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Ban on growth drug oxytocin from July 1

All private manufacturing of oxytocin will end from July 1 and its production for domestic use will be restricted to only one public sector company, Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KAPL).

Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone that causes uterine contractions during labour and helps new mothers lactate. But its misuse is widespread in the dairy industry, where livestock are injected with oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers. Humans consuming oxytocin-infested milk can suffer hormonal imbalances. The hormone is also used to increase the size of vegetables like pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds and cucumbers. Authorities are also concerned that the misuse of this growth booster is reported among trafficked children, injected to accelerate puberty among girls.

The Health Ministry issued this statement: “The oxytocin formulations meant for domestic consumption will be supplied by KAPL to registered hospitals and clinics in public and private sector directly. Oxytocin in any form or name will not be allowed to be sold through retail chemists.” Registered hospitals that want oxytocin for medical use will need to place orders directly with KAPL.

Divya Patwal


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