Wednesday October 17, 2018

Sri Lanka President bitter over sugar in Milo

Nov 12, 2017 17:31 PM GMT+0530 | 8 Comment(s)


ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena took Nestle head on Sunday as he asked the multinational to reduce the sugar content in its popular Milo drink or face tougher legislation.

Holding up a carton of Milo, the President said he will tour the country campaigning against its consumption unless Nestle agreed to reduce the sugar content in Milo to below five percent from its current 16.5 percent.

He also asked Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to extend the sugar tax on soft drinks to all forms of sweetened beverages. The 2018 budget slapped a 50 cent tax on each gram of sugar in soft drinks with effect from Thursday night.

Launching a walk at Galle Face to mark the World Diabetic Day which falls on Tuesday, President Sirisena said he was proposing a month-long island-wide campaign to discourage sugar consumption.

High consumption of candy and sweetened drinks and beverages have been linked to, among other things, obesity, weight gain, diabetes and even heart disease.

The President said the excess sugar intake was a key cause of diabetes affecting just over 10 percent of the country's 21 million population. Another 21 percent were at a high risk of developing diabetes.

Sirisena accused Nestle of increasing the sugar content in Milo in the past five years.

"Around 2012 when I visited their factory, I noticed this drink had 15 percent sugar, but today I notice it is 16.5 percent," Sirisena said showing the Milo carton to the audience.

"I want them to reduce it to five percent. Otherwise we will bring legislation to control the sugar content in all beverages." He did not set them a deadline for the Swiss multi-national to cut down on sugar. (COLOMBO, November 12, 2017)



  1. Gamage November 14, 04:19 AM

    There should be a much bigger agenda for a president of any country... This kind of mundane things should be handled by health an food sectors. We helped this govt to power and what most of the cabinet and the leaders doing are low grade work... That's why MaRa HoRa is coughing against this government to fool the peasants and to get back the power.... Please think wisely...

  2. Leonard November 13, 11:19 AM

    Reduce sugar but cut tax on alcohol. Getting drunk is better than been obese.

  3. surath720 November 13, 08:40 AM

    in food labeling, sugar content is included under carbohydrates, and sometimes shown separately as a sub heading. What the govt should do is change labeling regulations. This act of the president just shows his ignorance.

  4. Champa November 13, 08:18 AM

    Well done, Mr. President. Way to go. Very proud of you This is an excellent move.You were a former Health Minister, therefore, it is not a surprise for you to focus on people's health.This is the first time in the world's history a Head of State voicing his strong disapproval over the unhealthy high sugar contain of a product of a multinational company and we are proud to see that it is our President, the Sri Lankan President who had the guts to do this. This shows that our President genuinely cares about his citizens and not hesitant to challenge any giant company or anybody to protect his people.

  5. Truth November 13, 08:42 AM

    Yes, Milo has a lot of sugar, but then again it's not meant to be a healthy drink. It's an energy drink. How can you get energy if there's no sugar(glucose) in it. If you try to substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners, the price of Milo could rise. No logic at all in his policy at all.

  6. BW November 13, 08:31 AM

    This is a dangerous trend. Targeting milk drinks will not help.How can you change people's eating habits with taxes? People here eat a lot of rice (carbs) especially at night. They also eat dinner very late. We should eat less starch at nigh, more meat, and more fruits.

  7. sacre blieu November 13, 08:22 AM

    Nothing new, has been going on for the last many years, with some of the educated and so-called professionals selling their souls for filthy lucre, disclaiming tte excess consumption of suga as a myth. So, it has been with tobacco. How about the other sugar based confectionery etc.

  8. Giabao November 12, 05:56 AM

    LOL. now these MNCs will pay some doctor to write a report that 15 is an acceptable minimum level of sugar in milo.

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