Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says though it is possible to ban milk powder, but it is not advisable the measure to be taken as local demand is not met by dairy milk only, as 10% of the local demand is met by dairy milk produced locally and 90% is imported as milk powder.
The Health Minister made these remarks at a meeting of the youth wing of the Rajitha Senaratne Foundation of the Kalutara District.
He said that the scientific tests carried out should be recognized without resorting to fake political slogans on milk powder.
The Minister further stated following;
"Import of milk powder to Sri Lanka is a separate issue that should be taken into account in a different perspective. I had to fight with the United States of America in the World Health Organization to get approved promoting breast feeding. I staged the struggle for the children of the country. The US Health Minister has invited me to discuss about my health policy implemented in Sri Lanka. But I have no opportunity to go to that discussion. The problem is that milk powder is given to the children without fulfilling the needs of dairy milk in the country. Due to the political slogans regarding the milk powder, the country’s image is being destroyed, it is fake politics, I have studied science, I admit that I accept something that has been approved only scientifically, not ready to accept myths. There is no scientific evidence that there is pork fat or palm oil in milk powder. According to tests conducted by the Ministry of Health It has been proven that there is nothing else but milk and fat therein."
"The use of dairy milk should be promoted like Amul Company"
"The milk powder imported from New Zealand has been subjected to the tests and due to false propaganda Muslims are reluctant to drink milk powder because they say that they have pork fat. Otherwise milk cows should be grated Muslim people's houses. It is not possible to talk about a complex process in a simple way. I suggested to the Prime Minister that dairy milk should promoted like Amul company has done in India at the village level. Mere orders won’t work. People vested power not bragging on the incidents. Multinational companies cannot buy out me. Though there were Health Ministers in Sri Lanka since 1947 no one was able slash tax on tobacco by 90 percent or impose taxes on beverages produced by multinational companies. Reducing prices for medicines, stents and lenses was not done during previous regimes. Boasting on politics is easy, but it is very difficult do practical politics. Money and power stopped some ministers from proceeding. But I don’t care such influences. I do as much work as possible, I only surrender to the people. It will not surrender to anybody else. I will continue my journey. "
Consultant Dr. Sujatha Senaratne, President of the Rajitha Senaratne Foundation, Kalutara District Secretary, U.D.C Jayalal, representatives from local government bodies, heads of state institutions, officials of the Ministry of Health and a large number of youths were present on this occasion.