Ban imported milk powder, GMOA tells government

Dicyanamide contamination

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyarathne yesterday said that the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) of Sri Lanka, which tested samples of imported milk powder, had detected Dicyanamide (DCD) in all of them, but the Health authorities had not taken any action to ban those products.

GMOA Media Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa said that his organisation would ask Health Minister Sirisena to ban imported milk powder and ask the multinational milk product companies to pay compensation to the people and children who consumed their products.

It had been scientifically proved that Dicyanamide could cause nervous, respiratory and kidney complications, Dr. Ariyaratne said.

The GMOA would request the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to find the person in the Health Ministry who had  made a statement to the media that the imported milk powder sold in the local market was safe though the laboratory investigation conducted by the ITC had revealed that the imported products contained Dicyanamide, a senior spokesperson told The Island.

The tests were carried out by the ITI on samples of milk products taken from the market. Dicyanamide was mixed with grass to feed the cows to enhance their milk output. The companies had been doing so for a long time, Dr. Ariyaratne said at a media conference held at the GMOA head office yesterday.

Dr. Ariyartane said the milk product importers had done more harm than good to Sri Lanka.

It was a shame that a person in the Health Ministry had made a statement to the media that he had received a report issued by the Thai government that the imported milk products sold in Sri Lanka did not cause any harm to humans. It was evident that multinational companies had greased the palms of health ministry high officials to propagate misinformation, Dr. Ariyaratne said.

Dr. Ariyartne warned that Sri Lankan children might develop a variety of health complications unless the harmful imported milk products were banned.

GMOA Media Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa said that Health Minister Sirisena, who claimed to be a campaigner against fraud, corruption and malpractices was silent on the issue. The GMOA had decided to bring the issue to the attention of the minister and ask him to ban the imported milk products, he said.

"It is high time action was taken to protect the children and the people of Sri Lanka. The ITI has officially conducted many laboratory tests on the milk products and detected that a harmful substance called Dicyanmide was present in all imported milk products. Deafening silence on the part of health authorities and Heath Minister was puzzling," Dr. Soysa emphasized.

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