The Dicyandiamide DCD chemical has been found in imported milk powder sold in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy said in a statement today.
According to the statement the Dicyandiamide DCD chemical was discovered following tests carried out by the ITI institute.
The Ministry of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy said that tests were carried out on four brands of imported milk powder and two brands of local milk powder.
Results from the tests had shown that while the imported milk powder had DCD, local milk powder did not.
In May this year the New Zealand Government had assured the safety of its milk and dairy products, quickly responding to local weekend newspapers reports that imported milk could be unsafe for consumption.
“There is no need for consumers in Sri Lanka to be concerned about the safety and quality of New Zealand dairy products. Extensive research has shown no food safety risk at the levels of DCD detected. It is of very low toxicity, and even with extremely high doses it has been difficult to identify any adverse effects,” a statement issued by the country’s high commission in New Delhi, said.
“The New Zealand Government can assure all consumers that New Zealand dairy products are safe. The New Zealand Government’s senior official for food safety, Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Director General, Wayne McNee, has previously acknowledged that low levels of DCD have been detected in a small number of New Zealand milk powder products. (Mr.) McNee is clear however there is no food safety risk. In New Zealand no dairy products are being withdrawn from sale, because they are all safe for consumers,” the statement said.
It said DCD itself is not poisonous. It is a non-harmful, water soluble compound that has been used in fertilisers on pastures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the leaching of nitrogen into waterways.
The statement added that despite DCD being safe, New Zealand has stopped using DCD while New Zealand considers whether to seek an international standard and what other steps should be taken concerning the use of DCD. (Colombo Gazette)