23 October, 2017

Are We Poisoning Our Children With Fonterra

By Pearl Thevanayagam

Pearl Thevanayagam

Pearl Thevanayagam

This is serious and begs the question that the future of our children whose parents are oblivious to the dangers posed by Western interests and mesmerised by advertisements which promote Australia and New Zealand. The government has also ordered 50,000 milch cows to supplement our own dairy needs.

Is it not possible to enhance our local dairy industry rather than import cows fed with dangerous chemicals? Sri Lanka is quite capable of feeding its animals with organic vegetation and if only it could promote indigenous methods of farming then we would not have to cow-tow to conglomerates who dump their chemical-laden products on to our shores.

In September 2012, traces of 2-Cyanoguanidine, a fertiliser commonly referred to as DCD that is used to slow down nitrate leaching, was found in some milk samples from Fonterra  Federated Farmers and the Government moved quickly to reassure the public and overseas buyers there was no risk to health. Fonterra has received praise for its handling of the DCD issue. The levels were very low and attempts were made to prevent the test results from being reported in the media.

Fonterra's Anchor brand milk powder packets are seen on shelves at a shop in ColomboOn the 16th of August 2013 Sri Lankan court banned the sale and advertising of all Fonterra products in Sri Lanka. The health ministry has said tests by Sri Lanka’s Industrial Technology Institute found DCD in some Fonterra milk powders and it had ordered their recall.

On 3 August 2013, authorities in New Zealand announced a global recall of up to 1,000 tonnes of dairy products after tests turned up a type of bacteria that could cause botulism. Products included were infant formula, sports drinks, protein drinks and other beverages. The countries affected were New Zealand, China, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia.

Fonterra’s head of its milk products business, Gary Romano, resigned over the scandal on 14 August 2013.

There is no doubt milk is an essential component in a child’s growth but many a child in Sri Lanka does not get his sufficient quantities due to dearth of this vital part of the nutrient which would nurture them physically and mentally.

Media reported that children would be given free milk in the South. How about the children of lesser God in the rest of the island and how much has the government allocated to feed our children with this essential food. Who are we kidding? Kraft cheese imported from New Zealand is a must during Christmas but how much do we know what it contains. We serve them with cheese-bits but do we realise the chemicals which go into their production could cause irreparable damage.

This is akin to soya products which Canada introduced to developing countries including Sri Lanka as an alternative of animal protein but which contains lead that affect babies causing their mental retardation.

Sri Lanka is second to none in feeding their populace with organic produce but Stassens and like-minded corporate businesses such as Unilevers would spread their tentacles into developing countries dumping their toxic laden chemically saturated foods in the developing world while the West, US and Australia revert to organic produce importing from the same developing countries their quota .

As children we were fed goat’s milk fresh still warm in chembu (copper pot) and cow’s milk sans pasteurisation and we are still alive. When mother bought Blue Band margarine (Lever Brothers product) my father was livid and accused her of poisoning his children and threw it away. My mother only wanted to manage her budget and since she was not eactly literate she did the best she could.

Sri Lanka has plenty of rainfall and vegetation and its traditional farming practices sustained it for over centuries. Starvation was never heard of in this land of aplenty until conglomerates descended on our shores and dumped their produce and took away our organic produce.

It is high time we spurn the West’s overture and put in first place our own national interest over short term profits which only fatten the coffers of conglomerates and local businesses who sell our assets for their selfish motives and profits.

When will we ever learn?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 1
    2

    There was a humongous wastage and unethical act behind that.

    No one writes about it.

    • 2
      0

      J S;

      Do not say like that;
      There is nothining unethecle about that.

      Our Ruling Idiots and So called Law makers always Forgot that,
      ” we have to develop Sri lanka with Agriculture and Fisheries resources”.
      And Our poor Mothers are leaving for Middle east to look after Other’s Kids!!!!!
      One more Main Point You lost?.
      Why you forgot that,
      “We have enough Breeding Bulls and Buffalos In our Diyawannaoya Cattle shed!!!!!!!.

      Only, Some experienced Supplier like Presidential Advisers have to supply breeding Cows,and green grass or Hay.

  • 4
    4

    Pearl, I think you are worrying unnecessarily.

    What evidence do you have that “soya products which Canada introduced to developing countries including Sri Lanka as an alternative of animal protein but which contains lead that affect babies causing their mental retardation”? Likewise your fear that a small amount of fertilizer in milk (which was detected and remedied) is a major cause of concern.

    There are many bigger concerns in public health than these.

  • 3
    0

    Very true Pearl.

    We are short of milk because all our mad cows [Edited out]
    But we are better of importing milk, letting the mad cows go wherever they want to go!

