'Stop milking consumers or face action'

It’s an aspect, which has been raised on umpteen occasions by cognisant citizens that as fundamental an issue as food safety has not received the kind of observance it deserves from the government. Many hope that with the regime of the centre’s Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 about to take full effect, their meals will be more palatable in the days to come.

The government has made it clear to milk procurement agencies, which sell the product under a brand name, that they will have a lot to answer for supply of adulterated milk rather than shifting responsibility to suppliers, officers of Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and police. Addressing representatives of cooperative milk federations and private agencies engaged in the dairy business, minister of state for FDA Satej alias Bunty D Patil apprised them of the consequences in a meeting at YB Chavan Centre on Thursday. Provisions from the new Act are stringent and punishment for adulterated milk supply is from six months to a life term, warned the MoS to the gathering. Also present were his seniors Manohar Naik and dairy development minister Madhukar Chavan.

In black and white
As an effective measure to control the supply of adulterated milk, a suggestion was made to destroy tankers carrying the spurious product at entry points of Mumbai. The idea was accepted by the ministers present. Patil directed FDA commissioner Mahesh Zagde to devise a workable plan for this. The meeting was organised as part of a sensitisation drive for the new Act. A meeting of milk suppliers and agents from Mumbai will soon be called to create awareness, along with the plan to observe June as the ‘awareness month’. The dairy development minister announced a census of the milch and non-milch cows and buffaloes to discern the exact statistics pertaining to milk collection and the extent of adulteration in the state. 

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