Supply Chain Under Scrutiny After Formaldehyde Scandal24 May 2013
BRAZIL – A mix of public and private bodies have been commissioned to formulate a milk supply chain control protocol, following revelations of formaldehyde and urea being mixed with milk.
Transportation and inspection processes have been prioritised by the industry and the Ministry of Agriculture. They blame the unregulated, privately contracted milk hauliers as the reason for milk tampering.
Early proposals suggest that milk tankers are quality tested, in addition to farm and processor quality controls, already stipulated by law.
Inspection methods will also be vamped up. More efficient and accurate testing is desired to ensure no milk tampering repeat.
Worries started to mount ealier this month. News that saboteurs were engaging in illegal activities reached the National Milk Quality Programme.
It transpired that hauliers paid on a volume basis were watering down milk and adding urea to keep protein levels sufficiently high.
Upon this discover a large Ministry investigation was initiated, centring on the Rio Grande do Sul region at dairies in the town of Guapore, Sellbach and Crissiumal.
Although laboratory testing confirmed that milk formaldehyde quantities were too low to seriously pose a health risk to consumers, an extensive milk recall process was initiated.
Earlier this month, 318,000 litres of raw milk were seized in bulk tankers. ‘Adulterated milk’ was found to come from three processors - LTV, Marasca and Leading.