  • 5
    1

    A 600 kg. Holstein cow from Australia producing 30 Kf if milk per day needs to consume on the average 20 Kg of high quality dry matter per day. They have to be also given environmental comfort and machine milked hygienically 2-3 times per day. They also require high standard Heath care. The dairy farmers as individuals cannot provide this in Sri Lanka. The result will be low milk yields, infertility and high mortality. If there are organized large farms with the required land resources and suffice not capital to import high quality feed ingredients they may succeed to an extent.

    Why try to do something we cannot? India produces the largest volume of milk in the world, with latest number of cows in the world. But the average yield of the cows are low. They eat in toto more feed than the fewer number of high producing cows in the West.

    The milk powder phobia in Sri Lanka has been created by the government that is unable to bear the cost of imports, The commissions made on the import IOC cows, that may not be able to produce enough milk and efficiently reproduce under under local conditions and die early , can be guessed.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
      1

      Thank you.

      As a practicing vet, why don’t you write a longer article on this matter, in Tamil and English (and if you know Sinhala, in that too)?

  • 0
    1

    Good one Pearl but there are practical difficulties in some things that you mentioned like unfortunately we cannot go back to the good old days where most people had access to fresh milk to due to urbanization in mass scale

    we also have to note that in order to be self sufficient in Milk we need a lot of dairy cows which we dont have (cows which give a good yield of milk),the only good ones are at Ambewela

    @Romesh,I’m not a scientist or a doctor but what I have seen in my travels is that in the western capitals there are a lot of disables people when you go out (eg:shopping mall,main roads etc),which is much less in Sri Lanka,as such Im not sure if it has got to do with additives in their food,as people in the West eat a lot of processed and frozen food

    • 3
      1

      It is less to do with additives or lack of it. In most foreign countries, even if you are disabled you have special buses, mobility scooters, and ramps for buildings to get on and off. Even normal buses have ramps to get your wheelchair on the bus.

      Now imagine a disabled person trying to jump on the food board of the bus. They leave the stand even before you have got on, its not like that in other countries.
      Hence the fewer no. you see in Lanka, all are stuck at home.

    • 2
      0

      In western countries all disabled persons are very well looked after and supported by government. They can spend their time as other normal people doing shopping and going to theatre. . That’s why you see lot of disabled people in the malls.

      In Sri Lanka some are begging others are kept home bounded. You can see them at kelaniya temple.

    • 1
      0

      Peace Lover,

      I agree with Robert and Nimal that one reason is the access that disabled people to public places in Western capitals, but another has to do with diet. Obesity is in epidemic proportions in Western countries, especially the USA and Australia. This is largely diet related. Poverty, ironically, correlates with obesity in Western countries (unlike developing countries where poverty is associated with frank malnutrition and wasting). Some of the disabled people in the West are disabled because of obesity and its complications. I don’t think additives have much to do with it, though you could argue a connection between processed food and obesity. There’s also a link between junk food (and soft drinks) and obesity.

      I think there is unwarranted concern about food additives, colourings and artificial flavours, though some are linked to cancers of various sorts. There is also largely anecdotal reports linking behaviour problems like “ADHD” and “ADD” with certain (especially) red colouring. I am not convinced by the latter – I think that ADHD/ADD is a pseudoscientific label that is resulting in millions of children being prescribed addictive stimulant drugs. In this I share the concerns of Professor Peter Gotzsche, who is one of the few senior academics with the courage to speak out about medical overdiagnosis in the field of psychiatry and the fraudulent “science” behind it:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIIQVll7DYY

  • 0
    0

    Madam,

    As always, you write passionately about matters dear to you. Alas, in this instance, you have allowed yourself to write without thinking it all through.

    You hark back to a time when most good (or lucky) folk had half-an-acre of garden and cows and goats were affordable; and, if you lived to see your sixtieth birthday, you had beaten the local life expectancy odds. Times have changed in our blessed island paradise. We need lots of land for the centre piece highways, cricket stadia, parks etc that are in all the various ‘chinthanya’s’ that are being tossed at WE the people by are budding politicians.

    The secret is education. Education is the surest way to guide our people, young and old, in the direction of good, cleaning, affordable and healthy living. Criticising and slating people and organisations rarely work in this matter, and worse, YOU get a bad name as a curmudgeon.

