Over 68 percent of milk in the world's largest milk producing country does not conform to the safety standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The shocking revelation was made before the Supreme Court by the central government in an ongoing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand-led group on the sales of contaminated milk and dairy products in the country.
The centre submitted an affidavit on this by citing the survey report of FSSSAI which found out that the 68 percent of the milk in the country is being polluted by adding water, detergent and paint.
The survey conducted by FSSAI had tested 1791 samples of milk at five different public sector laboratories which were collected from 33 states and Union territories.
"Total of 1791 samples of milk were randomly collected from 33 states with a good mix of rural and urban areas as well as packaged and loose milk.... After analysis 565 (31.5 per cent) samples were found to be conforming to the FSSAI standards whereas 1226 (68.4 per cent) samples of milk were found to be non-conforming.
"The non-conforming of samples in rural areas were 381 (31 per cent) out of which 64 (16.7 per cent) were packet samples and 317 (83.2 per cent) were loose sample respectively and in urban areas the total non-conforming samples were 845 (68.9 per cent) out of which 282 (33 per cent) were packed and 563 (66.6 per cent) were loose samples," the Centre said as quoted by The Press Trust of India.
On the basis of the PIL which alleged that the milk and dairy products have been prepared using the harmful contents like urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda and white paint, the Supreme Court had issued notice to Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi governments .
However, it is interesting to take note that a larger volume of adulteration of milk is happening in a country which accounts for more than 13 percent of milk production in the world. In India, the dairy products are cheaper and is the main source of animal protein for the larger segment of vegetarians.