MRI asked to speed up investigation

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Medical Research Institute (MRI) has been ordered to immediately conduct tests on all milk foods and nutritional supplements to find out whether or not they contained ‘whey protein’or ‘Clostridium botulinum’.

The order was issued yesterday to MRI Director Dr. Anil Samaranayaka by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena.

A Health Ministry spokesman said that the MRI was given more than 100 samples of milk products to test whether they contained the harmful bacteria.

He pointed out that each sample would be put through three different tests. According to medical experts, the clostridium botulinum bacteria was a neutral bacteria and could very rarely be mixed with food items. But, it was injurious to human health.

Minister Sirisena added that it would take at least a week to obtain a report, but he had asked the MRI to expedite the conduct of investigations. Apart from that, the Health Ministry would also conduct similar investigations on imported fruits, drugs, cosmetics and food items. He had also instructed his Ministry to install State-of-the-art medical laboratory facilities to test all kinds of food items entering the country.

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