January 17th, 2012
03:54 AM ET

Govt.: 68.4% of milk sold in India does not meet basic standards

In India, milk is used in holy ceremonies, it is offered to the gods, poured over deities and generally considered the healthiest of drinks.

But a first-of-its-kind government survey reveals that a stunning 68.4% of milk sold in India does not meet basic government standards.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India tested milk across the country. It took 1,791 samples - and of of those, 1,226 were found to be "non-conforming."

In seven Indian states, 100% of the samples failed to meet standards.

Some samples contained water and milk powders; others included potentially toxic ingredients.

"We found about 14% of the samples which found traces of detergent," said V.N. Gaur, the chief executive officer of the food safety authority.

In lesser percentages, the tests also found hydrogen peroxide and urea - a substance found in fertilizer and urine.

"There is a problem and they need to face it head-on and they have to kind of really take some strict action against those people who are violating simple consumer rights of getting a clean glass of milk," said Savvy Soumya Misra, the food safety and toxins deputy program manager with the Center for Science and Environment.

Doctors say ingested over long periods of time, chemicals like detergent can eat away the lining of intestines, stomach and affect the liver and the kidneys.

Just adding water to the milk can pose a real danger in India where waterborne illnesses are commonplace.

"What you get is diarrhea. Vomiting. What we call gastroenteritis," said Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant for internal medicine at Delhi's Apollo hospital said. "You can get something like cholera. You can have jaundice. There are infections like typhoid fever, which are all part of water-borne infections in this part of the world."

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Filed under: Health • India • World
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Andreas Moser

    "No milk today."

    January 17, 2012 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. rooney©

    If the milk is no good, what about other dairy products? Anything made from milk or anything with milk in it would be bad too. They need to fix this.

    January 17, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©


    January 17, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. gung hoe

    You remember a little bit ago a bunch of people died from bad moonshine.I wonder if they was using their milk to make the shine

    January 17, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. rebelswithoutacause

    Reblogged this on The Adventures of Jenna and Neil.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. TORI©

    Doesn't pasteurization assist in the process of making milk safe? The thought of ingesting urea etc.is awful.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rooney©

    @s kel troll: Got milk?

    January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    These are typical problems in developing countries....I just wonder WHO is responsible for this slipshod way of doing things. Fortunately, we have at least a few inspectors and some regulations to help prevent this kind of stuff here in the US. I suspect a few greedy uncaring companies are cranking this stuff out with no regard for public safety...gosh, that's free enterprise isn't it...sounds like America! LOL

    January 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BOMBO ©

    Just because it's milky – doesn't mean it's MILK.

    January 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    G f y.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOMBO@

    And just because it's BOMBOIE, doesn't mean it's BOMBO.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. krm1007

    India is infested with so many people it reminds one of cattle. On top of that these hindus can't keep themselves out of such medieval and barbaric news and practices. First, $ex trafficking of young girls, then worship of rats, drinking of cow uR#ne and now this and the list goes on. We need to bring Indians into the modern world even though it may take centuries

    January 18, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |