- The hormone released by the pituitary gland is responsible for human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
Misuse of oxytocin
- The hormone injection is misused to increase the size of vegetables and fruits.
- In the dairy industry, livestock are often injected with the hormone to spur the release of milk, which when reaches humans cause medical problems such as nausea, early puberty and foetal damage.
- The drug is misused among trafficked children to accelerate puberty among girls.
India has taken several steps to curb the use of oxytocin:
Restriction on manufacturing:
- In 2014 a notification was issued under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, restricting the bulk manufacturing of oxytocin drug only to the manufacturers licensed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
- In 2017 severe restrictions were put down on factories not meeting manufacturing standards.
- Now the private manufacturers will be “slowly phased out”.
Restrictions on sale:
- In 2014, India halted retail sales of oxytocin. However, illegal sales have increased.
- Bulk sale of the drug is disallowed and Oxytocin injection is limited to single sealed blister-packs.
- Now the sale is limited to registered government hospitals and clinics.
- A bar code system is used on all forms of the drug to ensure tracking and prevent abuse.
Section : Science & Tech