Private dairy firms flay ‘zero coliform’ provision

Kathmandu, September 25

Private dairy firms have denounced the provision of ‘zero coliform’ in milk and other dairy products that the government has highlighted in the amended draft of Food Act 1996.

Organising a press conference today, officials of Nepal Dairy Association (NDA), a body representing the country’s private dairy firms, said that such a provision of zero-tolerance of coliform has to be reviewed. “Even developed nations don’t have the provision of ‘zero coliform’ in milk. Such provisions, instead of promoting dairy firms, will ruin the industry,” said Sumit Kedia, president of NDA, adding that the government should allow up to 10 coliform per millilitre, which according to Kedia is an international practice.

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control is preparing to send the amended draft with ‘zero coliform’ provision to the Cabinet for endorsement.

Informing that to maintain ‘zero coliform’ provision in dairy products is impossible, Kedia said that implementation of such a policy will put Rs 15 billion worth of investment of private dairy firms at risk.

On the occasion, NDA General Secretary Prahlad Dahal said that the government should adopt international standards for the domestic dairy industry.

Meanwhile, NDA also announced that it will hold an exhibition of dairy products and technology in the Capital from Tuesday. Aimed at encouraging people to consume dairy products, NDA officials said that the exhibition will also offer a common platform to stakeholders of the dairy industry to discuss problems and prospects of the industry. According to NDA, the event will have 25 stalls of dairy products, services and technology.

“The strength of the dairy sector in Nepal hinges on technology, technical manpower and consumption rate of dairy products. The exhibition aims to enhance these three aspects to promote the entire dairy sector of Nepal,” said Kedia.