Monday, May 20, 2013



Justice Mian Saqib Nisar of the Lahore High Court expressed grave
concern on Wednesday when the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control
Authority (PSQCA) chairman confirmed the mixing of melamine, besides
detergents, in packed milk. The judge asked amicus curiae Barrister
Sidra to collect milk samples for tests in a laboratory in London.
Barrister Zafar would contribute Rs10,000 to meet expenses of sample

The Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) chairman
on Wednesday told a bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) that
various harmful substances, such as melamine and detergents, were
indeed being mixed in packaged milk

The percentage of impurities includes urea, or melamine as protein
booster (30 percent), substandard cooking oil (70 percent), powdered
water chestnut (40 percent), unhygienic water (50 percent), formalin,
a chemical used by doctors to preserve human body (35 percent),
penicillin for enhancing the thickness and fragrance of milk (47
percent), hair removing powder (29 percent), zoonotic pathogens (27
percent) and other adulterants including soda bicarbonate, to improve
the taste.

PSQCA had allowed the indirect mixing of 5mg melamine in each
kilogramme of milk for adults and 1mg in milk for children, which
could be fatal. The petitioner, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, informed
the court that amazingly the Pakistan Standard Specifications for
Milk, 2009, had allowed mixing of 5 mg melamine in one kg milk for
adults’ consumption and 1mg in one
kg milk for children. He said the PSQCA had not given a single reason
why the dangerous substance like melamine, which was a kind of
plastic, was allowed to be added in milk since it was proved to have
been a major cause of renal failure and other deadly diseases. He said
the main reason melamine was allowed to be mixed in milk was because
the major chunk of natural protein was extracted from the milk before
packaging and melamine was added to artificially compensate the loss
of protein and thinness of milk. He cited example of China where three
persons found guilty of adding melamine in milk were hanged to death.

Melamine Tolerable Daily Intake across the world are as follows

EU : 0.5 milligrams per kg of body mass per day
Canada : 0.35 mg per kg of body mass per day
US : Originally 0.63 mg but now 0.063 mg per kg of body mass per day

WHO : 0.2 mg per kg of body mass per day
China : 2.5 mg per kg in products with more than 15%
milk content

As the Daily Times report says, besides melamine for increasing
protein content, PQSCA provided evidence that there was formalin and
certain pathogens in the milk content as well. People are paying a
premium price for these products. Corporate giants are even worse than
the gawala at adulteration of milk. When did our morality go the dogs?

I feel that even if conclusively proven before the court and the
judgment obviously public data then, mainstream media will not create
the necessary hype as they would certainly fear losing advertising
money from giants such as Nestle, Haleeb Foods and Engro Foods.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed: “The media is directed not to
report on the contents of the report submitted by Eurofins Global
Cenral, Hamburg, Germany, dated February 22, 2010, till further
orders. The office is directed to intimate the media accordingly.”