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NHRC seeks report over spurious milk

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Monday issued a statement stating that it has taken suo motu cognizance of a vernacular media report claiming that refined and caustic soda is being mixed in one litre of milk to make it 15 litres of spurious liquid to reap profits in Dhanbad.

According to reports, there is a demand for nearly 3 lakh litres of milk in Dhanbad, while production is only 1.90 lakh litres. This is the reason that there is a big market for spurious milk.

It is also reported that 1kg of skimmed milk after mixing refined oil and caustic soda, becomes 15 kg

of milk and this spurious milk cannot be detected even by a lactometer.

Milk sellers are also allegedly being mixed with urea, detergent and starch to make spurious milk to earn profits at the cost of the health of the people.

The commission in its statement said it has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amounts to violation of rights related to the health of the people and prima facie, it appears to be a culpable negligence on the part of the public servants.

“The commission has further observed that despite the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act in force, it appears that it is not being implemented effectively in Jharkhand. The Act provides enormous power for inspecting any place where the food item is manufactured, stored for sale or even where the food items have been kept for making it adulterated. The power has also been given to seize such adulterated food items and to take all legal

actions against the seller or manufacturer of food items,” it said.

Accordingly, it has issued notices to the chief secretary, director general of police and the director general, health services, Union ministry of health & family welfare calling for the reports within six weeks in the matter.

While the chief secretary has been asked to submit a detailed report on the prevalence of spurious milk selling; the DGP has been specifically asked about the registration of FIRs by mentioning the penal offences invoked, progress of investigation and the details of the accused persons, if any. The report must also mention the preventive actions initiated by the police.

It can be noted here that there is a possibility of infection in the stomach leading to cancer when one consumes such spurious milk. The testing of refined and caustic soda is done in the lab. It can be tested at home also.

Despite repeated attempts, Dhanbad DC Sandeep Singh could not be reached over phone for his comments or whether he has received report from NHRC or state so far.

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