(Bihar Times)Last month a municipal gaushala in Patiala fed its cows the normal green fodder. 39 died within a few hours. A mob gathered and the gaushala workers who had no hand in getting the feed which was supplied by a commissioned contractor fled. The issue was taken up by communal elements and they took over the gaushala on the excuse that they could look after the cows better. Two days later 27 more died. Only then did the local administration start looking at the source of the contractor’s feed. Till today neither he nor his suppliers have been arrested.
In September scientists at the government Central Food Toxicology Research detected cancer-causing fungal toxins exceeding safety limits in samples of ultra-high-temperature processed milk- milk considered to be extremely sterile and pure. This is a problem that has been highlighted by scientists for the last ten years without having any action taken.
The poisonous compound is called aflatoxin M1 and it was found in 20 per cent of the samples of UHT (Ultra High Temperature processed) milk they examined. Earlier studies in India over the past decade have identified aflatoxins in raw and pasteurised milk but this is the first report of aflatoxins in UHT milk.
UHT milk is usually sold in tetrapacks as a shelf-stable product that needs no refrigeration until opened. Scientists at the CFTRI selected 45 samples of UHT milk from brands sold across the country. They found aflatoxin M1 levels exceeding limits imposed by India's Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) in 10 out of the 45 samples of UHT milk, in six out of 45 samples of raw milk and in three out of seven samples of pasteurised milk. The raw and pasteurised milk was collected from milk suppliers across Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Their findings have appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
High levels of aflatoxins in livestock feed such as maize residue and peanut cake seem to be the reason for the toxins in milk. This is not the first time that warnings have been given to the livestock sector. In north-west India in 1974, thousands of cattle died after eating mouldy maize with extremely high aflatoxin levels (ranging from 6250 to 15,600 mg/kg). More than forty years later, the dairy industry in India – that relies on milk supplies from livestock – does not test samples for aflatoxin before they pool the milk for industry-level processing. Since the late 1990s, reports of aflatoxins in milk have emerged from Thrissur in Kerala and Anand in Gujarat. Biochemists at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow had detected very high aflatoxin levels in samples of infant milk food, milk-based weaning cereals and liquid milk in 2004.
Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature. They can colonize and contaminate grain before harvest or during storage. Host crops, which include maize, sorghum, and groundnuts, are particularly susceptible to infection by Aspergillus following prolonged exposure to a high-humidity environment, or damage from stressful conditions such as drought. Humidity, moisture, and poor storage conditions contribute to the growth of fungi and aflatoxins in livestock feed. Researchers have reported high values “up to 3,300 micrograms per kg” of the fungal toxin aflatoxin B1 in livestock feed. Aflatoxin B1 is metabolised by animals and converted into aflatoxin M1, which is secreted in milk. Aflatoxins are also sometimes found in eggs and meat when animals are fed contaminated grains.
Since studies show that these aflatoxins are resistant to heat treatment, the object should be to reduce their intake. But while most developed countries have set maximum permissible limits for aflatoxin levels in livestock feed, no such mandatory limits exist for livestock fodder in India. The limit for aflatoxins in milk set by the European Commission is “0.05 microgram per kg.” 90 per cent of our milk is higher than this. In 2006 FSSAI imposed 0.5 microgram per kg limit on milk in India - 10 times higher than the EC limit. Even that is lower than what is currently found. Recent studies conducted by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in South India revealed that aflatoxin levels were as high as 40 times the permissible limit. In a study published in the journal Food Control, researchers found that over 90% of the milk samples used in the study contained aflatoxin M1 levels. In these studies, contamination of milk was found to be high in both rural and urban areas, across a cross section of the population. Children were found to be most susceptible to the adverse health effects of these toxins.
