Press Release
9 June 1999
Dioxin-contamination incident

The Dioxin-contamination incident has resulted in the cessation of sale of a number of infant milk formulae.

This understandably raised concern in the general public. Judging from the comments and enquiries on this matter, it appears that quite a number of people are confused as to what to do. The confusion of the concerned parents are perfectly understandable. The information made available to them by the government is not at all user-friendly. They are difficult to interpret and use effectively by the lay public. Even professionals may find it confusing, incomplete and contradictory at times.

The Hong Kong Medical Association ("HKMA") will of course do its best for the health of the people. HKMA now attempts to assimilate the information and materials now available from Department of Health and put it forward to the Hong Kong citizens in an understandable and usable form to them.

It is regrettable that the government has not provide additional or even sufficient information or warning to the medical profession or other related trade or profession to sufficiently equip them to offer reasonable and prompt assistance to the enquiring public. It is worth noting that in a matter of public health of this nature, it is not merely medical knowledge that counts, it is the provision and updating of information that is important in allowing the health care workers to effectively help our citizens. It is apparent that in this case no sufficient consideration by the government has been given to this aspect. This incident, fortunately quite harmless basically, should provide a good illustration and lesson to learn from so that no similar unnecessary confusion in public health information should occur again..

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