11 Jan 2012

Survey finds Indian milk samples contaminated

7:45 am on 11 January 2012

A food standards authority in India has found that more than two-thirds of milk sampled across the country was contaminated with substances ranging from salt to detergent and may not be safe to drink.

The survey across 33 states by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found that 68.4% of 1791 milk samples contained adulterants.

Among the substances found in milk were skimmed milk powder, fat, glucose and added water.

In urban India, 68.9% of samples were found to be contaminated, compared with 31% of samples in rural areas.

Only two states - Goa and Pondicherry - sold unadulterated milk, while all 250 samples from four eastern states were found to be contaminated with detergent.

Fat and non-edible solids were the top offenders nationwide, followed by skimmed milk powder. Detergent was found in 8.4% of all samples.

Despite being the world's biggest milk producer, India is no stranger to adulterated milk.

In November 2008, six tribal children died and dozens were hospitalised after drinking milk provided to their school by a dairy in eastern India. State officials blamed the deaths on adulterated milk.