20, Aug 2018
Prelims level : Health Mains level :
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.