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70% of loose milk in Punjab is poisonous, unsafe for consumption

In a shocking revelation made in a report submitted by provincial authorities to Prime Minister Imran Khan, about 70 per cent of the milk consumed in Punjab is not only unfit for use, but is also poisonous. The collected samples had traces of bacteria and harmful chemicals.

Out of the 601 samples of loose milk that were collected for examination from Lahore, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad, and Rawalpindi, -422 were declared unsafe for consumption after testing.  There were traces of harmful chemical compounds like formaldehyde, ammonium sulphate, hydrogen peroxide, urea and others found in detergents.

Particularly Formaldehyde is the cause of stomach issues and cardiac diseases. It can even cause blindness if remains undigested. It was also revealed that water containing coliforms, and chemical, organic pollutants, bacteria and germs was used to increase the volume of the milk.

The report stated that ‘adulteration mafia’ is smuggling artificial powdered milk from Iran to meet the demands of the public. The report informed the Prime Minister that the mafia prepares milk by using a laundry washing machine to mix this powder, sold for Rs14 to Rs15, ghee and water. This poisonous artificial powdered milk, which is prepared under Rs 15, is sold at the cost of Rs 45.

After the meeting informing the complications of the artificial milk, PM Khan directed Jahangir Tareen to collaborate with Punjab authorities and work to develop a pasteurisation policy inspired by Turkey.

”Turkey made pasteurisation of milk mandatory in 1995 and ban the sale of loose milk in 2008. To support enforcement of these laws, it made investments in public sector milk production and provide concessions to private sector milk producers. The steps resulted in a 90% increase in Turkey’s milk and milk by-product exports.”

According to research, Pakistan produces about  54 billion litres milk a year. Out of this, only 10% is sold in bottled form. Most of it is immediately loaded in barrels with ice and water after it is obtained. Nutritionists warn that the milk obtained from buffaloes us dangerous for consumption unless it is instantly boiled to a certain degree and then is rapidly cooled down.

Speaking to a local news source, PFA DG Capt (retd) Usman Younis told that Punjab Food Authority is working on a long-term sustainable plan to bridge the gap between supply and demand of milk in the province. He also said that PFA has taken significant steps to curb down production of adulterated milk.

“We issued 38 reform notices and penalties to 13 units and sealed three of them. We also raided 2,241 milk shops this year, issuing reform notices to 1,755 and sealing 19. Violators were fined Rs972,600 in total” – he told.

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Mishal Ali

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