CHENNAI: Raising a serious allegation against private milk companies, Tamil Nadu Dairy Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji said the milk they sold was adulterated and even poses risk of cancer in children. Speaking at a function in Chennai, the minister said he was collecting more information and would sue the companies involved.
“Milk sold by private dealers is definitely adulterated. The milk that is banned in Kerala is being sold in Tamil Nadu according to my investigation,” claimed the minister during his speech. Pointing out that milk spoils within six hours, he asked, “How do they sell milk that last for more than a day?” These companies were using preservatives, Bhalaji charged, while claiming that the product sold by State-run milk cooperative, Aavin, was as safe as mother’s milk.
The minister had made these comments at the inauguration of a dairy unit of Aavin at Thiruvallur on Tuesday before repeating it today. These comments were met with criticism from private firms, who questioned how Aavin managed to perform the same operation differently.
The time period between procurement and sales of Aavin milk was also over 20 hours, said Ponnusamy SA, the founder and president Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association.
“It would take about two hours from the time of milking to bringing it to co-operative society, and another three hours by the time they fill up a 10,000 litre tank from all farmers. The processing, travel from villages to city, and distribution will take at least another 15 hours as most of the milk in Chennai comes from Salem, Dharmapuri and other districts,” said Ponnusamy.
However, Aavin managing director C Kamaraj argued that the milk is poured into bulk cooling booths at co-operative societies.