Cup of poison? Navi Mumbai man finds wax-like substance on boiled milk

Nerul West resident finds wax-like substance on boiled milk; Mother Dairy says will test samples

adulterated milk
The wax-like substance in the milk. Ganesh Thakkur (inset)

On Sunday, Ganesh Thakkur did what is a morning routine in millions of households: boil milk. But it was also the day he developed a deep mistrust of a popular milk manufacturer synonymous with quality products. As Thakkur boiled a packet of Mother Dairy milk he had bought just that morning, a layer of wax-like substance formed over it, indicating adulteration.

"When I touched it after the milk cooled down, it broke into pieces and resembled wax. I wonder what could have happened had we consumed it," said the 26-year-old civil engineer who lives with his wife in Nerul West. Thakkur said he is having a packet of 1 litre Mother Dairy milk delivered to his home from a local milk vendor for the last five months. "I want to file a complaint against Mother Diary. They are feeding poison to people. I will question my milk vendor first and then decide the next course of action," he said. He has kept shavings of the substance and the milk as proof.

A Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officer said the FDA will take up the matter if Thakkur files a complaint with it. He said wax-like layers can form on adulterated milk. DA Jadhav, food inspector, FDA, said often caustic soda, sugar, liquid sugar and lactose are added to milk to adulterate it. "Such chemicals can cause health hazards, especially in children, in the long run." Mother Dairy reached out to Thakkur, and said it would sent a representative to collect the samples for tests.

The other side

Company spokesperson, Mother Dairy
We are looking into the matter. Details such as batch code and variant type are still awaited. Quality and safety standards hold prime importance and we follow a 100% testing protocol where milk is passed through 23 stringent tests at various levels to ensure only pure, safe and quality milk. The plant protocol demands milk to be checked for quality at various intervals. Finally, before the milk is dispatched from the cold store, the finished product again undergoes quality checks to ensure our commitment to the consumers.

Cracking down on adulteration
A PIL on milk adulteration was filed last year in the Bombay High Court. Retired Colonel Chandrashekar Unni and activist Abhijeet Bannerjee claimed that 30 per cent of milk samples tested in the state indicted adulteration and that 48 per cent were substandard. The HC year directed the Maharashtra government and the FDA commissioner in January to act on the findings. The government has been fining and sealing properties of errant milk vendors.

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