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Why in news?

  • Setting aside its ban on the sale of oxytocin, the Health Ministry has allowed private retail stores to sell the life-saving hormone oxytocin.


  • Recently government banned imports of the hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in the livestock industry, where activists say it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.
  • Later it says that State-owned Karnataka Antibiotics Pvt Ltd will be the only company to manufacture and distribute oxytocin in India from September 1.

Why oxytocin was restricted to other producers?

  • The reason for the ban is the misuse of oxytocin in dairy animals, like buffaloes, to increase milk production.
  • Daily oxytocin injections would make cattle barren and reduce their lifespans.
  • In addition, it claimed that drinking milk from oxytocin-treated cattle led to male impotence, early puberty among women and cancers.

Was the ban the only solution?

  • No, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board recommended against a ban, advocating better surveillance instead. A ban might lead to scarcity and high drug prices.
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