Natural Society | December 31 2012
With the aid of innovative and highly sensitive testing, Spanish-Moroccan scientists determined that there could be up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics, and growth hormones in a single glass of milk. The researchers say that the traces are so small that consumers need not worry about adverse effects, so we’ll just have to take their word for it, it seems.
The scientists analyzed 20 samples of milk—cow’s, goat’s, and human—bought in Spain and Morocco, and found a chemical cocktail of ingredients added to the animal’s diet prior to milking or contamination through feed or on the farm. Some of the contaminants found in trace amounts include triclosan (an anti-fungal), 17-beta-estradiol (a sex hormone), and florfenicol (an antibiotic).
It’s worth noting that the image provided by the University of Jaen lists the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac twice in error. Their findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Advances in Food Safety
University of Jaen’s Dr. Evaristo Ballesteros marveled over their technique, which could be used to assess the food safety of other products. “We believe the new methodology will help to provide a more effective way of determining the presence of these kinds of contaminants in milk or other products.”
“Food quality control laboratories could use this new tool to detect these drugs before they enter the food chain. This would raise consumers’ awareness and give them the knowledge that food is…harmless, pure, genuine, beneficial to health, and free of toxic residues.”