Tough laws to prevent milk adulteration
Concerned over the alarming rate of milk adulteration in the country, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered stringent punishment amounting to life imprisonment for those who will adulterate milk. Presently, the offence is punishable only up to six months jail term or fine. A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit said that there is an immediate need to tackle the menace of growing sale of adulterated and synthetic milk in different parts of the country. This menace can cause an adverse effect on the future generations because milk is consumed by almost every youth in different forms.
People’s anger over potentially dangerous milk
The court passed this order after a number of petitions were filed by people from different states asking to make stringent punishments for such offence. The law is already prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha where adulteration is punishable up to life imprisonment. Hence the bench believes that there is nothing wrong following the footsteps of these states.
“It will be in order, if the Centre considers making suitable amendments in the penal provisions at par with the provisions contained in the state amendments to the IPC. It is also desirable that the Centre revisits the Food Safety and Standards Act to revise the punishment for adulteration making it more deterrent in cases where the adulterant can have an adverse impact on health,” the verdict held.
68 % of the milk sold in the market adulterated
The court directed the government to spread awareness about the hazardous impact of adulteration of milk and to teach people easy methods for detection of common adulterants in milk by conducting workshops. According to a 2011 report of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), over 68% of the milk sold in the market were found adulterated. And it was worst in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Mizoram, Jharkhand and Daman and Diu where adulteration in milk was found up to 100%.