What is this about Dicyandiamide?

Featured image courtesy 3News

Is this is a legitimate problem or it is a problem created by the nationalists who want to get a competitor out of the way? I am confident it is the latter – let me tell you why.

First, let me put some thoughts forward, if we are interested in our kids health.

  1. Heavy metals, Phthalates and Azo dyes in children’s’ products are banned and very low amount of maximum residue limits are allowed in test reports when these are exported to the US and the EU.  But, if we pick up some samples of plastic toys and test them in an accredited laboratory –  all these toxic chemicals are present abundantly in them.
  2. We export fish to the EU, Japan and other countries. These countries very rightly have regulations on Mercury and Cadmium in fish. The fish exported are tested and only that pass this standard is exported. Others that fail are given for local consumption!

There are many more examples of this nature, if we care to look. This is because we have no standards or regulations for such highly toxic, carcinogenic residues. Sri Lanka Standards, which falls under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is the authority to come up with standards to regulate them in the local market. But, there are no standards. That’s how much we care for our people and our kids.

Coming back to DCD, there are many questions:

  1. The Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) report’s conclusion doesn’t say in which batch or which brand the DCD was found – just that the local brands are free and foreign brands are contaminated. No specificity and no traceability given, something a scientific report will always mention in its final finding.
  2. The conclusion also says that the accuracy of the method (ITI used) cannot be determined. Based on this conclusion, ITI goes to the media and confuse the people.
  3. ITI has found DCD in Maliban products, which imported from Australia and they have not used DCD for 100 years!
  4. ITI doesn’t have LCMSMS, the required technology for the accepted method. And they have no accreditation for this test method, a must when a laboratory testing is challenged in courts.
  5. ITI hasn’t given a reference sample to retest in another laboratory, a practice any good laboratory must have to display the accuracy of its testing capability.
  6. ITI has not participated in an inter laboratory testing for this analysis, nor used certified reference material, a necessary requirement to validate its results.

Sri Lanka Accreditation Board which has given accreditation to ITI for other tests must evaluate their credibility as a scientific institution on continuing their accreditation when ITI misleads public, decision makers and international market in such a way.

Fonterra is suspending their operations in Sri Lanka due to unstable condition and the message will go out to anyone who has an inkling of interest in considering business in this land of great opportunities.

Great strategy to have those FDIs flowing in!

  • Ranil Senanayake

    Thank you Gladys for an honest opinion.
    These days when the ‘ruling’ system has seen fit to sacrifice the health of this nation on the altar of profit, without a thought of our well-being or that of our children. Any ‘sudden’ concern about our well-being, focussed on a single substance, should be looked on with great suspicion and subject to scrutiny.

  • geje

    Look at the small print in the ITI report?s It states the the accuracy of rport cannot be guaranteed since it is done manually and that they are hot responsible for errors. In any other country the government would be sued!! in our pseudo democracy no one would do that to ensure mere survival. What about the even the local milks (which by the way I support)? do they test for any of these substances other ahan standard tests. adoes anyone talk about chemicals sprayed either to ripe early or to keep it without rotting for months?? This was to divert the attention of the public from the burning issues in the country such as the NE, Weliweriya, Grandpass etc as well to try and see whether “someting ekak” will fall the way of NGO, Govt officials and politicians???

  • http://www.groundviews.org/ Groundviews

    Maliban challenges ITI test result, offers one million reward

    By Bandula SirimannaView(s): 373

    An Australian milk powder supplier has warned of diplomatic consequences if its product is proved to contain any farm chemical while its Sri Lankan buyer offered a one million rupee reward if anyone could identify such substance. The warning and the offer of a reward come in the wake of the state-run Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) declaring that it had found the harmful substance DCD (dicyandiamide) in a batch of Maliban non-fat milk powder.

    The ITI has ruled out the presence of DCD in Maliban full cream milk powder or any of the Maliban brand milk products except from a sample taken from a batch of its non-fat milk powder, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Lakshman Weerasuriya said. He added he suspected some ‘jugglery’ of changing samples before or after laboratory testing.

    Via http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130825/news/maliban-challenges-iti-test-result-offers-one-million-reward-59586.html

  • Dev

    I was wondering the same thing, why all of a sudden this new “worry”? I wonder if this is really to provide another distraction ! This regime is famous for its smoke and mirror tricks

  • Gamaya

    Gladys Samuel states ITI report doesn’t say in which batch or which brand the DCD was found. The report not only identify the brands but gives the batch numbers too. Gladys either cannot read the report or trying to mislead the readers. The report is at

    http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/19147052/1595643881/name/ITI-Report-of-DCD-in-Milk-Powder.pdf

  • Gamaya

    http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/19147052/1595643881/name/ITI-Report-of-DCD-in-Milk-Powder.pdf

    The brands and batch numbers are clearly indicated on the report.

  • Gladys Samuel

    Gamaya, noted your point. Please note that I what I said still stands – the conclusion of the ITI report does not give the batch number, something that is essential in a scientifically credible report. However, thanks for putting the report up so that we can see the conclusion in which ITI themselves say that the accuracy of the method used cannot be determined!!

    • LJ

      Glasys Samuel, Yes the report says that accuracy cannot be determined. But also in the report it shows all foreign brands are carrying something (for the moment let’s assume it’s not DCD) which local brands not. That is something to be concern about.

      And do you know the first batch they tested in Singapore, reports came positive of DCD. then later ITI took up the testing.. i think you have missed to mention that as well in your article.

  • Gladys Samuel

    LJ…It could be even a nutritional factor which is missing in local brands, who knows? Based on a peak they have seen, when it was not spiked or checked against a certified reference material or even a reference standard of DCD, how can ITI go to the media accusing contamination! It so unscientific, untechnical of the industrial technological institute.

  • ray

    SL should have its own standards, not to suck in for multinationals agendas,