Harmful chemicals in cow milk, curd and fodder: Study

Partha Shankar Saha . Dhaka | Update:

File photoCow milk, curd and fodder of the country are contaminated with different types of harmful chemical elements, antibiotics and lead, found a government study.

The chemical elements, once consumed by human, can be harmful for the health to the extent of causing cancer, experts said.

National Food Safety Labratory (NFSL) conducted the research collecting samples from different parts of the country. The findings of the survey were revealed at a programme at the Public Health Institute auditorium in Dhaka on Sunday.

United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) provided the fund for researching cow fodder, milk, curd and packaged milk.
According to the study, almost all the samples of fodder contained excessive level of antibiotics. Some even contained pesticides, lead or chromium.

The cow fodder samples were found to be contaminated with different harmful chemicals. Among 30 samples, pesticides were found in two samples, chromium in 16, tetracycline in 22, enrofloxacin in 26, ciprocin in 30 and aflatoxin in four samples.

NFSL collected 96 samples of cow milk from different parts of the country.

Pesticides were found in 9 per cent samples, tetracycline in 13 per cent, lead in 15 per cent and microbial factors were found in 96 per cent of the samples.

Excessive amount of tetracycline was found in 30 per cent of packaged milk while microbial factors were found in 66 to 80 per cent of the samples.

Among 33 samples of curd, microbial factors were found in 51 per cent of the samples. One sample was contaminated with lead.

When asked, Lutful Kabir, a teacher of pharmacological study department at Dhaka University, said, “Those chemical elements will damage the body's immune system.”

He further said that finding lead and chromium in milk is alarming. Those chemical elements will ultimately cause cancer.

The chemicals may enter the body of a cow through fodder or through steroid used for fattening, said public health expert Obaidur Rab.
"The research has shown us that the issue of public health is being neglected in the field level," he added.

Obaidur, also country director of Population Council, recommended that sanitary inspectors should be trained in identifying those harmful chemicals.

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