Parliament has been informed that as much as 68 per cent of the milk available in the country does not conform to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) norms – they are either deliberately or inadvertently contaminated by such potentially harmful substances as detergents, caustic soda, glucose, oil and even white paint.

The FSSAI has already asked States and Union Territories to carry out more stringent checks on the quality of milk produced within the areas of their jurisdiction, but adulteration remains a problem.

Water is the most common adulterant, and usually, it contains pesticides and other chemicals which find their way into the milk. Melamine is added to milk to increase protein content, salt is added as a preservative, and cane sugar is sometimes added too. All these can have harmful repercussions on health.

Science and Technology Minister, Harsh Vardhan, told Parliament that a new scanner had been developed that would quickly check milk for adulteration in one single test, costing just 10 paise. He said in the future, GPS technology could be linked to it, so that the exact source of the adulterated milk could be pinpointed, he added.


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