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THE Health Ministry has found no evidence of banned antibiotics in Ayamas poultry products after testing several samples.

“We found all the Ayamas poultry products to be free from chloramphenicol antibiotics,” said Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in his winding-up speech on the Supply Bill 2013 at the committee stage for his ministry.

He was responding to concerns over traces of chloramphenicol in Ayamas products, which led states like Sabah and Sarawak to impose a temporary ban.

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infection. Although rare, the drug is known to cause fatal blood disorders such as aplastic and hypoplastic anaemia.

It was reported that a circular dated Nov 1 from the Sarawak Veterinary Authority on the import suspension of products from Ayamas Food Corporation into the state went viral in social media networks.

Liow said the ministry would continue to monitor food samples, including at the retail and production end, to ensure that they were free from dangerous health risks.

He also denied allegations that there were conflicting results on the findings between the Health Ministry and the Veterinary Department.

Meanwhile, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung told the House that some 13,192 students who borrowed from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) have had their study loans converted into scholarships.

“The policy was introduced in 2003 as an incentive for students to excel in their studies. They would be exempted from repaying their loans once they obtained first class honours in their Bachelor’s Degree.

“As of Sept 30 this year, 13,192 graduates have benefited from the policy involving an exemption of loans worth RM375mil,” Dr Hou told Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) during Question Time.

The Star

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