The Health Ministry today instructed the Customs to immediately suspend the clearance of milk powder containing Whey Protein on health concerns in the wake of China and Russia announcing a ban on milk powder imports from New Zealand.
The Health Ministry also decided not to release stocks of milk powder imported from New Zealand until further tests are carried out on all imported milk powder products, a Health Ministry spokesman said.
All milk products with traces of Whey Protein or Clostridium Bacteria will also be removed from stalls of all local markets and super markets until further notice. Laboratory tests will be carried out randomly on samples obtained from stocks in the local market.
According to instructions issued by Health Services Director General (DGHS) Palitha Mahipala the laboratory tests carried out by the Food and Environment Unit of the Health Ministry in Thailand have found no traces of Dicyandiamide (DCD) in milk powder. However, further tests have been ordered to ensure full safety of imported milk products. Some 177 samples randomly obtained from the local market have been used in the tests. The Health Ministry has further instructed Thailand scientists to pay attention to Whey Protein and Clostridium in tests to ascertain the milk powder imported to Sri Lanka were free of any foreign matter.
“As a precaution, the DGHS has suspended milk powder suspected of having Whey Protein and Clostridium Bacteria from entering the local market,” Health Ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayaka said.
However, the Health Ministry asks the public not panic as no hard evidence have been found that the milk powder products available in the local market contains DCD or Whey Protein (Sandun A. Jayasekera)