Free Press Journal

In a crack down, Govt has decided to install testing centres at entry points of the City to identify adulterated milk and drain out the affected milk

FPJ POLITICAL BUREAU Mumbai

In a significant move which will benefi

t Mumbaikars, the State Government has decided to crack down on milk adulteration. Tankers bringing milk to the city will be tested at entry points for adulteration and if it tests positive, the entire stock will be destroyed.

With a structured plan in place, the State Government has chalked out a Rs 860 crore package for ensuring food safety which includes setting up of a high- tech food testing lab to check the quality of all important food products including milk.

Satej Patil, Minister of State, FDA, has also announced setting up of a state- level consultative committee to check milk adulteration and announced that milk selling companies will be held responsible for adulteration at any level.

The State produces 1.90 crore litres of milk everyday.

According to a national survey, 65 percent milk has been found adulterated. After the initiative of Satej Patil, MOS Home and FDA, the state governments Food and Drug Administration and Animal Husbandry ministries joined hands to fight the menace of milk adulteration.

A joint meeting of all key components of the milk industry were called to chalk out a strategy. FDA officials, Chairmen of all cooperative milk producers committees, milk distributors, vendors, quality control labs across the state were called for this meeting under the banner ” A quality milk supply”. Participating in the meeting, Vitthal Shinde, a milk vendor from Mumbai who sells Mahananda Dairy products, suggested checking milk at entry points of Mumbai and destroying the adulterated milk immediately.

” During days of Sanjay Pande, then vigilance Joint Commissioner, this experiment was done and was very successful,” he added.

Patil while accepting this suggestion, directed the officials to destroy all milks being supplied to Mumbai at check points. ” If we drain 2 to 3 tankers, it will send a strong signal and help in curbing adulteration,” he announced.

He also directed milk supplying companies to issue Icards to milk vendors as in Mumbai as the identity of these vendors is not known to consumers.

” Milk tankers will have separate registration and in future, everybody involved in milk supply will be punished for adulteration. Especially the milk companies under whose brand name the milk is being sold, cannot the wash off their hands by saying the milk bag was tampered or vendors resorted to adulteration,alt39alt39 Patil warned.

He also announced calling a meeting of Mumbai regions milk vendors and distributors separately. ” Give me the list of adulterators in Mumbai, FDA and Home Ministry will raid the premises and will do the action,” he appealed. He also announced launching a statewide awareness campaign on the issue of milk adulteration on June 1st which is observed as World Milk Day.

He appealed to milk companies or co- operatives to print a sign of scissors on the milk bag and use a specialized polythene film which is tamperproof.

Currently, Warana, a leading Milk Cooperative is using this. Speaking at the meeting, Manohar Naik, cabinet minister of FDA, agreed to the norms of milk purity were designed on the basis of western Countries standards.

THE STRATEGY

The State Government has chalked out an Rs 860 crore package for ensuring food safety. This includes setting up of a high- tech food testing lab to check the quality of all important food products including milk.

Milk supplying companies will have to issue I- cards to milk vendors as in Mumbai Milk tankers will have separate registration and in future, everybody involved in milk supply will be punished for adulteration.

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