Melamine net widens to fish feed also

By Madhushala Senaratne

First the checks were on milk powder and then chocolates and egg powder. Now Sri Lankan health and food authorities have extended the checks to fish feed to ascertain whether they contained the toxic chemical melamine.

Chinese workers destroy some boxes of melamine-contaminated milk

Samples of imported fish feed were to be tested for melamine as a precautionary measure though it was not imported from China, Dr. Swarna Herath, Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health, said.

The move came as China widened its melamine investigations with checks on poultry feed after melamine was detected in eggs imported from China. Dr. Herath said Sri Lanka imported its fish feed mainly from countries such as India and Taiwan but the department would continue to keep a close tab on these imports.

P. Madarasinghe, the Health Ministry’s Assistant Food Control Director, said that at least 24 samples of high protein milk powder were sent to Singapore last week to be tested for melamine. The tests came in tune with a Colombo High Court order which called for the testing of all milk-based products sold in Sri Lanka.

The Court ordered that the samples be sent to the A. L. S. laboratory in Singapore. Mr. Madarasinghe said the Ministry would continue to monitor the situation and take necessary steps to ensure that milk powder and other dairy products in Sri Lanka were free from melamine.

Mr. Madarasinghe said the ministry had sent so far 168 samples of milk powder and milk-based products for tests in laboratories in Singapore, India and the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) in Colombo but melamine was not detected in any of the samples.

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