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Monday, October 20, 2008

Beyond Melamine...the Milky Chaos

Mr. Mofijuddin Milky, 36, private service holder, father of two sees more to this recent chaos regarding powder milk, which is one of the major items as baby food. The elated yet confused Mr. Milky wishes to thank the following with regard to this developing story.

He would like to thank God almighty first of all for bringing down this divine punishment to the sector which produces and markets powder milk in Bangladesh. He thanks Him for punishing these over greedy profit-mongers who happen to adjust (read increase mindlessly) prices for their powder milk almost every month. He thinks 'what goes round comes round', since those companies have taken the general consumers hostage for a long time, now its God's will that they get a taste of their own medicine.

Mr. Milky would also like to thank the media for singing in unison against the companies and
their brand who are 'caring enough' to feed melamine...perhaps as a replacement to calcium,
iron etc. to our babies. Media plays a big role in making or breaking or shaping up an industry. Journalists have babies too...they had been held hostage to this price crime by powder milk producing companies...and Mr. Milky thinks that its good that the journalists have joined this Jihad against this indiscriminant price tyrants. So this is not the time to pick and choose, its time to brush fire and the whole industry needs to bear the backlash fuelled by leading media in the country.

Mr. Milky also hails the media as those suspected companies are using that very media platform to publish their announcements of innocence and claiming that their product is free from melamine. So media is surely in the dominant role in these trying times. However he suspects that some of those rogue companies might be trying their best to convince some media and their mouthpieces to stop bullshitting and save their falling brand images and the consequential loss of consumer faith.

Mr. Milky thanks the lab of the Chemistry Department at Dhaka University, the Plasma lab,
the BSTI and all others for making the water muddier. He underscores that all kind of
revolution and protest against the odds and evils have always generated from the Dhaka University and this time as well, is no exception. So he thinks that this movement will be a success.

Mr. Milky would like to have a good laugh at the Government for making yet another committee and trying to find out what to do and what to advise to general citizens. He whips that starting from Tata's investment proposal to moon sighting during Eid, what they always do best is forming committees and then getting confused and remain without a decision until the general mass and media lose all interest to follow the topic any further and the issue goes into oblivion.

However, Mr. Milky is still worried about what to feed his children, one 2 years and one 5 year old. He has decided to cut down on his occasional habit of eating himself the infant food and he would advise his wife to do the same, given the scarcity of baby food. He is hopeful that this crisis would bring down the price of a vital product such as baby food down to tolerable limits and within the buying limit of the middle class. He would still keep on thinking about food items for his children...he plans to contact Pizza Hut and World Food Programme (WFP) if children in Bangladesh can be fed delicious pizzas from their very early years to alleviate hunger once and for all from the face of Bangladesh.


Ahmed Ali said...

I know it may be ironic, but in the US, you will rarely find powdered milk ever. If you do find powdered milk, it has a big picture of a cute cat on it. Advertising its really meant for your cats. Not humans or babies but for cats. Milk here is always sold in the fresh liquid form. Excess stock is disposed every 4-5 days.

I just think its really funny how all the milk companies in Asia managed to put a spin to get rid off fresh milk out of the markets and replace it with powdered milk as if it is a normal and acceptable replacement. Fresh milk wouldn't have these problems unless you fed your cow Sharif Melamine.

Secondly I think the committees are more to do with Nestle than anyone else. Before the reports came out, all milk brands (Dano, Nestle et all) published huge ads saying how their milk products aren't Chinese.

Now after a large Swiss conglomerate, Nestle gets caught in the net, this seriously jeopardizes Swiss aid to Bangladesh. This new committee determined to rescue Nestle's Nido.

Krisoks said...

The problem certainly related to production and consumption system. Imagine, our ancestors wished "Amar sontan Jeno thake dudhe bhate (I wish our child will eat milk and rice)". Obviously the cow is reared by us, the rice is from the field. To pave the way for the companies, world production system has unilaterally focused on intensification with chemicals. destroying the humanity.
Surprisingly Nestle, Dano etc. in Bangladesh are not saying that they didn't added melamine. Please go through the advertisements on Bangladeshi newspapers by Aria Foods ingredients amba, Denmark (Process the brand DANO) and Newzealand Dairy Products BD Ltd. Both of their advertisements language are same. Especially " has been proved that melamine has not been mixed as the adulterants to the products of...."
So the question arise here "Why the scientists of the companies have added melamine to the products?"


I must laugh a little on Mr. AA's comment, who is comparing US market with BD market. First reality, Bangladesh is a milk dry country and there is lack of fresh milk as per demand. So here comes the second reality , we have to import milk from outside - the good part is that we are importing milks from companies like Arla and Fonterra, they are some of the world's biggest milk producing companies. So you think only your cat will drink powdered milk, then think again, not every part of the world is as lucky as US dwellers. And there is nothing wrong with powdered milk either.

And only in DU report, Melamine was found in Nido and Dano, In fact in other two lab reports conducted by Govt. didn't find melamine in any of these milks. Furthermore, melamine has been only mixed by chinese milk processing companies. THe milks of fonterra got tainted in China, since these melamine contaminated milk was mixed up with Fonterra's milk. Now think of this scenario, new zealand has ample milk there and they do not import milk from other countries (in this China), and there is no claim by any news agency that they mixed melamine in new zealand, and Nido is importing milk directly from new zealand, so the milk we are getting should be free of melamine, since there is no way chinese milk has been mixed up with fonterra's milk in new zealand. So we can hypothetically conclude that there is no melamine in milks of arla and fonterra, that we get in our country.

The fault is with the testing body which is creating confusion in people's mind, where they should be reaching a decision about these products.

Anonymous said...

Let's chuck another spanner into the works: what about certain "health experts", whackjobs mostly, who advocate that drinking cow's milk of any quality is bad for the human diet?

Milk, after all, is food made for feeding and nourishing babies--cow's milk is made for baby cows.

So why are we drinking the milk of another species? Humans are the only animals that drink the milk of another animal. Every mammal weens off it's mother's milk and graduates to solid foods. Humans do too, but start drinking the milk of another species.

And why cows? Because they're easy to herd, domesticate, produce lots of milk, and are easy to commercialize.

Have we been duped into drinking milk just because it's good business?

Should we switch to "healthier" alternatives that are plant-based, e.g., soy milk or rice milk?