This World Milk Day, Find Out What’s Really Present in Your Milk 

What are we really consuming – milk or a chemical cocktail? Find out!

Updated01 Jun 2019, 06:21 AM IST
Chew On This
6 min read

Love milk? No? Love milkshakes? Aha!

So every time you drink your favourite flavoured milkshake, do you pause to think how fresh is the ‘milk’ in that milkshake?

In a country that largely eats a vegetable-based diet, milk is the main source of animal protein. But, what are we really consuming? Milk or a chemical cocktail?

Antibiotic Residue

Many farmers use antibiotics to treat diseases like mastitis in their cattle. Some drugs are also used to control endoparasites, ectoparasites and several other cattle-related illnesses. The process usually involves intra-mammary infusion of antibiotics. That’s right, the drugs are injected in the mammary.

This increases the probability of residues appearing in the milk produced and other dairy products.

Experts believe that whenever a lactating cow is treated with antibiotics, there are measurable levels of antibiotic residue detected in the milk that the cow produces.
Many farmers use antibiotics to treat diseases like mastitis in their cattle. Image used for representational purpose.
Many farmers use antibiotics to treat diseases like mastitis in their cattle. Image used for representational purpose.
(Photo: iStock)

Speaking to FIT, Deepak Raj, Vice President of Binsar Farms in Sonepat, Haryana said:

Usually, if a lactating cow is diagnosed with any disease then farmers inject it with drugs and mix that cow’s milk with other produce. This is how antibiotic residues enter human food chain. 
Deepak Raj

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

Bovine growth hormone (BGH) is a growth hormone produced by a cow’s pituitary glands. It promotes cell growth in cattle.

But, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a synthetic creation, marketed to dairy farmers to increase milk production.

Some studies speculate that milk from cows injected with rBGH has high levels of IGF-1 hormone. But what does that really mean for you?

IGF-1 is a hormone that helps some types of cells to grow in humans. But high levels of this hormone may promote the development of certain tumours.

While the injected cows tend to produce 15-25 percent more milk than the normal ones, we do end up consuming some of the hormone with the milk!

This World Milk Day, Find Out What’s Really Present in Your Milk 
(Photo: giphy.com)

Other Adulterants

A 2012 study conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had concluded that 70% of the milk consumed in India was adulterated.

Some of the common adulterants found are:

Urea

Urea is added to natural milk to make the milk more white and to improve the consistency. Urea increases the level of solids-not-fat (SNF) content present in the milk.

Though the concentration of urea in natural milk ranges from 0.2 to 0.7 gram per litre, adulterated milk contains 20 times more urea. 

Urea in milk might harm the kidneys as they would have to filter out more urea content from the body.

Detergents

As per a recent study, which analysed milk samples from Delhi, a high proportion of unpackaged milk samples contained detergents and ammonium sulphate. While detergents are added to emulsify and give a frothy look to the milk, they also cause gastrointestinal complications.

Starch, Bicarbonates

Starch, carbonates and bicarbonates are also added to milk. High amount of starch is known to cause diarrhea and might prove very harmful for diabetic patients. Starch may also prove fatal to people who are suffering from high blood pressure.

Presence of carbonates and bicarbonates in milk can cause imbalance of hormones. It might cause development and reproductive issues.

Another study on milk adulteration by OMICS International found that apart from the above adulterants, hydrogen peroxide, sugar and salt were also frequently added in milk.

Speaking to FIT, Dr Rupali Dutta, Nutritionist, said:

The most common effect of drinking adulterated milk is allergies that occur due to the added emulsifiers. The high amount of lead causes serious internal organ failures and affects the liver and the kidneys.
Dr Rupali Dutta
This World Milk Day, Find Out What’s Really Present in Your Milk 
(Photo: giphy.com)

Now, don’t look so sad!

There is a way out of this misery – get farm fresh natural milk from cattle that is not injected with antibiotics.

You might even want to visit a milk farm and see how they actually produce the milk that your grandmother said you have to consume!

