To assess the quality of milk and focus on hotspots where adulteration is most deep-rooted, the Government is all set to launch one of the most extensive surveys with the sample size of about 8,000 from across 36 States/UTs covering 717 districts.
At least 13 common adulterants will be tested by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). These are adulterants like vegetable oil/fat, detergents/caustic soda, hydrogen peroxide, sugar, glucose, urea, starch, maltodextrin, boric acid, ammonium sulphate, nitrates, cellulose along with pesticides and antibiotic residues covering each and every district of the country.
A senior official from the Authority said that however, sampling would be based on the result of the previous survey, the finding of which would be shared with the successful bidders.
In case the results of analysis of milk samples come out to be non standard but unsafe in a particular area in the previous as well as proposed survey, then more extensive analysis would be carried out in that particular areas to find out root cause of unsafe milk.
“Thus, the proposed milk survey is an extension of the previous milk survey in terms of number of samples, types of tests to be conducted and geographical area to be covered. The proposed survey also includes designing and operation of a framework for continuous monitoring of milk quality in the hotspot areas. This would lead to extensive and intensive analysis of milk,” said the official.
Maximum samples will be picked from Uttar Pradesh( 750), Madhya Pradesh (600), Bihar (450) while 350 each samples from Tamil Nadu, Assam, Telangana, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
In fact, a few months back, the FSSAI had conducted a survey in which it was found that in general milk adulteration was low in southern India, more in north India. A survey with a sample size of about 2,500 was conducted in which some states had reported no adulteration at all.
On June 5, the Madras High Court had observed that adulteration in milk was a serious matter and directed the government to file a status report on the action taken on such complaints.
The direction was given by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar while hearing a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the reports of adulteration in milk by various private producers.