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10 Sep 2013   08:08:11 PM   Tuesday BdST A- A A+ Print this E-mail this

Health risk for toxins feared

Beware of imported powdered milk


Imported powdered milk from New Zealand-based Fonterra should be put on chemical test to avoid health risks for the consumers of the dairy product, said speakers at a press briefing Tuesday as the alarm bell was rung abroad.  

 They made a strong plea that the government should come forward to check the imported milk on a priority basis in order to see whether the powdered milk contains toxic chemicals.

 Sources said some 30 consignments of around 600 tonnes of powdered milk got stuck at Chittagong Customs House as officials stopped duty valuation of such products recently in the wake of global botulism scare.

 The milk was imported mainly from Fonterra over the last few months.  Botulism is an infection caused by bacteria that can lead to paralysis and death. The authorities became alert in releasing any Fonterra-branded dairy products amid botulism scare that sparked global recalls and restriction on imports of Fonterra products by countries that include China.

 The speakers came up with the observations while addressing a briefing session with journalists on ‘Negative impact on health after consuming imported powdered milk’, organised at Dhaka Reporters Unity by Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB).


CAB President Kazi Faruque chaired the briefing sessions where Prof Dr Belal Hossen, chairman of Nutrition and Food Engineering Science department of Daffodil International University was present as the key discussant.


Addressing as the key discussant, Dr Belal Hossen said New Zealand-based Fonterra exports its dairy products to different countries including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


“Bangladesh imports significant portion of powdered milk from New Zealand to meet the country’s demand for milk and some of the local companies produce condensed milk, dairy products widely by using this powdered milk”, he added.


He also said Fonterra has admitted the presence of Clostridium botulinum germ in its dairy products. After the announcement, China has banned the import of all kinds of dairy products from New Zealand.


Sri Lankan Health Ministry has also banned Fonterra-branded powdered milk after getting presence the toxic chemical Dicyandiamide in their dairy products.


He also said Clostridium Botulinam leads to botulism infection in human cells after consuming such type of powdered milk and many syndromes including vomiting, diarrhea and nerve system failure developed in the humans who consume such toxic products.   


The consumers of Clostridium botulinum-mixed powdered milk may face respiratory tracked infection, paralysis due to organ failure which may led to death within 36 hours of taking this toxic dairy products.


Kazi Farque also alleged that Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) is not well-equipped to test the powdered milk in lab.


He urged the government to send the sample of the Fonterra-branded dairy product to the lab of icddr,b or BSMMU to examine whether this milk contains any toxic ingredients.

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