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Milk powder ads suspended

2013 Aug 07

The Ministry of Health has decided to request the media to suspend publishing or broadcasting advertisements of milk powder.

Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala said the reason was in order to ensure the wrong message does not reach the consumer following recent developments over some imported milk powder brands.

He said that accordingly all media heads, both print and electronic, have been requested to comply with the directive.

On Monday the Ministry of Health had decided to temporarily suspend the importing of milk powder from New Zealand.

The Health Ministry said that all imported milk powder will undergo strict tests before it is released into the market from the Colombo port.

The decision was taken after Fonterra New Zealand reported that some of its products used in infant formula and sports drinks may contain a bacteria that causes botulism.

Fonterra said that tests indicated the potential presence of a strain of Clostridium (Clostridium Botulinum) in a whey concentrate sample, which can cause botulism.

The company said it had advised eight of its customers of a “quality issue” involving three batches of a particular type of whey protein concentrate (WPC80) produced at a single New Zealand manufacturing site in May 2012.

As a result, these customers are urgently investigating whether any of the affected product, which contains a strain of Clostridium, is in their supply chains. If need be, they will initiate consumer product recalls.

There have been no reports of any illness linked to consumption of the affected whey protein, Fonterra said in a statement. Dairy products such as fresh milk, yoghurt, cheese, spreads and UHT milk products are not affected, it said. (Colombo Gazette)

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