Docs call for ban on milk food promotion in disaster situations



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by Don Asoka Wijewardena


No milk food companies will be allowed to promote their products during disaster situations with immediate effect, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) says.


GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya told The Island that a circular pertaining to the promotion of commercially available milk products promoted by milk food companies would be issued by Health Secretary Sudharama.


Karunaratne shortly as some multinational milk food companies along with their local agents had begun a campaign to promote milk food during disaster situations.


In the aftermath of the Koslanda tragedy a certain milk powder company had donated infant milk products, the GMOA President said.


It was essential for all mothers to breast feed infants during the first six months as there was no substitute for breast milk, Dr. Padeniya stressed. After one year the babies should be given supplementary food such as rice, pulses, fruits and vegetables.


The GMOA had brought to the notice of Finance Secretary Dr. Jayasundara during a discussion that even the College of Paediactricians had expressed displeasure at the reduction of infant milk products by Rs.100 as it would discourage mothers from breastfeeding their babies, Dr. Padeniya said.


Health Secretary Sudharama Karunaratne, contacted for comment, said that it was illegal for any milk food companies or their local agents to conduct sales promotion campaigns during any disaster situation. She had received many complaints from the GMOA as well as other professional organisations that some milk food companies were in the habit of promoting their products during disaster situations.


She said she would instruct all milk products companies to refrain from promoting their products during any disaster situation.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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