Authority takes aim at milk mafia

Shops and suppliers to be registered and monitored for quality control

Afzal Talib January 16, 2024


The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has prepared a phased action plan to curb the supply of spurious and unhealthy milk in cities across Punjab, including the provincial capital.

Initially, Lahore and ten tehsils of Punjab will be targeted. Suppliers and shops selling milk will be registered, so that the sellers of pure milk and subpar milk can be identified and action can be taken against those responsible.

The purchase and sale of spurious and adulterated milk remaining ongoing across Punjab, in spite of multiple steps taken by the PFA to control it.

Earlier, the Authority banned the sale of raw milk and made a plan to sell it in packaging, with kits later introduced to test raw milk. However, the sale of fake and adulterated milk remains rampant and ensuring the supply of pure milk has become a challenge for the PFA.

Director General PFA has outlined a phased program to take action and start registering milk suppliers in Lahore and across Punjab to ensure supply of pure milk. Initially ten tehsils have been selected in various districts across Punjab, where the records of milk sellers, milk supplying vehicles and dairy farms will be computerized.

ReadNearly 2,000 litres of tainted milk destroyed

The districts include Gulberg Tehsil of Lahore, Kasur City District, Sharqpur, Rawalpindi City, Faisalabad City, Multan City and the tehsils of Bahawalpur, Sargodha and Gujranwala City. Many years have passed since the establishment of the Authority, but no database or record of milk suppliers in Punjab has been set up. According to an estimate, 4 million liters of milk are supplied daily in Lahore alone. Milk had been supplied to Lahore in 4,811 vehicles between October 16th and November 30th of last year. Of those vehicles’ owners, 208 were fined an approximate total of Rs2.1 million for supplying fake milk. Additionally, 7,742,000 litres of milk were tested, of which 52,941 liters were found to be adulterated and were discarded on the spot.

Similarly, milk supplied in Lahore from the start of this year was also tested, with 7,103 vehicles inspected. The PFA fined 352 vehicle owners a total of Rs3 million for supplying adulterated milk. At least 8,567,457 liters of milk were tested, out of which 211,650 liters were found to be adulterated and were discarded on the spot.

The supply fake adulterated milk is continuing in Punjab, due to which the citizens are suffering from a litany of bone, gastric and other diseases, said Dr Abdul Rauf. The Government of Punjab, the Food Authority and other institutions need to take serious steps in this regard.

DG PFA Asim Javed said that all resources are being used to curb the supply of adulterated milk. More teams have been formed to test milk samples, while monitoring is under way on a daily basis. Additionally, registering milk suppliers and sellers at the tehsil level can help the Authority combat the adulteration mafia.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2024.


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