At least 14 different types of aflatoxin are produced in nature. Aflatoxin B1 is considered the most toxic and is produced by fungi called Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. These are among the most potent of carcinogens that cause more than 90,000 cases of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer each year. Consumption of aflatoxins can also lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, liver damage, convulsions, kidney, liver and heart disease, and in extreme cases, coma and death. Long-term aflatoxin poisoning in cattle leads to decrease in growth rate, lowered milk production and immune suppression. Some experiments have also shown high incidence of hepatitis B infection where dietary exposure to aflatoxins was prevalent.
Aflatoxins are strongly associated with stunting and immune suppression in children. In a 2015 study published by the Mitigating Aflatoxin Consumption for Improving Child Growth, researchers established a relationship between aflatoxin exposure and linear child growth. The study focused on children in the last trimester of gestation to age two (the primary period of growth faltering), and studied 1829 pregnant women who were enrolled from 2013 to 2014. Initial data collection found aflatoxin in the blood of all participants. The researchers reduced aflatoxin exposure by 50% in all participants and found that the reduction led to improved growth in the children tested.
Feed refusal, reduced growth rate, and decreased feed efficiency are the predominant signs of chronic aflatoxin poisoning in animals. In addition, listlessness, weight loss, rough hair coat, and mild diarrhoea may be seen. Anaemia along with bruises and subcutaneous haemorrhages are also frequent symptoms of aflatoxicosis. Increased susceptibility to other diseases, increased abortions and rectal prolapse are also signs. But in our country where vets are like hair on a near balding head, who is interpreting these symptoms?
How many of you know what food is being fed to the animals that give you milk? There are no pastures left in this country and cows/buffalos graze on the roadsides and on dirty human trodden grass. All green fodder grown for animals is grown with pesticides. Remember that if UHT milk, which means milk that has been pasteurized at very high temperatures, cannot remove the fungus, it is better not to drink the stuff at all.
To join the animal welfare movement contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazards of toxic food for Animals
How to make Pesticides at Home
Natural Mosquito Repellents
Plight of aquarium fish
Eat Vegetarian diet to live longer
Some Useful Innovations for Rural People
Plant foods do not contain any cholesterol
The Truth About Protein
Mock Meats : The Moral Alternatives
Is China going to eat up the whole world?
Ways to become thinner or fatter
Animal Studies Paint Misleading Picture
Are you alone?
What do you eat when you eat fish
How ANIMALS manage their time—A STUDY
Next time you look into your beloved’s soul, look for the parasites at the gateway...
Medicinal Use of Cow Urine
Influence of Animals on human beings
Cruel Ways of Eating Animals & Birds by Humans II
Cruel Ways of Eating Animals & Birds by Humans I
Are you a Good Samaritan?
How to Check Adulteration in Milk
Stable Environment for healthy fish needed
Fish Lovers- Beware
Role of Bacteria in shaping behavior of genes
A Suitable Cow
Some Tips On Nursing Puppies
Ban Battery cage for chicken
Varieties of Chicken we eat
Slaughter houses and increased crime rates
Breeds of dog in India
Cruelty to animals on the occasion of festivals
Real foods spoil very quickly, fast foods not
The Myth of Swine & Avian Flu in India
Fish eating causes health hazard
Animal sacrifice in Pauri Garhwal area of Uttarakhand
Difference between Veg and Non-veg
Virgin Mary among Lizards
Nature-the most inspiring model for our Ecosystems
Role of denial in eating of Meat
The Technology of Synthetic Milk
Honeybee-the insect for human food chain
Why do dogs bark
Characteristics of varieties of caterpillars
Emotional Complexity of Animals
Meat eating causes diseases
Rat in Hindu mythology
Which animal you are
Man’s alter ego-an Animal
Career in management of welfare of Animals
Profession of Pet grooming
What you Eat When you Eat Processed Meat
How to train a dog to make it useful
The Purpose of Minor Beings in Our Ecosystem
Cruelty to Bears in Pakistan
How Onion Drives Away Viruses
How to save an animal from burn injury
Production of Honey is cruelty to Bee
Meat eating causes Global warming
Hazards of fish factories
Growth of a bird till it flies
Creatures of the world live and help live
Killing a snake brings bad luck
Effects of the startle Reflex on Animals
Awaken Your Soul by Loving Animals
Feeling of grief in Animals
Altruism in Animals
Music Soothes Animals
How Animals recognize their Kins
Animals teach their offspring like human moms
Cruelty to Animals in Slaughter houses
What is the secret to a perfect life and happiness?
