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Detergent found in Mother Dairy’s milk sample in Agra

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Agra:  Two samples of milk produced by Mother Dairy have been found to be substandard, and one of them contained detergent, a food watchdog official said on Tuesday. A Mother Dairy official denied the charges, saying the company conducts “stringent quality tests”, and the substandard milk was wrongly attributed to it.

Ram Naresh Yadav, chief of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department in Agra, said two samples were taken from Mother Dairy’s collection centres in Bah tehsil, 70 km from Agra city, in November 2014.

“The samples were sent to the Lucknow laboratory which declared both of them substandard. The company challenged the results and demanded the samples be sent to the Kolkata lab, which too found them defective. In fact, the Kolkata lab found one sample contained detergent,” Yadav said.

However, a Mother Dairy official denied that the milk supplied in pouches was substandard.

“It is very unfortunate that the samples collected at the village level are being wrongly attributed to Mother Dairy,” Sandeep Ghosh, business head for milk at Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd., said.

“We would like to clarify that at Mother Dairy, milk undergoes four levels of thorough testing at input, processing, dispatches and even at market level. Every tanker of milk reaching our plants passes a series of 23 stringent quality tests to check any deviation from defined parameters.

“These tests assist in detecting contamination of milk through water, urea, detergent, oil, etc. For any such adulteration, the milk is immediately rejected from further action. Only after securing clearance from all quality measures, the milk is then accepted for processing and re-examined after processing,” Ghosh said.

The Mother Dairy official said that as a “responsible organisation”, they follow “100 percent testing protocol rather than resorting to random testing procedures”.

“To ensure only best and safe quality milk reaches our consumers, we make sure that every batch of milk is again tested before dispatch.”

He also said Mother Dairy follows a “unique practice” of testing its own milk at retail points too.

Around 100 samples from the market are tested on a daily basis, thus ensuring that the products available are safe for consumption, Ghosh said.

The spokesperson said supplies were often rejected by the company if found to be substandard.

“The rejections are due to quality concerns and may vary. We rejected 10 milk tankers in December 2014. The rejected milk is not permitted inside our premises and returned back to suppliers,” the official said. (IANS)

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US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans 19 chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps

In 2013, the FDA proposed the ban, saying that using antibacterial soaps containing these chemicals “could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects”

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The FDA has banned 19 chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps. Image source: Pixabay

September 05, 2016: The FDA has banned 19 chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned 19 chemicals found in the antibacterial soaps which are widely used by Americans.

“Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections,” the FDA wrote in a news release.

In its ruling, the FDA said this would apply to soaps containing any of the 19 chemicals, including triclosan, found in liquid soaps, and triclocarbon, found in soap bars.

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The FDA said some soap manufacturers had already removed these ingredients.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

Antibacterial hand wipes, liquid hand sanitizers and other products used in a “healthcare setting” are not covered by the ruling.

In 2013, the FDA proposed the ban, saying that using antibacterial soaps containing these chemicals “could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.”

The agency sought further data from manufacturers that showed the soaps were effective but said such data was not provided.

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Manufacturers have one year to comply to the FDA’s ruling.

While the FDA maintains that simple soap and water is the best way to prevent spreading germs, if they are not available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. (VOA)

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Why is it ‘Holy’ Cow in Hinduism? Find out!

Ayurveda places importance on the sattvic properties of cow milk and other dairy products

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Ghats of Maheshwar. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • In Hinduism, Lord Krishna is depicted frolicking with cows and is shown playing his flute amongst cows and Gopis, or milkmaids
  • Ayurveda places importance on the sattvic properties of cow milk and other dairy products 
  • Milk, paneer (home-made cheese), ghee (home-made butter), urine and dung are the five things that cows provide that give it its reverence

For those who practice Hinduism, the divinity of the cow is unquestioned. So why are cows considered sacred in the first place in Hinduism? Well, the answer lies in the oldest Hindu scriptures, the Vedas.

