SC notices to Centre, states to check synthetic milk

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought the response of the Centre and various state governments on a plea for checking sale of synthetic and adulterated milk and various dairy products.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia issued notices to the Centre and the state governments of Haryana, Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi on a PIL which also sought framing of a "comprehensive" policy on the production, supply and sale of healthy, hygienic and natural milk.

The plea filed by a group of citizens, led by Swami Achyutanand Tirth of Uttarakhand, said synthetic and adulterated milk and milk products are prepared using urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda, white paint etc which, according to studies, are "very hazardous" to human life and can cause serious diseases like cancer.

It said a January 2011 survey report by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) from different cities in 33 States revealed that out of total 1,791 random samples taken 1,226 samples were found not fit for human consumption. "It means on national level 68.4 percent of milk samples were found adulterated. In states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, 88 percent of milk samples were found adulterated. The said study indicated presence of adulterants like fat, `solid not fat (SNF)`, sugar, starch, urea, detergents, formalin etc in milk samples," it said.

The PIL filed through advocate Aunurag Tomar said alarming situation and imminent danger to public health requires immediate action on the part of the Central government and the state governments to ensure supply of healthy, hygienic and natural milk to the citizens of India. "The situation is now alarming and required immediate and concrete action on the part of Central government as well as the concerned State governments to stop spreading this poison of synthetic milk," it said.