SC pulls up govt on spurious milk, wants law in winter session
The Supreme Court has demanded an explanation from the Centre for the delay in enacting a deterrent law to check adulteration of milk and milk products with harmful chemical substances.
A Bench comprising Justices MY Eqbal and Shiva Kirti Singh said they wanted the government to have the relevant law passed in the coming winter session of Parliament. The government had informed the court eight months ago that a new law was in the offing but nothing had been done so far, they noted.
The Bench also directed the Centre to file a status report within four weeks detailing the steps being taken to prevent adulteration. The Bench noted that reports submitted by various agencies clearly showed that synthetic milk and milk products continued to be sold in the market. Such milk contained urea, starch, glucose/sugar, caustic soda, refined white paint, paper pulp, detergent and other such chemicals, putting at risk the health of the entire population. The characteristic white colour of the milk was being achieved by adding white paint while refined oil was used as a substitute for milk fat.
Reusing cooking oil is a source of trans-fatty acids, a new study warns
As per a study conducted jointly by National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol (N-DOC) Foundation, IIT-Delhi and Diabetes Foundation of India (DFI), reuse of oil in home-cooked food forms a heavy dose of trans-fatty acids (TFA).
A random sample survey of 402 women – in the age group of 25 years to 60 years across Delhi – was conducted by a team of researchers to monitor the pattern of usage of oil while cooking.
Besides highlighting the harmful effects of TFA, the study has also raised some serious concern over the cooking practice in many households.
Nearly 43.3 per cent of the women reuse the fat/oil (used for frying) at least two to three times for cooking. Not just this, 54 per cent of the women left the used oil after frying in the same utensil in which the frying was done, and only about 6 per cent of women drain off the used oil before storing.
“We found that when we keep refrying the oil, the oil developed TFA which kept increasing each time the oil was reused,” said Dr Swati Bhardwaj, senior research officer, DFI. Admitting that many household cannot afford to throw away oil that has been used once, Dr Bhardwaj recommend that either the oil used for frying should be very little or it should be used to prepare vegetables.
“The knowledge regarding TFA was negligible among the sample women. The cooking and frying practices were also found to be rather poor in the study. Awareness about TFA, right choice of cooking oil and avoidance of heating and frying should be known to everyone, especially the homemakers,” Dr Bharadwaj further informed.
Experts say TFAs can lead to hypertension, cancer, liver dysfunction, infertility, asthma, problems in pregnancy and brain functional decline. “The dietary intake of TFA is still not understood in our country. Many of us believe that only home-cooked food is safe and healthy, but if we go by the cooking pattern, we are at double loss,” said Dr Anoop Mishra, chairman, N-DOC. Children of 10 years and above are prone to fall prey to diseases like diabetes and obesity. “If we will improve the eating habits in early age, then chances to get diagnosed with such diseases will be lesser,” said Dr Mishra.