Curb sale of adulterated milk: Supreme Court to State govts

Expressing concern over the sale of adulterated milk in the country, the Supreme Court has directed the governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi to file their response stating what action they are taking to curb the menace of milk adulteration, after the Centre submitted that it is for the state governments to take action on the issue.
The direction from the court came during a hearing on a PIL filed by a group of citizens led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, who have alleged 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 diseases like cancer.
The court would later on expand the ambit of the PIL to include all the states in the country on the issue.
According to a survey conducted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):

  • Over 68% of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the FSSAI.
  • Over 68% of the “non-conforming” milk was found in urban areas, 66% of which was loose milk.
  • Most common ways of adulteration 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 had also found that some samples contained detergent.
  • Over 83% of the non-conforming milk in rural areas was found to be loose milk.