Possible time of origin : June 16, 2015
Circulation platforms : Web, News and Social Media
Circulation geography : India
Original Message Version Under Analysis:
Message Courtesy News Hour India
Top milk-product brand Mother dairy may face a huge embarrassment after two of its milk samples have reportedly been found to be ‘substandard’. A food watchdog officer also said on Tuesday that one of the samples contained detergent.
However, the allegations were denied by Mother Dairy official claiming that the substandard milk was wrongly attributed to it as the company conducts ‘stringent quality’ tests.
Chief of the Food and Drug Administration department in Agra, Ram Naresh Yadav, told IANS that two samples were collected from Mother Dairy’s collection centres in Bah tehsil, 70 km from Agra city, in November 2014.
Message Courtesy News Hour India
Analysis by Merofact Awareness Team:
The Uttar Pradesh Foodsafety and Drug Administration is on a rampage to clean up packaged food products swarming in the Indian market. After Nestle Maggi, this time they found prominent milk-product brand Mother Dairy to be guilty of selling "substandard" milk.
UP FSDA official in Agra, Ram Naresh Yadav, said to the Press including Daily Mail and Huffingtonpost on last Tuesday that it has found detergent in a sample of milk taken from Mother Dairy's collection centre at Bah near Agra during November 2014. Results showed that the samples were sub-standard and one of the two samples contained detergent. Times of India quoted the same official Ram Naresh Yadav from UP FSDA saying "We have started the process of cancelling the licence for Mother Dairy's Shahpur plant at Bah tehsil for using detergent in milk. Besides, a penalty of Rs 5 lakh will be imposed on the brand's Gajauraha plant for producing substandard quality of milk. An FIR will be registered against them under section 59 (1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 (selling unsafe food items) with the court of additional chief judicial magistrate.". To note, Mother Dairy was established in 1974 as a wholly owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), India. It is not yet clear how their "Cow to Consumer" transit path got breached and detergent got into the milk sample tested.
So far so good to know that some government officials in the country are indeed working to take care of the food safety issues associated with the packaged food products in the country. There came the rebuttal by the Mother Dairy explaining the issue on June 17, 2015. Managing Director MDFVPL, Mr S. Nagarajan, said, “It is unfortunate that the loose milk samples collected at village level which are yet to be accepted for processing at our factory has allegedly not passed the tests of UP FDA. The milk sample reported has been drawn even before reaching the chilling centre, where the first level of testing happens to ascertain the quality of milk for further processing.” He kept on saying that “As a responsible organisation we follow 100% testing protocol rather than resorting to random testing procedures. In our endeavor to ensure only best and safe quality milk reaches to our consumers, we make sure that every batch of milk is again tested before dispatch. It is pertinent to note that Mother Dairy also follows a unique practice of testing its own milk at retail points too; around 100 samples from the market are tested on a daily basis, thus ensuring the product available is safe for consumption.” So its now complicated to say whether the responsibility of adulteration really sticks on Mother Dairy or not, as the tested sample is not a finished product endorsed by them to be sold at the market.
One more thing, why UP FSDA working on samples collected in 2014 (let it be Maggi instant noodles or Mother Dairy Milk) and releasing the results so late? Was the laboratory tests take so long and the samples were utilizable till now for the processing and testing? If the tests had been done much early (just after collecting the samples and before they expire), why on earth they took so long to come to press. Responsibility of all damages occurred to all the consumers who consumed theses adulterated food products ignorantly should be on UP FSDA for not taking necessary actions and not disclosing the important information in a timely manner. We also checked the UP FSDA website, specially the "Weekly -Lab Reports" section. As of today, in their own website we found the Lab reports has last been updated on September 2013, i.e. nearly two years back!