The central government has banned the import of Oxytocin -- also known as love hormone -- and asked the customs department to prevent any attempt to smuggle it into the country.
The move comes after the Prime Minister's Office held a meeting to check the "harmful effects of Oxytocin" as cases of its misuse by some dairy owners and farmers to boost milk production and increase size of vegetables had come to light.
Oxytocin is used, among other purposes, to stimulate lactation in nursing mothers and also to induce labour during childbirth.
"It has been decided that all bona fide requirements of Oxytocin would be met by indigenous production and accordingly, all imports of Oxytocin in any name should be banned with immediate effect," an order issued recently by the Central Board of Excise and Customs said.
As a fallout of the ban, it is likely that unscrupulous entities may attempt to smuggle Oxytocin by illegitimate means, it said.
Therefore, it is requested that all field formations be duly sensitised and suitably alerted to prevent any attempt to smuggle Oxytocin in any form or name, the order issued to chief commissioners of customs across the country said.
"The enforcement and vigilance mechanism in all the field formations under your jurisdiction may be stepped up and tightened to thwart attempts to smuggle Oxytocin into India," it said.
It is also requested that field formations may be alerted to remain vigilant to prevent unauthorised trade, sale or manufacturing of Oxytocin within India, the order said.