In the wake of MiD DAY’s exposé on the unquestionable use of the growth hormone oxytocin on buffaloes on a daily basis, the workers manning the tabelas seem to have covered their tracks well. A team from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) conducted an inspection, retracing MiD DAY’s steps, but failed to get its hands on the banned medicine anywhere.
Speaking to MiD DAY, FDA Assistant Commissioner (Drugs) Zone-VI Mohan Kekatpure said, “We have taken serious note of the article published in MiD DAY regarding oxytocin and we have started an investigation into the matter. We have already visited some of the tabelas in the western suburbs to inspect whether they are using the banned medicine, but did not find anything. We are also looking for the supplier whose photograph was published in the paper.”
MiD DAY’s report last week (‘Banned drug injected into cattle is poisoning your milk’) exposed how cattle in tabelas are being injected with a hormone called oxytocin twice every day, in violation of a government ban. While the drug forces the cattle to expel a few extra litres of milk, drinking the same may severely harm young children, causing them to experience hormonal problems like premature puberty and gynaecomastia.
Our reporters visited tabelas in the western suburbs and managed to get their hands on bottles of oxytocin at each of their pit stops. They even accosted the supplier, who introduced himself as Sohail, a resident of Kalyan, and admitted to supplying the drug in plasticcontainers. Joint Commissioner (Food) of FDAs Suresh Deshmukh said, “In the raids we conducted previously, we never found oxytocin in the milk. I would need intelligence on this issue from FDA food analysts and experts. If found guilty, owners will be punished according to the Food Safety and Standards Act.”
With inputs from Mahalakshmi Subramanian