LAHORE: The Food Department of the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) has purchased an Elisa milk-testing machine, which is the first such equipment in any food-testing laboratory across the country.
The machine has been imported from the United Kingdom (UK) at a cost of Rs 3 million and is rated among the best milk testers in the world. It has been installed in the food-testing laboratory of the CDGL and can examine 12 parameters of milk quality in only a minute. The number of kits used in it for milk testing is sufficient for almost two years. The price of each kit ranges between Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,800. The machine is very sensitive and requires special training for operating. The machine can also detect a chemical called melamine used in plastic pots.
Capable: Food District Officer (DO) Dr Masood Ashraf said now the CDGL was capable of testing milk on its own and Lahore was the first city to have the facility. He said although melamine was not the department’s issue, the CDGL was also capable of detecting such chemicals. The DO said the machine was very sophisticated and foreign experts had imparted special training to the officials to operate it.
The CDGL had reinvited the tender for purchasing an Elisa machine in April, after a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the sale of contaminated milk. Although the CDGL’s laboratory was equipped to check food adulterations according to the Punjab Pure Food Ordinance (PPFO), it could not test the quality of milk.
According to details, Watan Party Pakistan member Dr Muhammad Yaqoob Bhatti had moved a petition against the supply of adulterated milk. The petitioner’s counsel Barrister Zafarullah Khan informed the court that according to reports, 80 percent of milk supplied to consumers was poisonous.
The petitioner said according to data, the Food Department, in the last five years, had collected 19,718 samples of milk and 17,529 samples were found adulterated. He asserted that contaminated milk was being sold in Pakistan. He requested that the supply of poisonous milk be stopped. The LHC was informed that the CDGL’s testing laboratory had no equipment to check adulteration in milk. The court had expressed serious displeasure over the report that the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) laboratory did not have the equipment required for milk-testing.