Imports: Lanka spends more on milk than drugs

By Emanthi Marambe

Sri Lanka spends more foreign exchange on imported milk than on imported drugs.

Rs. 40 bn is spent annually on milk foods which account for 0.58 of the GDP, according to bank reports.

Milk is the second most consumed food item in the country. Rice ranks the first. It also ranks second on the country’s import bill.

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said a myth was being propagated by some companies that cow’s milk was essential for children and adults to remain healthy. It said the public should not fall for such false propaganda as the multinational companies were bent on maximising their profits rather than anything else.

The GMOA has urged Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatillake to introduce programme to inform the public of the need for children to be fed solid food after they wean from breast milk.

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