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Amid growing unrest among dairy farmers across the state, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday, August 12, decided to launch a crackdown against milk adulteration. The drive will be jointly carried out by the dairy and food and drugs administration departments, reported The Indian Express.
"Milk adulteration is a serious issue; it is hazardous to health. The dairy and food and drugs departments are launching a massive campaign. During the sample test, if the milk does not conform to standard guidelines, the blue dye will be added to it as a punishment," Sunil Kedar, Minister of Dairy Development, told the media.
Dairy farmers across the state have been upset over declining prices of milk, which have gone down from ₹27 per litre to ₹15 per litre. Following the price fall, the farmers have sought government intervention and financial assistance.
"I will lead the drive against milk adulteration. I will personally visit milk centres. Dairy and food and drugs departments will deploy officials across districts. The help of police will be important," Kedar said at a meeting held at Mantralay on Wednesday.
The drive is also a part of measures to address the issues faced by dairy farmers in the state, as milk adulteration adversely affects the dairy economy. When an artificial stock is created to increase milk, operators force farmers to settle on lower prices. Once the milk distributors or agents procure milk from individual farmers, they manipulate the quality by adding water to increase the quantity.
Furthermore, along with adding more than the prescribed norms of water, the distributors or agents also add chemicals to increase the quantity.
Last month, farmers' organisations across Maharashtra had held protests in various parts of the state against the falling milk prices. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, demand for milk reduced massively, due to which the milk prices fell 40 per cent.
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