A RECENT television show revealed the secret production and supply of ‘artificial’ or ‘synthetic’ milk to the people of Karachi. The technology of this questionable product has travelled from India and taken firm roots in suburban areas of Punjab and Sindh.

It is estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of total milk supplies in urban areas of Pakistan is from synthetic milk, i.e., two million litres a day.

The worst-case scenario is that this trend of preparation of synthetic milk is fast gaining its way in rural villages where dairy plants make huge purchases of milk for making blended packaged milk.

When this liquid is tested for butterfat or solid non-fat by government agencies or dairy professionals, it conforms to real milk parameters, thus passing a test for its purchase by dairy factories and testing authorities.

This milk is especially harmful for young children and pregnant women. It slowly makes the body prone to many ailments.

Besides the use of synthetic milk by many urban dwellers, the milk production from dairy animals is plagued by the use of synthetic hormone like bovine somatotrophin (BST) and oxytocin. Both these hormones are banned in the EU, Canada and many other countries. Even in India, oxytocin has been banned for the last 40 years.

In Pakistan, the use of somatotrophin is so prevalent that millions of cows/buffaloes are injected with this hormone to get an additional amount of milk at the cost of human and animal health.

Many health groups in the US claim that the use of growth hormones (BST) speeds up the development of antibiotic resistance and increases the level of protein that has been associated with cancer.

Keeping in view this concern, some of the producers of milk in the US are compelled to label their products with ‘No added growth hormones’.

Another hormone oxytocin which is injected on almost all lactating animals is filtered into the milk and it has been held responsible for uterine cancer, male impotence, baldness and early puberty in human beings. It is particularly harmful to the eyes of children.

This hormone in the shape of injection is used to let down milk under its influence. Millions of vials are sold by the pharmaceutical industry/animal health professionals daily to milk producers in Pakistan with the connivance of drug/health and livestock authorities.

No NGO or any government department has created awareness among the people about the use of such milk.

The health authorities should evolve simple testing procedures and dairy plants should be encouraged to buy only milk which is free from all such impurities.

Our Pure Food Act needs revamping. Besides, an exemplary punishment should be given to defaulters. NGOs’ role is of primary importance for creating awareness so that people should consume safe and wholesome milk only.

M. SAEED SIDDIQUI Karachi


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Comments (13) Closed




sami
Nov 13, 2012 05:58am
What are the sources of your information ? how can we ensure that the information provided here is accurate ??
Sadia Wali
Nov 13, 2012 08:25pm
Sadia Wali Karachi. I also have the same question in my mind how we could we identify wich company is selling snthetic milk and which milk is safe for drinking.I think the governmebt and ministery of health must look into the matter seriously.
Usman Ajmal (@dodgy_helmet)
Nov 14, 2012 02:38am
Thanks for the thought, and I DO feel good about these. But that does not stop me from making my country even better, rather than letting outsiders like you drown me in cynicism. In the meantime, I'll keep my head down and keep working for a Pakistan that I DREAM OF. No amount of 'pragmatism', 'cynicism' or 'realism' can take that away from me. Deal with it!
sami
Nov 14, 2012 02:25am
Kindly provide some facts about from where you come to know of this and mention your sources. Also of possible provide some proofs of this. How can we be sure of the authenticity of the information provided. It may just be hearsay.
Pakistan
Nov 13, 2012 02:07pm
good question. maybe the safest way is to buy it from a reliable source.
MAHENDRA DEV
Nov 13, 2012 11:56pm
this very common knowledge in dairy field it is not rocket science
S. Imam
Nov 13, 2012 09:34pm
Use of hormones for enhanced milk production by dairy industry is practiced all over the world including the United States. By definition, It is not a synthetic milk but still a naturally produced dairy product. Likewise, using synthetic fertilizer does not make our food synthetic. Letter overly exaggerated the negative impact of hormones and the jury is still out. Little or no scientific data at present or agrees with the writer. Most of the medicines and antibiotics available today are in fact synthetically derived. Although I am not advocating the use of hormones but measures are needed to satisfy the need of the growing population world-wide, and these measures have to be in context of food safety and security framework. Fortified soy milk for babies is a better alternative. Dairy and poultry producers in America are not required to label their products free of antibiotics or growth hormones, however, some organic producers take pride to put label on their products voluntarily and to sell these products at a premium price. Dr. Syed H. Imam Senior Research Scientist The United States Department of Agriculture
GangnumStyle
Nov 13, 2012 07:17am
Failure of Law and Order and Greed has created lose of truth.
AbuTabu
Nov 13, 2012 06:17pm
Wow, Pakistan is more capable of prducing fake milk than the real mik. And I bet the fake milk is also much cheaper than the real milk. Got an idea, since you can make fake milk cheaper, you should outsource all your cows and buffaloes to your friend China. Talking about China, in China, you an buy fake chicken eggs much cheaper than real chicken eggs. Hmmm.. perhaps you should join forces and start making fake food stuff. Afterall, China and Paki's are already faking all the consumenr goods. This is your future - China and Pak - future kings of fake food. Goes well with unreal people of China and Pakistan. This is so funny! Parcha should do an article on this!
zafar Iqbal
Nov 13, 2012 07:53am
Use of oxytocin is really harmful to human body.it should be banned. But the concerned authority has no time to think all about this.
observer
Nov 13, 2012 04:14am
Never mind such issues. Your country is a member of nuclear weapon club. Your country is making sacrifices by the day for war on terrorism. Your country is a signatory to all major as well as trivial human right charters. Your country is on its path to permanent democracy. Institutions of your country are strong. Judiciary is independent and (hyper)active. Civil society and media are vibrant. If synthetic milk worries you, think of all the above and other such theoretical virtues and feel proud.
Tabassum
Nov 13, 2012 03:57am
Ah! And there was a time when I used to think that if you live in Pakistan, you get fresh milk which is healthy. Seems people there are suffering more than us. Apart from all the hormones mentioned, they get thousand other germs. We at least get germ free hormonised milk :-p
Mrs. Asmara Tayyeb
Nov 13, 2012 03:47am
How do we , common people , know that the milk which we are taking in is synthetic ?