It is interesting to note that in ancient times, cattle, and even oxen, were often offered as a sacrifice to the gods and the meat was widely eaten. Nevertheless, the milk produced by them was considered an irreplaceable food source and milk-producing cows were not used in the rituals even then.

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Soon after, one of the three main gods in Hinduism, Lord Krishna, started to be depicted frolicking with cows. He was shown as playing his flute amongst cows and Gopis, or milkmaids. The god himself is often referred to as Govinda and Gopala (friend and protector of cows) and is known to have grown up as a cow herder. Even his transport is Nandi, a sacred bull. The Vedas also associate the cow with Aditi, the mother of all gods. The imagery often consists of white cows with flower garlands to emphasize their esteem.

Contrary to popular belief, Hindus do not think that the animal itself is a god and do not worship it.

God Krishna with Flute and cows around him. Image source: www.hindugodwallpaper.com
God Krishna with Flute and cows around him. Image source: www.hindugodwallpaper.com

A cow is instead considered as a sacred symbol of life that is to be protected and admired. This is why it is considered sinful to kill a cow or eat beef. The answer may also lie partly with Ayurveda and the importance it places on the sattvic properties of cow milk and other dairy products. They are believed to be an important source of Ojas, which boosts immunity and provides strength. Additionally, milk and dairy products are all said to be highly nutritious and provide protein and calcium for our bodies.

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The unparalleled uses of the cow do not end there. Milk, paneer (home-made cheese), ghee (home-made butter), urine and dung are the five things that cows provide that give it its reverence. Cow dung is often used as a fuel in rural areas in India as it contains high levels of methane and generates heat and electricity. Many houses in villages also plaster the outside of the walls of their homes with a mud and cow dung mixture to provide insulation. It is also rich in minerals and is an excellent natural fertilizer for the soil.

All in all, the history and practical uses of the cow and the things it provides grant it the level of sanctity that it has today. This places the animal on par with the deities and makes sit just as sacred to the Hindus.

– by Varsha Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter: @VarshaGupta94

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Knowing why cows ‘moo’ will leave you amused for sure

When cows enter into her breeding period, she gets very local. They don’t want to wait around for one so they let bulls know via mooing that they are ready to make calves

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cows are sensitive animals, Wikimwdia commons

Today researchers are trying to formulate what exactly cows are saying when they moo. This helps them to understand more deeply about how cows communicate with each other.

Jared Decker, a cattle geneticist at the University of Missouri says that “I can’t translate cow moos into English, but there are certain times when you can tell when the cattle are communicating with one another.”

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Cow ‘moo’, Wikimedia commons

Reasons behind mooing that you will find amusing

  • Finding friends – Cows moo in order to find new friends when they go to a new location. When cows are shifted to a new environment then they moo and figure out their surroundings. Mooing is the way of their investigating. Cows like plain and boring routines but given a chance they also like to explore new lands with their friends.
  • In search of a boyfriend – When cows enter into her breeding period, she gets very local. They don’t want to wait around for one so they let bulls know via mooing that they are ready to make calves.
  • In search of their calf or their mother – When a mother cow is not able to find her calf then she makes a loud, high pitched moo call. When their calves are close a significant decrease in frequency of their moo has been noticed. Calves moo when they need milk and also when they need their mother. Moms and babies recognize each other voices.
  • I’m hungry – Cows moo when they are hungry. This time, their call is for the farmer to give them some hay. They will complain if their stomach is empty.
  • Want to be milked – Cows are very generous animals. They don’t demand anything except for punctual milking schedules. If one is not punctual and goes few hours late then they become all cranky and start mooing telling to hurry up.
  • Time to play – Cows have their playtime. They like to play with other cows. Cows will playfully moo when they are head butting with each other or when they are jumping around.
Exploring lands, Wikimedia ommons
Exploring lands, Wikimedia commons

So be it cow-municating or Com’moo’nicating, we know now why do cows moo.

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-by Pritam

Pritam is pursuing engineering and is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle: @pritam_gogreen