Milk in India largely safe to drink, very few samples were found to be adulterated: FSSAI survey

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Updated: November 14, 2018 11:53:14 AM

The findings come after Mohan Singh Ahluwalia, a senior member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, raised concerns that about 70% of milk sold in India is not as per FSSAI standards.

The interim report, which was released on Tuesday, has only considered liquid milk and did not include milk products.

Packaged or loose, milk sold and consumed in India is largely safe to drink as only 10% of the milk is contaminated, and the prime reason behind this is poor quality of feed, irresponsible use of antibiotics and poor farm practices, said Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) in an interim report of the National Milk Quality Survey 2018. In a large number of samples that it examined, very few samples were found to be adulterated. Quality issues, however still persist, it added.

The interim report, which was released on Tuesday, has only considered liquid milk and did not include milk products. Of the total, about 41% (2607) samples were for processed milk, while remaining 59% (3825) were of raw milk.

The report showed that non-compliance on fat and solid non-fat (SNF) quality parameters is higher in raw milk compared with processed milk. “Processed milk samples had a bigger share in the number of non-complaint samples as compared to the raw ones. This survey must make private industries adhere to the standards,” said Pawan Aggarwal, CEO of FSSAI.

The findings come after Mohan Singh Ahluwalia, a senior member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, raised concerns that about 70% of milk sold in India is not as per FSSAI standards.

The survey released in 2011 had shown that most Indians are consuming detergents and other contaminants through milk. “This report has been released as there was a lot of misinterpretation of information provided in the survey conducted in 2011,” Aggarwal added.

In 2011, FSSAI did not include any parameters pertaining to contaminants and just focused on quality rather than safety concerns. According to Aggarwal, the new survey found that only 638 or 9.9% of the samples were adulterated.

The country’s food safety body had released a similar report recently in which it said that 25% of the food samples, including milk, it tested this year were adulterated.

This survey was conducted over a period of 6 months (between May to October 2018), and is the largest systematic survey of milk till now, both in terms of sample size (6,432 samples) and the number of parameters. The food authority has considered 4 quality parameters, 12 adulterants and 4 contaminants – antibiotics residues, pesticides residues, Aflatoxin M1 and Ammonium Sulphate.

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