The Health Ministry today notified all milk powder suppliers whose products were suspected to contain dicyandiamide (DCD) to recall these stocks of milk powder from sales outlets with immediate effect and until further notice.
Following a decision taken by the Food Advisory Committee on Tuesday, Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala today requested Maliban, Fonterra and G.M Mohommad Ali and Company to remove their milk products, said ministry spokesman W.M.D Wanninayaka.
Meanwhile, the advertising of milk powder in print and electronic media and elsewhere has been banned until further notice.
Mr. Wanninayaka said that as tests conducted by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) had indicated the presence of DCD in random samples of milk powde5, the ministry had decided to stop the sale of the said milk powder until further notice.
The ITI has so far identified the presence of DCD in Anchor One Plus, Anchor Full Cream Milk Powder, Maliban Non-Fat Milk Powder and Diamond Milk. “The ministry has urgently called for the removal of these products immediately,” he said.
He added that ITI would conduct sample tests on other varieties of milk powder as well and that if any of them were found to be contaminated with DCD, companies would be asked to stop the sale of such items.
Meanwhile, the ministry has also taken a decision to take samples of milk powder from stocks stored in the ports and test them for the presence of Clostridium botulinum bacteria and to release milk powder stocks which did not test positive for the bacteria.
Food and supplements which contain high concentration of whey protein will be removed from the market and the sale of supplements which contain whey protein would be stopped with immediate effect, he said.
Samples of milk powder and supplements which contain large amounts of whey protein would be sent to the Medical Research Institute (MRI) to be tested for the presence of the Clostridium botulinum, he said.
All provincial and divisional Health Services directors, the Colombo Municipal Council’s Chief Medical Officer and the National Institute of Health Sciences have all been notified by way of a circular issued yesterday to ensure that the directives given are implemented with immediate effect (Olindhi Jayasundere)