    I have travelled far and wide as part of my remit and amazingly I found that that Singapore, Hongkong and San Marino are numbers three, four and five on the WHO life expectancy table. I swear I never saw a cow in any of those countries. On the other hand, Japan which is No.1 had the most expensive breeds of cows anywhere. s

  • 0
    0

    The point is people, we should be going organic according to our traditional heritage (and still widely available)! We have all the recourses to do so, but Noooooo……Gosl would prefer to blend with the outdated Western system of chemicalized food, while all the while the West is sliding into organic farming. SL is building up a monetary structure from West’s outdated lifestyles, while the West in all its ingenuity is smugly creating a shiny new structure for themselves. Shucks! Again we lose!

  • 1
    0

    Good article. These ideas have some substance. Can’t be just hypothesis altogether! Hong Kong, Singapore and San Marino are three of the richest places on the planet. They have the best cutting edge testing equipments, technology and labs, expertise to test anything to protect their people. I don’t think its correct to compare those countries with SL standards plus corruption involved to get passed anything from custom. Think about container loads of drugs coming out from the harbour without any problem.

    Our problem is that we are not having a kind attitude towards our own people! Our people are not given enough care and attention that when compared to what the cows in this story are getting.

    What happened to the ‘foot and mouth’ infected cattles in some parts of the country? Do you think it is not there now? These cattle meat, do you think, is going anywhere else other than the stalls? Where are the investigation?

    In the developed world. F&M when one cattle were infected, the entire region comes under quarantine process ASAP. They will be put-down and buried.

    Thats why I like this article.

    Thanks
    @SenakaDeZS

    • 1
      0

      “What happened to the ‘foot and mouth’ infected cattles in some parts of the country?”

      they have been quarantined in the parliament.

  • 2
    0

    FONTERRA FACTORY AT BIYAGAMA REPACKS THE 25 KG MILK POWDER (INFANT MILK, NON-FAT, FULL CREAM) INTO CONSUMER PACKS. THERE IS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF THESE POWDERS THAT FALL ON THE FLOOR AND COLLECTED AS SWEEPINGS. THESE MIXED DAIRY POWDERS COLLECTED ARE PACKED INTO 25 KG PACKING AND SOLD TO A FEW SELECTED BUYERS WHO IN TURN SELL THESE TO WHOLESALERS AND INDUSTRY. THE FEW SELECTED BUYERS ARE ASKED NOT TO DIVULGE THE SOURCE AND IN TURN OFFERED A VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICE TO ASSURE THEIR SILENCE. THE 25 KG RE-PACKED BAGS ARE PACKED IN THE KRAFT PAPER BAGS WITH THE FONTERRA NAME REMOVED BUT THOSE WHO REGULARLY BUY THIS IS AWARE OF THE POWDER. THERE IS A TREMENDOUS DEMAND FROM THE FEW SELECTED BUYERS TO COLLECT THESE POWDERS AS SOON AS THEY ARE AVAILABLE DUE TO THE VERY ATTRACTIVE OFFER PRICE. HEALTH MINISTRY SHOULD INVESTIGATE THIS SCAM BY THIS COMPANY.

    • 0
      0

      Richard,

      Are you working in the factory?

    • 2
      0

      Dear Richard ,

      Thanks for the Revelation, hope some one will take appropriate action against this unethical practice.

      cheers.

  • 1
    0

    Fonterra admitted tainted products and apologised in 2013.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/business/global/new-zealand-dairy-giant-apologizes-over-tainted-formula.html?_r=0

    Their products should be banned.

  • 1
    0

    Hi
    I don’t work to spend time on this issue! I will be sweet and short.
    1. The DCD positive report was found to be false, after the minister champika R condemned the ice cream distributed in Dan salas. The D G of ITI who issued the report was forced to resign.but it was kept silent due repurcussions that may arise to the minister. If the second report was false why not the first??
    2. Cargills via Kothmale is trying to take over the multi billion dollar business
    3. Who is the shareholder? None other than Dilith Jayaweera the infamous inside dealer who mange Rajapakse money especially Namal ‘ s
    4. Why did Prof. Arjuna de Silva, Sarath N S ‘s nephew speak on the issue in the media? He had no mandate! He is a Director of George Steurts also owned by Dilith Jayaweera by proxy for Rajapaksa’s
    5. Kothmale fresh milk was supposed to replace Fonterra! How does anyone know whether the so called fresh milk is reconstituted from powder imported from Australia or NZ? Anyhow Kothmale imports powder ….where does it go?? For yoghurt, ice cream or for the so called fresh milk.?
    Dear.pearl
    you either have been mislead or paid by Cargill s! Please research before publishing?

  • 0
    0

    Hi Pearl,

    Some times journalist thinks that they know everything.

  • 2
    0

    Many thanks for all the comments. I do not profess to be the authority on the subject but I feel it is my duty to elicit information on the subject which commentators such as Dr Rajasingham Narendran provided. I humbly stand corrected

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.