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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Government accused of deceiving public over milk scare ]

Government accused of deceiving public over milk scare

THE GOVERNMENT was yesterday accused of refusing to remove contaminated feed from the market just as a new case of aflatoxin tainted milk was discovered in Limassol.

The milk, which had aflatoxin levels higher than permitted, was located in the farm of cattle-breeder Andreas Nikolaou in Kolossi and so far six tons of cow’s milk have been destroyed.

The District Veterinary Officer Evangelos Evangelou yesterday sought to reassure consumers, stressing that “checks are being conducted in all farms”. He also reported that further samples taken on Tuesday were within permitted aflatoxin levels and added that excessive concentrations of the toxin had been located in only two farms.

At the same time the authorities decided that checks of all veterinary units and commercial mills to located contaminated animal feed and remove it from the farms would continue intensively.

But DISY MP Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis yesterday accused the government: “The state has been consistently refused to withdraw the inadequate animal feed from the market, serving the interests of importers.” The contaminated animal feed continues to be given to the animals, he said, while the importers of animal feed continue in many ways to release it onto the market.

Hadjiyiannis said a proper policy would be to avoid contaminated animal feed from entering the food chain in the first place, and called on the Agriculture Minister to account for the “deception”.

The DISY MP declared that the initial briefing by the Minister on the subject was on May 23 verbally, with a written statement on the 27th and not the 28th, as the Minister said. Hadjiyiannis said that during this period “he withheld the truth from the public” and it would not have surfaced if the media had not revealed it.

Hadjiyiannis wondered where all the quantities of the contaminated animal feed were, claiming the state was not collecting it for the simple reason that they wanted to give the importers time to mix it up or hide its traces.

Hadjiyiannis rhetorically asked, “Why does the government mislead the people by making them believe that the problem is under control, only through the checks on of the final product and not through the explicit reports concerning quantities of feed? How much contaminated feed has the government detained? They have not informed us because they simply haven’t detained any. Is it or isn’t it a deliberate delay?”

Invoking personal testimonies, Hadjiyiannis reported that the animal feed that reached Cyprus and was channelled onto the market also contained objects, such as stones and animal bones, and just by looking at the shipment it should have been rejected.

“It is unacceptable that the Ministry does not take any measures of protection or dispute the controls and certifications that were dispatched by India.”

He added that “at the controls, the samples are not be taken in the correct way, because instead of officials taking them from their points of import, most of the time the importers themselves take them.”

Hadjiyiannis said that the government was responsible for the problem and asked them to cover farmers’ losses, and also to inform the EU of the inadequate shipments.



(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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