86% milk sold adulterated in State
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 28
INDIA’S top food standards authority has ranked Nagaland the sixth among 28 states and 7 Union Territories in the country that have high-adulterants in milk. The central government today released details of the national survey conducted recently by the Food Safety and Standards of Authority of India (FSSAI). “The survey was to ascertain the quality of milk throughout the country,” Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha on August 27, according to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) press release. The release listed the culpable states, among them Nagaland, in his information about the survey to the Parliament.
The survey has found that that the degree of adulteration in Nagaland’s milk is 86%. Adulteration of milk in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Mizoram are 100%, the survey.
To the happiness of citizens in Nagaland, the FSSAI’s findings definitely brushes away the righteous claims of a Dimapur-based diary group who had vehemently mounted a witch-hunt in March this year when a concerned citizen found detergents, nitrate and pond water in locally-produced milk products.
Dimapur District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd (DIMUL) had responded days after a local veterinarian tested samples of milk products and found them highly adulterated.
DIMUL simply slammed the test results as an event “without intimation of the intention to have the food article so analyzed” and washed their hands off the matter.
The FSSAI survey has found that the quality of milk throughout the country is highly adulterated. 68.4% of milk samples were found to be ‘non-conforming’ to Food Safety and Standards Regulations of 2011. State-wise ranking (in descending order) where the ‘non-conforming’ milk was prevalent are seen in the chart.
No data is maintained centrally by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the union health minister told the Rajya Sabha. ‘The nodal agencies do not main data for the purpose of regulating, manufacturing, storing, distributing, selling or importing articles of food, and to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption,’ the government said.
Food safety enforcement is state’s onus
When the DIMUL findings went public in Nagaland, the state’s Health and Welfare department virtually stayed away from the issue. Several days after the story broke a brief response appeared in the media and disappeared – after passing the buck while the milk producers’ union denied that there were any adulterants in the milk products.
The central government has made it clear that the state government authorities are the agencies that ought to enforce food safety standards. “The implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 rests with state/UT governments,” the union minister told the parliament.
“Random samples of food items including milk are drawn by the State Food Safety Officers and sent to the designated food testing laboratories for analysis. Penal action is taken against the offenders, in case samples are found to be not conforming to the provisions of the FSS Act and Regulations made thereunder,” the minister said. “There is an outlay of Rs. 1500 crore in the 12th Five Year Plan to strengthen the food regulatory system at the State level,” the PIB release added.