Animal Husbandry Minister T B Jayachandra, on Thursday, said a few countries had rejected milk produced from Kolar district due to fluoride content above the permissible limit.
Intervening during a discussion on child rights in the Legislative Council, Jayachandra said over exploitation of groundwater in villages of Kolar had resulted in cattle being exposed to water with high fluoride concentration.
The milk with fluoride content was a result of the cattle drinking the contaminated water, he said.
When contacted by Deccan Herald for further details, Jayachandra said a team of scientists from Canada which had accompanied a company team keen on exporting milk from Karnataka had found traces of fluoride in milk, especially produced in Kolar district.
“They told me about the fluoride content and said they were withdrawing their proposal.” He did not mention the other countries which had expressed suspicion about the milk.
“All milk is extensively pasteurised. The main problem is water, not milk. Over exploitation of ground water should stop and defluorination exercise should be taken up,” Jayachandra said.
KMF exports milk and milk products to 15 countries including in those in Africa, South Asia and West Asia under its “Nandini” brand name.
Recently, KMF and African countries signed an agreement for export of ‘Goodlife’ milk in tetrapacks.
Speaking in the Council, Jayachandra said according to a survey of the health department breast milk of women living in Sira and Pavagada Taluk of Tumkur District had fluoride content.
As many as 35 taluks in 12 districts are identified as ‘groundwater overexploited taluks’, he added.
According to a Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) Report of August 2012 on Kolar District, fluoride concentration of more than 1.5 mg/litre was reported from many parts in the district.
Kolar has seen close to 200 to 250 per cent overexploitation of ground water as per 2009 Mines & Geology survey.
The phenomenon of excess fluoride has been recorded over the past 25 years and has increased in the last 10 years.