The pitfalls of packaged milk in Pakistan

By Shireen Campwala

It is quite hectic to evaluate, explain and understand the delicate situation about packaged milk in Pakistan as there are many dangerous and poisonous substances and other harmful detergents being mixed in the packaged milk in Pakistan, Canada, USA and other European countries.

Justice Mian Saquib Nasir of the Lahore High Court expressed his serious concern about the packaged milk in our country. On Wednesday June 17, 2010 he had given information about the harmful substances mixed in the packaged milk, which is easily available in our country in local shops and stores. The information was given by Pakistan Standards And Quality Control Authority’s (PSQCA) chairman.

A bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) was told that very poisonous and harmful substances are being mixed in the packaged milk; such as melamine; which is often used in the making of kitchen utensils and plates (such as Melmac) and melamine is also often used in making of cabinets, formica and in making of furniture, and detergents; from which we wash our clothes, are also indeed being mixed in the packaged milk.

The ingredients added in the packaged milk include urea, or melamine as protein booster (30 percent), substandard cooking oil (70 percent), powdered water chestnut (40 percent), unhygienic water (50 percent), formalin; a chemical used by doctors to preserve human body (35 percent), penicillin for enhancing the thickness and fragrance of milk (47 percent), hair removing powder (29 percent), zoonotic pathogens (27 percent) and other adulterants including soda bicarbonate; to improve the taste.

PSQCA had given the devious permissions of mixing five milligrams (mg) melamine in each kilogram me of packaged milk for adults as well as 1.0 mg melamine in packaged milk for children, which could be very harmless and dangerous for adults and children.

The petitioner informed the court that surprisingly PSQCA, in 2009, had given permissions of mixing 5.0 mg melamine in 1.0 kg packaged milk for adults’ consumption and 1.0 mg melamine in 1.0 kg milk for children. He further said that PSQCA had not given a single reason or explanation for why they are adding a melamine, which was a kind of plastic, and other harmful detergents in the packaged milk, since it was proved that melamine and other harmful detergents are proved to have been a major cause of renal failure and also a cause of other harmful and deadly diseases in humans.

He said that the main reason of adding melamine in milk was because the major chunk of natural protein was extracted from the packaged milk before packaging and melamine was added to the milk to enhance and for the tastiness in milk and also melamine was added to the milk to compensate the loss of protein.

He has also cited that in China three persons were hanged to death; when they were found guilty for adding melamine in milk.

Keeping these essential points in mind it would be safer to start buying from milkmen (gawalas). Even though water is mixed in it, it would definitely be a lot safer than the packaged milk containing poisonous chemicals in it.

It has been proved before the court and the judgement that open milk is better and good for health and not the packaged milk. The packaged milk is without protein, harmful and poisonous for health.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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