Lithuanian milk still suspect

  • 2003-07-17
  • Baltic News Service

The Estonian Veterinary and Food Board demanded on July 14 an additional lab certificate for the import of Lithuanian milk, skim milk and whey powder to prove that they contain no chloramphenicol.
Acting general director of the Veterinary and Food Board Ago Partel said that such a limitation was established in connection with reports from Germany dated June 25 and July 1 that traces of chloramphenicol had been discovered in a consignment of Lithuanian whey powder.
Chloramphenicol is a substance that ends up in milk after use of banned medicines.
Partel said that as of July 14 all consignments of milk, skim milk and whey powder imported from Lithuania must be accompanied by a lab certificate testifying to the absence of chloramphenicol.
"When we cancel the limitation depends on how many consignments there are and when we see that there is no problem," he said.
The requirement of the extra certificate will not apply to other Lithuanian milk products.
"No milk comes to Estonia from Lithuania, and there is no methodology to establish the chloramphenicol content of butter and cheese," Partel said.
The Latvian Veterinary Service also found harmful substances in the milk of Lithuania's Zemaitijos Pienas and put a stop to all the company's imports.
The service reported that laboratory tests had found an inhibitor substance that may cause toxic or allergic reactions to humans drinking it in the pasteurized milk made by the Lithuanian dairy. Since the positive sample was taken as part of a routine checkup of milk in stores, the entire batch had already been sold out, the service reported on June 30.
In June Estonian cheese makers who had complained that cheap Lithuanian cheese was crowding them off the store shelves said that they would try to establish the presence of chloramphenical in Lithuanian cheese.
Jaanus Marukas, manager of E-Piim, a cheese maker, earlier said that it was generally known that Lithuanian raw milk is of poorer quality. "Only a couple of years ago the market share of locally made cheese was around 90 percent, but by now it has shrunk to 57 percent," Murakas said.