Docs win; govt. ready to ban contaminated milk powder

By Don Asoka Wijewardena 

 Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who held a meeting with the GMOA, Food and Drug Authority and the Food Advisory Committee yesterday agreed to accept the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) investigation report on DCD (Dicyandiamide) in milk food. He also agreed to remove all batches of milk products which tested positive for DCD from the market as soon as possible.

According to a senior Health Ministry official all tests on food items would be conducted by the ITI hereafter. The ITI investigations have established that imported milk powder is tainted with DCD.

GMOA media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa told The Island that the discussions held with the Health Ministry officials had been fruitful as the Ministry had agreed to accept the ITI report on milk food exported by Fonterra.

Dr. Soysa added that in the future samples of all milk food consignments would have to be sent direct to the ITI by the Customs. The Health Ministry would also send all food items to be tested by the ITI. Hereafter, no samples of food items would be sent to any foreign laboratory, he said.

Dr. Soysa said that Minister Sirisena had also agreed to promote liquid milk. He had expressed his willingness to work with the GMOA for that purpose.

Addressing a public rally in Colombo yesterday, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka alleged that some politicians had been trying to defend those responsible for importing contaminated milk products. Minister Ranawaka accused them of committing a serious crime.

The JHU stalwart said that some politicians, media institutions as well as professionals had been silent on the DCD issue. He said precautions should be taken to prevent contaminated milk products rejected by various countries including Thailand and Vietnam being brought into the country.

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