit for human consumption. Out of 55 loose milk samples tested, 38 were found to contain coliform bacteria indicating faecal contamination. This could be due to milch cattle not being washed properly, leading to dung falling into the milk vessel. It could also be due to contaminated water being used to adulterate the milk.
DAMAGING EFFECTS
Coliform bacteria can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, urinary tract infections and typhoid. Unless boiled or pasteurised, milk in the raw form can be dangerous. Thirty-one of the 55 samples tested were graded fair to poor in tests that measured contamination by bacteria which can cause gastroenteritis, food poisoning and intestinal irritation.
Milk adulteration has been going on for a long time. In 2014, the UP government in a startling admission told the Supreme Court that adulteration of milk was rampant in the state. Vijay Bahadur, assistant commissioner (food safety), Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Authority, said the menace was most rampant during festival seasons when the demand for milk rises.
In an affidavit, the UP government admitted that it had actually failed to take effective steps to curb it. It pointed out that out of the 4,503 samples collected between January 2012 and May 2013, 1,280 were found to be adulterated with detergent, starch, carbohydrate and whitener. Another sample size of 613 found that 207 samples were adulterated. The worst cases of adulteration were from Faizabad, Moradabad, Agra and Saharanpur.
Last year, the Bombay High Court took note of milk adulteration and directed the Maharashtra government and the Commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration to spell out how it planned to deal with this as the health of the public and children was at risk.
UNHYGIENIC HANDLING
Incidentally, due to its high nutritive value and moisture content, milk is an excellent medium for the growth of microorganisms. Microbial content in it depends on the living conditions and hygiene in sheds of milch cattle and the cleanliness of those milking them, the animals and vessels. Once micro-organisms enter milk, they multiply due to the warm ambient temperature, resulting in rapid deterioration. As there are no regulations on hygiene in barns, cleanliness is given the go-by.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, visits Mother Dairy Milk outlets in Delhi. 
Pritee Shah, chief general manager, CERC, Ahmedabad, told India Legal: “Milch cattle eat garbage and plastic instead of nutritious fodder. There is lack of hygiene while milking, collection, storage and distribution of milk. You can’t trust local doodhwallas to adhere to safety standards. Today, it is vital to buy only packed and pasteurised milk.”
India is not only the largest producer but also the largest consumer of milk in the world. The organised dairy sector pasteurises and packs only 25-30 percent of milk. The remaining is either locally consumed or handled by the unorganised sector in an unhygienic manner.
HAZARDOUS ADULTERANTS
A 2016 study in Mirzapur, UP, of milk adulteration done by Pooja Jaiswal of Benaras Hindu University and SK Goyal, assistant professor, KVK Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Mirzapur, showed that 20 percent of milk samples contained urea, 44 percent had salt and 36 percent, soap. As many as 42 percent of the samples were found to contain skimmed milk powder to increase the weight or relative mass of natural milk, while ten percent were found to contain glucose to prolong the keeping quality of milk. Formalin was also found in 36 percent for the same reason.
Another study done by Maitreyi College in Delhi that tested 75 milk samples from Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida found that most of them had neutralisers, skimmed milk powder, urea, detergent and ammonium sulphate. Neutralisers are usually added to prevent curdling and increase the shelf-life of milk. They could be added in the form of caustic soda, sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate. Skimmed milk power was found in all the samples.
A local shop in Delhi selling milk-made products. 
In 2011, the “Executive Summary on National Survey on Milk Adulteration” released by the Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) pointed out that at the national level, 68.4 percent of milk being sold was adulterated. It said the worst performers were Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Mizoram, Jharkhand and Daman and Diu, where adulteration in milk was found up to 100 percent! This Authority was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. The Act not only replaces the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 but also consolidates other food acts such as the Fruits Product Order, Meat Food Products Order, Vegetable Oil Products (control) Order and the Milk and Milk Products order.
So how can this menace be curbed? Ashish Bahuguna, chairman of the FSSAI, said that milk adulteration is more in North India than the South. A kit has been produced to check the quality of milk by FSSAI. It is presently negotiating with investors and entrepreneurs to mass produce and market it.
LIFE IMPRISONMENT
A year ago, a Supreme Court bench had asked both the centre and the states to look at amending the FSSA and also the IPC so that those who adulterate milk can be awarded life imprisonment. Referring to its orders of December 5, 2013 and December 10, 2014, the apex court said: “It will be in order, if the Union of India considers making suitable amendments in the penal provisions at par with the provisions contained in the State amendments to the Indian Penal Code” by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha governments, which have enhanced the punishment for adulteration of food and products to life imprisonment.
Speaking for the bench, Justice R Banumathi had said: “Since in India traditionally infants and children are fed milk, adulteration of milk and its products is a concern and stringent measures need to be taken to combat it. The consumption of adulterated milk and adulterated milk products is hazardous to human health.”
Coliform bacteria can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, urinary tract infections and typhoid. Unless boiled or pasteurised, milk in the raw form can be dangerous.
The direction by the apex court to make milk adulteration punishable with life imprisonment came after a PIL was filed by an Uttarakhand-based religious seer Swami Achyutanand Tirth. He had highlighted the menace of growing sales of adulterated and synthetic milk in different parts of the country.
Last year, Harsh Vardhan, the science and technology minister told the Lok Sabha that over 68 percent of milk in the country does not conform to standards laid down by the food regulator. He added that the most common adulterants found in milk were detergent, caustic soda, glucose, white paint and refined oil, considered “very hazardous” as it could lead to serious ailments.
Milk sold in packets is more hygienic than milk sold raw. 
In olden days, there were no pasteurisation units and the milkman supplied the milk. But then cattle grazed in lush green fields, were healthy and well-fed. Today, milch animals are just seen as vehicles to make money. They live in cramped sheds that are dirty, full of dung and urine and are let out into the open, where they feed mainly on waste found in polythene bags. As there is no law on hygiene and cleanliness, the local milkman does not want to incur extra costs to ensure that the milk is unadulterated.
But with reports of coliform in it, there are enough reasons to worry.