In a bold move, India has continued the imposition of ban on the milk products imported from China. Recommended by the food regulator FSSAI, the ban on the milk and milk products imported from China, including chocolates, which was first imposed in September 2008, is now extended further until the laboratories at the ports for testing the presence of toxic chemical melamine are upgraded.
To quote the recent order as levied by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, “Prohibition on import of milk, milk products (including chocolates, chocolate products, candies/confectionary/ food preparations with milk or milk solids as an ingredient) from China is extended until the capacity of all laboratories at ports of entry have been suitably upgraded for testing melamine.” It may be interesting to note here that there is no mention of the required timeline for the upgradation of facilities in all the laboratories.
For those unaware, following the detection of the toxic chemical melamine in other imports, used otherwise to create plastic items and fertilizers, the FSSAI imposed a ban on the import of such products from China first in September 2008. Though India didn’t import these products frequently, they placed this ban as a preventive measure. Since then, this ban has been continuously extended, with no breaks at all.
The FSSAI also issued a statement that said, “The ban on import of milk and milk products, including chocolates and chocolate products and confectionary or food preparations with milk and milk solids as ingredients from China may be extended until the capacity of all laboratories at ports of entry have been suitably upgraded for testing melamine.”
How does this ban affect us? Since 2016, India has had cold relations with China. Following their mischievous attempts to infiltrate our borders, as well as that of Bhutan, India was on the verge on a violent scuffle with China in Doklam in 2017. Moreover, China has been continuously blocking our efforts in UN to declare dreaded terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, as a ‘global terrorist’.
By extending the ban, India will not only ensure the protection of indigenous milk production, but also send a clear message to China that Indians are no pushovers. We appreciate this move by FSSAI and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and hope that they extend the ban until the requisite reforms are brought into action. Moreover, it is praiseworthy that the authorities have been firm in keeping the health of the citizens of this country at the top of their priorities, defying Chinese attempts to slip adulterated and harmful products into India.