Ban imported milk powder, Sri Lankan doctors urge govt

from asianewsnet.net: Sri Lanka’s Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) assistant
secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyarathne yesterday said that the Industrial
Technology Institute (ITI) of Sri Lanka has tested samples of imported
milk powder and found that they contain dicyanamide (DCD), and
lamented that health authorities have not taken any action to ban the
products.

The tests were carried out on imported products sold in the retail
outlets frequented by members of the public
, Ariyarathne said.

GMOA media Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa said that his organisation would
ask Sri Lankan Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to ban imported
milk powder and ask multinational milk product companies to pay
compensation to those who consumed their products.

DCD is a poisonous compoud that could cause nervous, respiratory and kidney complications when consumed, Ariyaratne said.

The GMOA would also request for the criminal investigation department to
launch an investigation on the health ministry, to find out which
official had made a media statement claiming that the imported milk
power was lab-tested and safe for consumption.

Ariyaratne said that the dicyanamide was mixed with the grass used to
feed cows, to enhance their milk output, and that this has been a
long-time practice by many companies.

The doctor added that the errant milk product importers have done more harm than good to Sri Lanka.

“It is a shame that the health ministry official had told the media that
the imported milk products sold in Sri Lanka were harmless, based on a
report, that he claimed was issued by the Thai government. It is evident
that the multinational companies have ‘greased the palms’ of Sri
Lanka’s health ministry officials
,” Ariyaratne said, warning that if the
products were not banned, children who consume them would develop very
serious health complications.

De Soysa said that Sirisena, who claimed to be against fraud, corruption
and malpractices, has chosen to remain silent on the matter. He said
that the GMOA will bring the matter to the minister’s attention and ask
him to invoke a ban on the harmful imported milk products.

“It is high time action is taken to protect the children and people of
Sri Lanka. The ITI has conducted many official laboratory tests on the
milk products and detected that a harmful substance called dicyanmide
was present in all imported milk products. This deafening silence on the
part of health authorities and the health minister is puzzling,” he
said.