A glass of “fresh and pure” milk in the morning prepares you for the daily grind. But drinking Milma milk, a staple of Keralites, may not be that helpful.

The Kerala High Court has taken Milma to task for plugging its milk as “fresh and pure” when its sachets contains reconstituted skimmed milk powder.

On Monday, the court asked Milma (Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.) to remove the imprint “fresh and pure” from the sachets and instead print that they contained skimmed milk.

Milma should inform the court about the action taken by next week. Otherwise, the court will order that the federation has been defrauding its consumers.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice S. Siri Jagan and Justice K. Ramakrishnan, made the oral observation during the hearing of an appeal filed by Martin Paiva against a single judge’s verdict allowing Milma to increase the milk price.

The court had earlier observed that Milma, if it did not delete the two words from its sachets, would be banned from selling milk as fresh milk.

When counsel for Milma told the court that the description “fresh and pure” on its milk sachets was part of a “mnemonic symbol” owned by the National Dairy Development Board, the court orally observed that the Board was then abetting the federation to defraud its consumers.

In an affidavit, Milma said the Board and it had an agreement on the use of this symbol. It was a trademark registered in the name of the Board. Most milk federations and unions in the country were using the symbol on their milk sachets. The words “fresh and pure” were not Milma’s creation.

The affidavit said that if skimmed milk powder were not to be added, toned and double-toned milk within the standards prescribed in the Food Safety Standard Regulations could not be produced in Kerala. The milk produced by crossbred cows in the State contained a lower SNF (solid non-fat) content. If the content were to be lower than prescribed, the regulations would be violated. The NDDB was importing the skimmed milk powder. Packing of milk without processing and distributing it were impossible.

Countering the arguments, the petitioner said Milma was bound to indicate the nature of milk in its sachets, as the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, prescribed. Milma should mention B for buffalo milk, C for cow milk and G for goat milk on its sachets.

Keywords: Milmaskimmed milk

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