Samples of prominent milk brands such as Mother Dairy and Amul have been found to be of substandard quality. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain yesterday (4 May 2018) said, asserting that such violations would attract strict penalties.
He also said, “The drive, which started on April 13, also took three samples of ghee for testing, and found one, of a local brand, “unsafe”. 21 samples of milk, out of the total 165 tested, including two prominent brands, were found to be of substandard quality.
“The issue was raised in the Assembly and I gave directions to test samples of milk in Delhi. We have taken a total of 177 samples across Delhi, including branded and local products. Reports of 165 have come out, and out of these, 21 samples (including Mother Dairy and Amul) have failed for their substandard quality, which does not mean they are unsafe,” Jain told reporters.
Talking about ‘sub-standard, he said the term substandard could mean two things. One is fake (unsafe) and the other one is where it does not meet the prescribed requirement (safe, but falls short of some content, like fats for example). Most of the failed samples, during this drive, were found to be adulterated with milk powder.
All cases will be submitted to the court. The drive will continue and will be extended to all milk products. Earlier, there were four food inspectors. Now, 18 have joined for the drive,” he said, adding that parameters mentioned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India were followed during the drive.
A penalty ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 5 lakh would be imposed, if found guilty
Asked about the punishment for violations, Jain said in case of substandard milk there would be a penalty ranging between Rs 5,000 and Rs 5 lakh. However, he said it won’t be the case if a product was found to be unsafe. “If (the sample is) unsafe, like a sample that was found unsafe in ghee, there can be imprisonment from six months to three years,” he said.
Here is what spokesperson of Mother Dairy has to say
A Mother Dairy spokesperson said, “We are yet to receive the findings of the samples tested by the authorities. Hence, it would be inappropriate to comment further.
“However, we would like to state that each batch of Mother Dairy milk undergoes stringent quality tests at four levels to ensure safe and quality milk is made available for consumption,” the spokesperson said.
In addition, they recently received Quality Mark certification for all polypack milk variants sold in Delhi- NCR to ensure the consumers of 100 per cent conformance to the prescribed norms, the spokesperson said in a statement.
Here is what Amul managing director has to say
Amul Managing Director R S Sondhi said, “Still the details and official report is not available, what is mentioned is not defective but substandard (variation), which means fat or protein may have varied.
“In Amul, we maintain higher standards than that recommended by the FSSAI, so variation (substandard) is not possible. However while sampling or testing if proper care and process is not fully follwed, such variation may occur. We shall await the detailed report and then can give a complete reply,” Sondhi said.
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