By: Mohan Lal Verma
In a shocking outcome over prevalence of adulteration of Oxytocin in milk, fruit and vegetables, the state government today revealed that medical and vet experts have yet to make opinion over its harmfulness.
This report was revealed by the concerned officials in a reply on the matter by and submitting before the division bench comprising of Chief Justice Mr. Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Mr. Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan.
Responding to a ‘suo moto’ Public Interest Litigation, in the Himachal Pradesh high court today Director, Health Safety & Regulations of state admitted that Indian Council of Medical Researchand Indian Veterinary Research Institute have not published scientific report on adverse effects of milk containing high amount of Oxytocin.
“Since half life of Oxytocin varies from 3 to 12 minutes, continued presence of it in milk, vegetables and fruits is unlikely however in human being it is not absorbed when taken orally as same gets converted into amino acids by peptide digesting enzymes. The hormone gets rapidly metabolized in liver and kidney of animal to undetectable levels” the state confirms.
Denying the alarm raised by a media reports on the basis of court take suo moto action, state submitted that although authorities have not received any complaint regarding illegal import of Oxytocin, still strict vigil is ensured.
However Amicus Curiae Mr. Satyen Vaidya submitted that only 11 samples of fruits, 4 of vegetables, 11 of non-vegetarian food items and 91 samples of milk were taken in last three years despite state have huge paraphernalia of the Food Safety Department and the Drug Control Administration.
Showing the apathy of FSA toward its obligatory duty Amicus Curiae alleged that just 117 samples were taken in last 3 yrs from the entire state and 65 were analyzed for its adulteration.
Pointing question mark on report and voracity of testing being done in the state owned laboratory Mr. Satyan alleged that Composite Testing Laboratory (CTL), Kandaghat does not have the facility for detection of oxytocin in food samples moreover samples taken by the FSD did not specify or label for its detection.
State Drug Control Administration hardly provide any data or detail of the steps taken to counter this menace or to check its abuse maintaining conspicuous silence about its illegal import in this hill state from aboard.
DCA did non committal for keeping strict vigil and check on the manufacturers and chemists indulging in its sale except lone seizure conducted in last three yrs after recovery of 254 injections of Oxytocin (for veterinary use).
Making counter reply Director, Health Safety & Regulations, Himachal Pradesh submitted that the matter, under present circumstances, is more of research rather than regulatory.
The State Government does not have any mechanism to test the factum of Oxytocin in fruits and vegetables, milk and non-vegetarian products injected with said drug.
State also alleged that Union of India does not prescribe any norms under PFA (prevention of food adulteration /FSSA (food Safety and standard act) for carrying out tests of Oxytocin in foods.
State government rejecting the outcry raised by media over its large scale use in food adulteration maintained that misuse of Oxytocin and its harmful effects on human health are not based on any scientific data as no such ill effects have been reported by ICAR on animals on which experiments were carried out.
The bench posting the matter for April 1, 2015 also asked the union government to file reply within six weeks of this hearing.