Cow fodder, milk show toxic chemicals at harmful levels

Dhaka, Feb 10 – Various toxic elements like lead, pesticides and several other chemicals in harmful concentrations have been detected in cow fodders and cow milk by a food testing laboratory.
The National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL), a government run laboratory, revealed its survey results at a programme held at the city’s Public Health Institute auditorium on Monday.
The NFSL conducted the survey with the financial assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations based on samples of cow fodder, cow milk, packaged milk and curd, collected from 27 upazilas under four districts including Dhaka.
The NFSL collected the samples all brands of packaged milk from big food stores and directly from dairy farms and found presence of pesticides, lead, chromium, tetracycline, enrofloxacin, ciprocin and aflatoxin between 9 and 96 per cent.
Technical manager and head of NFSL Professor Dr Shahnila Ferdousi disclosed the survey report with the presence of health and family welfare minister Zahid Malik.
According to survey report, 96 samples of cow milk were collected directly from dairy farms and found contaminated with lead (15 per cent samples), pesticides (9 per cent samples), tetracycline (13 per cent samples), all above permitted levels as per FAO, while microbiological impurities were found in 96 per cent of the samples after test.
Besides, microbiological impurities were found in 51 per cent of curd samples collected from sweets shops of different brands while one sample contained lead above permitted level.
The NFSL were collected 31 samples of all brands of packaged milk in the market, both imported and locally produced for the survey. It found 30 per cent of the samples contained tetracycline and one contained lead above permitted levels while 66-80 per cent of the samples were contaminated with microbiological impurities after test.
However, the NFSL also found toxic matters of different harmful chemicals, such as pesticides, lead, chromium, tetracycline, enrofloxacin, ciprocin, and aflatoxin in cow fodders.
“It is very dangerous for human consumption if the toxic level found above permissible levels. It may affect kidney, lever, lung and parts of human body after consumption. It may causes for cancer too,” Dr. Md. Nurul Islam, Dean of Animal Husbandry faculty of Bangladesh Agricultural University told The Independent.
All the matters that found in cow fodders, milk and curd are anti-biotic, he said, adding that it is clearly prohibited to collect milk for consumption purposes after pushing any anti-biotic of a sick milching cow.
“We normally suggested the farmers not to consume milk for 5-6 days after pushing anti-biotic. But farmers can feed the milk to cow calves only after pushing the medicine for 5-6 days,” Dr Islam said in reply to a query.
He said many unscrupulous people involved in producing animal feed from tannery wastes too. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are also using indiscriminately by the farmers in their crop lands and farmers use the straw as feed purposes of their animals, Dr Islam said Besides, many farmers have collected milk in unhygienic ways without cleansing the udders, he added.
“The authority concerned has to strengthen its monitoring activities in field level. Besides, awareness should have to build up in farmers level too,” Dr Islam observed.
State minister for health and family welfare Dr Murad Hasan, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr Abul Kalam Azad, health ministry additional secretary (public health) Habibur Rahman and NFSL director Nirmol Sen were also present at the programme. – Staff Reporter