The Supreme Court has recommended life imprisonment for those guilty of adulterating milk – a quantum jump from the present punishment of only six months’ imprisonment for the offence.

The apex court, taking cognizance of the alarming rise in the proliferation of adulterated and synthetic milk, saw urgent need to tackle the menace, saying it could adversely affect the growth of future generations.

Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Odisha have already amended the law to award punishment upto life imprisonment to those convicted of the offence, the Court noted, and asked the Centre and other States to consider doing the same.

The Court also asked the Centre to spread awareness about adulterated milk and its hazards, and also evolve a complaints mechanism to bring offenders to book.

The Bench was passing orders on a bunch of petitions from various States, and referred to the 2011 report of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) which said that over 68% of milk sold in the market was found to be adulterated, with Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bengal, Mizoram, Jharkhand and Daman & Diu among the worst-affected.


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