How is Ghee being adulterated ?
Difference between a man & an animal
Homosexuality Is Not Against Nature In Animal Kingdom
Programmes for improving Animal Welfare
Promiscuity in mating behaviour of Birds
Uses for slaughtered Animals accelerate killing of Animals
Slingshots & Catapults Destroy Wild Life
Human Intelligibility of Animals
Animal grooming of offspring is worth emulating
Illegal Trade of Killing Cattle
Eating Cattle Meat Causes E Coli Infection
Some tips on making Puppies’ life comfortable
Some tips on keeping kittens clean
Snake skin trade dangerous for eco system
Dog shows are not for dog lovers but for moneymakers and charlatans
Political agenda for Animal welfare needed
How foolish it is to kill Sea creatures for Ornaments
Infectious diseases from Animals to Humans
How pitiable is Rabbit farming?
Remedies for Animal ailments
Infected Pig Meat Risks Your Life
Animals spread dangerous Ebola virus to humans
Animals Have More Sense
Municipal Policy on hazards of pet shops
Mutualism makes Species of the nature flourish
Adoption Fair for Puppies
How Animals behave in packs
Why People prefer dogs and cats to human beings
Positive effects of spaying and neutering on pets
Mammals & Birds cry like human beings
Biomemetics Provides solution to human problems
Chinese food products- the greatest killer
Pets make better partners than humans
How harmful is the Packaged Meat
Stop Slaughter of Cows for Bone Trade
How cruel it is to dump pet animals ? view comments...
Don’t hurt animals on festive occasions
Let the earth beings survive
Glues are made of animal remains
Meat increases risk of cancer
Birds provide springboard to song composers
Is it not an act of Cannibalism?
How many animals do you have to eat before you become man ?
To eat or not to eat Meat
Insulin from Animals
Is It Healthy Decision to Promote Rat Eating in Bihar
Use of Animal bones in Porcelain
Infection of Tick disease in Dogs and its cure
Vegetarian diet is the best diet for human beings
Non-Veg Diet causes Dementia
Excuses for being non-vegetarians
Body odour of Non-vegetarians
MEAT threatens Planet’s Survival
Am I smarter than you ? Yes, if you are a meat eater.
Need to orient educational system to deal with animals
How to Avoid Cruelty to Gold Fish?
How To Make Everyday An Animal day
Are Eggs Vegetarian?
Are You One of these People ?
Use of Animal Fats in Cosmetics Industries
Killing of endangered Species for Perfume Industries
Missionary Campaign to Control Cruelty to Animals- needed
Drink Milk, Get Sick
Parents Create Monsters
The Business of Murder:Factory Farming and the Meat Industry in India
Effect of landscaping of birds on environment
Dangers of killing deep Sea-Sharks for Cosmetic Products
Use of dog in diagnosis of diseases
Sacred Nature of Neelkanth
Cruelty to Polo Ponies comments...
Self-Regulation of Population by Animals
Dangers of Animal meat eating
Arsenic poison in chicken feed
Cruelty to Animals by Govt. Vets
Worship of God with Blood and Suffering of Animals and Birds
Consequences of Chloramphenicol in Shrimp Industry
Hazards of Trade in Peacocks’ Feather
Supreme Court Ban on cruelty to Animals
Are you a Bad Pet Owner?
The Goat That Laughed and Wept
Animal Owners’ personality traits resemble their Pets’
Human Propensities of Goat
sacrifice at the altar of religion
as foster parent
feed from rendering plant
Intelligence of Birds
Human Propensities of Cow