Dhaka, Bangladesh
Ensure toxin-free milk for all

Ensure toxin-free milk for all

A spine-chilling report published in an English daily on Monday (Feb11) revealed that cow-milk contains several high level toxic elements like lead, pesticides and harmful chemicals that can cause cancer and other serious ailments after consumption. National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL) findings based on a survey of samples of cow-milk, packaged milk, curd and fodder collected from 27 upazilas in four districts including Dhaka disclosed this startling fact. The laboratory had collected the samples of all brands of packaged milk from big food stores and directly from dairy farms and found the presence of pesticides, lead, chromium, tetracycline, enrofloxacin, ciprocin etc. in cow milk. In the past, The News Today also wrote about the unsafe pasteurized milk and cow milk. But the situation has not at all improved. Milk is an ideal food for children and oldies as well. Milk is the primary source of nutrition for children. But alarm bell rings when the supply of unadulterated milk runs short to meet the demand. If milk is contaminated, health of the consumers is jeopardized. The report, therefore, gives us a mighty shock as it is based on the convincing findings of no less a reputed laboratory than the NFSL. The findings lay bare the fact that at every stage from the farm to store, milk is found to be highly contaminated with bacteria, pesticide, poisonous chemicals etc. The impure and dangerous milk has been consumed by people over the years. It is obvious to everyone that any contaminated food including milk damages the health of the consumers. We cannot tell exactly what an amount of harm the consumers have already suffered due to consumption of impure milk. A perturbing question, therefore, crops up-who will compensate for the damage done to their health? In any developed country the crooked people, involved in such act of contamination, are heavily penalized and pay hefty compensation. But in our country such compensation is almost unknown. This contaminated milk containing coliform, E-coli and other toxins and viruses causes serious diseases. Several factors are involved in the contamination of milk at the primary producers' level including the breed of the milch cow, volume of milk produced by the cow, time of milking etc. Besides, milk in market or delivered by milkmen are highly adulterated. Despite the anti- adulteration drive, people involved in milk adulteration have not yet been touched. Harsher drive should continue against milk adulteration. Strict compliance of hygienic milking process, delivery and preservation practice and strengthened monitoring at the field level must be maintained to ensure safe milk for all.

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