Aug 20, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has released the Fonterra milk powder stocks held at the Colombo Port after tests conducted on them found to be negative for dicyandiamide (DCD).
The Food Advisory Committee of Sri Lanka Health Ministry has certified seven batches of milk powder as not contaminated with the agrochemical after tests done by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) on samples taken from the containers of milk powder held at the port did not detect any presence of DCD.
The Health Ministry has guaranteed that the stocks held at the port did not contain DCD and were safe to release to the market and granted permission to importers to release their stocks.
The Head of the Food Advisory Committee, the Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala has said that in future dairy products will be released to the market only after testing the samples taken at the port.
The Ministry is awaiting the results on the tests conducted on samples of five stocks by the Medical Research Institute to determine whether they contain whey protein contaminated with botulism causing bacteria.
After the ITI found that two batches of Fonterra's anchor brand milk powder contained traces of DCD in the samples, the Health Ministry banned the sale, distribution and promotion of imported milk powder until further notice.
A Sri Lankan court meanwhile Friday (16) issued an order banning the sale, distribution and advertising of Fonterra's dairy products for two weeks after taking up a case filed by a health sector trade union seeking a ban on all dairy products from the New Zealand dairy producer.
Fonterra strongly disputing the test results said the company was confident in the quality and safety of their products in Sri Lanka and they are currently working through their legal options in the country.