DCD in ice cream: Minister stands by ITI findings

PHIs jittery about shocking discovery and calls for more evidence for them to act


by Ifham Nizam

 Nobody could challenge the country’s state owned premier scientific research institution, the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) on its methodology in detecting Dicyandiamide (DCD) in ice cream distributed at dansalas on Poson Day, Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.

He said that the powerful multinationals might be able to buy people at any  level but on issues like this it was the responsibility of everyone to think about the national interest and especially the wellbeing of children, the country’s future.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Minister Rajawaksa said that all records pertaining to the ITI findings had been handed over to the Health Ministry and the Minister. "We have given the names, places and information about the stocks," he stressed.

Minister Ranawaksa said he had grown suspicious when large quantities of ice cream was given away on the Poson Poya Day.

He also said that they were in the process of finding other harmful substances in other products including coal, oil and facial whitening products imported into Sri Lanka,. In 2012 alone five million kilos of facial whitening creams had been imported, he added.

ITI Director General/ Chief Executive Officer Dr. Sirimal Premakumra told The Island that all four samples of ice cream tested by his institution had contained DCD.

Minister Ranawaka said that he feared that the milk powder used in ice cream may have come from the stocks brought in 2012, when the court ordered the destruction o 17,000 tonnes.

The Public Health Inspectors (PHI) Union of Sri Lanka on Wednesday challenged Ranawaka to prove his allegations of ice cream being contaminated with Dicyandiamide (DCD) distributed at Dansal during Poson.

President, PHI Union Upul Rohana called on the Minister to provide information as to where the ice-cream had been purchased from and who provided the DCD laced milk powder for the ice cream manufacturing industry.

"If he gives us such information we are ready to act on it and investigate," Rohana said, adding that the Government Analyst’s Department and other recognised analysts should be given facilities to check samples of various products for traces of DCD.

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