In a recent bust that might just make you consider turning vegan, the Special Task Force (STF) in the Gwalior-Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh in central India, raided three factories that were producing fake milk and supplying it to branded outlets in six states, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Police found that these factories were producing highly toxic synthetic milk made up of paint and chemicals. According to NDTV, in every one litre of the spurious 'milk', 30 percent milk was used along with refined oil, liquid detergent, shampoo, white paint and glucose powder.
Rajesh Bhadoria, STF Superintendent of Police, said the teams managed to seize around 10,000 litres of spurious milk, over 500 kg of mawa (condensed milk) and over 200 kg synthetic paneer (cottage cheese) in Amba in the Morena district and Lahar in Bhind district. "In total 20 tankers and 11 pick-up vans containing spurious milk and other products were seized. Also, liquid detergent, refined oil and glucose powder were seized in large quantities from these units," he said.
In September 2018, an official of the Animal Welfare Board of India had noted that 68 percent of milk and its products in India were said to be below the standards put down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Subsequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an advisory to the government asking it to keep milk adulteration in check. At least 57 people have been arrested in connection with this scam and sources say that while this milk was produced at a cost of Rs 5 per litre, it was sold at Rs 45-50 per litre. This price increased with every product, with paneer being the highest, priced at Rs 100-150 per kg.
Even if you like your coffee black, milk is an irreplaceable part of the Indian diet and the fact that all these toxins were pumped into it means that if you live in any of the above mentioned states, your morning cuppa was probably made from fake milk. In fact one of the key ingredients used to produce this synthetic milk was Maltodextrin, a white-coloured thickener that causes your blood sugar levels to spike and can spell disaster for diabetics. Another adulterant, detergent, not only damages your stomach’s lining, but also causes severe food poisoning, while many of the other chemicals used could cause cancer and heart problems.
Food inspectors in the area are suspected to be a part of this scam and officials have now said that appropriate action will be taken against all those involved.
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