Determined to end the misuse of the growth drug Oxytocin, Mission Director Tandarust Punjab, Kahan Singh Pannu has written to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries as well as Local Government to ensure strict enforcement of the ban on the use of the drug.Giving details Mission Director informed that Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone that causes uterine contractions during labour and helps new mothers lactate. However, the drug is heavily misused in the dairy industry where livestock are injected with oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers and to increase milk production leading to reduction in animal's lifespan. Humans consuming oxytocin-infested milk can suffer from hormonal imbalances. The hormone is also used to increase the size of vegetables such as pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds and cucumbers. Due to its widespread misuse, GoI has banned this drug for domestic use. In view of this, the Government of Punjab needs to undertake all suitable measures to enforce this ban in the State of Punjab. So, a strict vigil is to be kept under Tandarust Punjab to check the unauthorized sale and usage of the drug.
Also, all the registered hospitals and clinics in public and private sector in the State would be advised to contact Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL) and place their orders with the company as the drug will not be available with retail chemists or any other manufacturer. It is pertinent to mention that as per notification no. 279 dated 27th April, 2018 of Department of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, the ban on production and sale of growth hormone Oxytocin has come into effect from July 1, 2018. No private manufacturer will be allowed to manufacture the drug for domestic use from July 1, 2018. Only KAPL, a public sector company, would now manufacture and also supply Oxytocin formulations meant for domestic consumption 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. The government has also banned the import of the formulations.