(Have you subscribed to FIT’s newsletter yet? Click here and get health updates directly in your inbox.)

Love milk? No? Love milkshakes? Aha!

So every time you drink your favourite flavoured milkshake, do you pause to think how fresh is the ‘milk’ in that milkshake?

In a country that largely eats a vegetable-based diet, milk is the main source of animal protein. But, what are we really consuming? Milk or a chemical cocktail?

Antibiotic Residue

Many farmers use antibiotics to treat diseases like mastitis in their cattle. Some drugs are also used to control endoparasites, ectoparasites and several other cattle-related illnesses. The process usually involves intra-mammary infusion of antibiotics. That’s right, the drugs are injected in the mammary.

This increases the probability of residues appearing in the milk produced and other dairy products.

Experts believe that whenever a lactating cow is treated with antibiotics, there are measurable levels of antibiotic residue detected in the milk that the cow produces.
Many farmers use antibiotics to treat diseases like mastitis in their cattle. Image used for representational purpose.
Many farmers use antibiotics to treat diseases like mastitis in their cattle. Image used for representational purpose.
(Photo: iStock)

Speaking to The Quint, Deepak Raj, Vice President of Binsar Farms in Sonepat, Haryana said:

Usually, if a lactating cow is diagnosed with any disease then farmers inject it with drugs and mix that cow’s milk with other produce. This is how antibiotic residues enter human food chain. 
Deepak Raj

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

Bovine growth hormone (BGH) is a growth hormone produced by a cow’s pituitary glands. It promotes cell growth in cattle.

But, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a synthetic creation, marketed to dairy farmers to increase milk production.

Some studies speculate that milk from cows injected with rBGH has high levels of IGF-1 hormone. But what does that really mean for you?

IGF-1 is a hormone that helps some types of cells to grow in humans. But high levels of this hormone may promote the development of certain tumours.

While the injected cows tend to produce 15-25 percent more milk than the normal ones, we do end up consuming some of the hormone with the milk!

This World Milk Day, Find Out What’s Really Present in Your Milk 
(Photo: giphy.com)

Other Adulterants

A 2012 study conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had concluded that 70% of the milk consumed in India was adulterated.

Some of the common adulterants found are:

Urea

Urea is added to natural milk to make the milk more white and to improve the consistency. Urea increases the level of solids-not-fat (SNF) content present in the milk.

Though the concentration of urea in natural milk ranges from 0.2 to 0.7 gram per litre, adulterated milk contains 20 times more urea. 

Urea in milk might harm the kidneys as they would have to filter out more urea content from the body.

Detergents

As per a recent study, which analysed milk samples from Delhi, a high proportion of unpackaged milk samples contained detergents and ammonium sulphate. While detergents are added to emulsify and give a frothy look to the milk, they also cause gastrointestinal complications.

Starch, Bicarbonates

Starch, carbonates and bicarbonates are also added to milk. High amount of starch is known to cause diarrhea and might prove very harmful for diabetic patients. Starch may also prove fatal to people who are suffering from high blood pressure.

Presence of carbonates and bicarbonates in milk can cause imbalance of hormones. It might cause development and reproductive issues.

Another study on milk adulteration by OMICS International found that apart from the above adulterants, hydrogen peroxide, sugar and salt were also frequently added in milk.

Speaking to The Quint, Dr Rupali Dutta, Nutritionist, said:

The most common effect of drinking adulterated milk is allergies that occur due to the added emulsifiers. The high amount of lead causes serious internal organ failures and affects the liver and the kidneys.
Dr Rupali Dutta
This World Milk Day, Find Out What’s Really Present in Your Milk 
(Photo: giphy.com)

Now, don’t look so sad!

There is a way out of this misery – get farm fresh natural milk from cattle that is not injected with antibiotics.

You might even want to visit a milk farm and see how they actually produce the milk that your grandmother said you have to consume!

(This piece was first published on 6 September, 2017. It is being re-published for World Vegetarian Day which is celebrated on 1st October every year.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

Published: 06 Sep 2017, 01:45 PM IST
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