Fact Check: WHO Warn That 87% of Indians Will Get Cancer By 2025 Due To Adulterated Milk? Here’s The Truth


A newspaper clipping, claiming that Indians are going to suffer from cancer by 2025 due to the adulterated milk that comes in packets, is doing the rounds on social media. It is also claimed that the statement was made by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The title of the newspaper article reads: पिशवीतील भेसळयुक्त दूधामुळे 87 टक्के भारतीय लोक 2025 पर्यंत कॅन्सर ने ग्रस्त होतील –WHO.  गेल्या अनेक दिवसांपासून ही माहिती, जनतेपासून लपवून ठेवली आहे. आजच सावध व्हा! (English translation: 87 per cent of Indians will suffer from cancer by 2025 due to adulterated milk in bags – WHO. This information has been kept hidden from the public for the past several days. Be careful today!)

The link to the post can be seen here.


NewsMobile did the fact-check, and found it to be fake.

Searching with keywords, we identified an advisory issued by WHO refuting the viral claim. The advisory reads: “Contrary to reports in a section of media, WHO would like to state that it has not issued any advisory to the Government of India on the issue of adulteration of milk/milk products.”

Also, a press release by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, dated January 19, 2023, reads: “In this regard, the department has informed that this matter has already been examined in the Department in consultation with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).  The WHO country office in India confirms to FSSAI that no such advisory has been issued by WHO to Government of India ever.

The statement further reads: “The Department has reiterated that this kind of false information being circulated in the social media and on WhatsApp should not be given any credence whatsoever. Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Government of India and FSSAI are taking all possible steps to help supply of safe and good quality milk to the consumers across the country.”

We also found that in Lok Sabha, on November 22, 2019, a question regarding people in India getting cancer due to adulterated milk was raised by the MPs — Bidyut Baran Mahato and Sanjay Sadavshiv Rao Mandlik. The question was: “Whether the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued an advisory to the government stating that if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 per cent of citizens may suffer from serious diseases like cancer soon.”

The then minister of health and family welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, had refuted the claim and replied: “No such advisory has been issued by WHO to the Government of India and the same has been confirmed from WHO country office in India by the FSSAI.”

“The Nationwide Milk Safety and Quality Survey conducted by FSSAI in 2018 revealed that only 7% (456 out of total 6,432 samples) had contaminants (antibiotics, pesticides and aflatoxin M1) that make milk unsafe for consumption. Only 12 out of 6,432 samples had adulterants that affect the safety of milk. These 12 samples include six samples adulterated with hydrogen peroxide, three samples adulterated with detergents, two samples adulterated with urea and one sample was found to have neutralisers,” Dr Vardhan added.

According to another report by Business Today, dated October 18, 2019, FSSAI discovered that adulteration and higher-than-allowable levels of antibiotic residues in milk continue to be an issue in the country, although the cases may be far less than commonly assumed.

Hence, we can ascertain that the viral claim is fake.

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