Contaminated coconut oil concerns consumers
Consumers of coconut oil in Sri Lanka have been left in disarray after reports that contaminated oil had been imported into the country. The question whether the stocks have already reached the market remains among consumers.
As a response the Public Health Inspectors have claimed that they are in the process of checking random samples from the markets. But as far consumers are concerned they are not sure if the contaminated stocks have already reached the market and whether they have purchased these stocks at retail outlets.
The latest reports say stocks imported to Sri Lanka by three companies, contain the carcinogen Aflatoxin. The Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) has confirmed this.
This was after the SLSI, the Food Safety Unit of the Ministry of Health, and the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) re-tested the samples of imported unrefined coconut oil over the weekend.
The unrefined oil stocks contained the carcinogen Aflatoxin, they have said. The Director-General of Customs is expected to issue orders to re-export stocks to the country of origin.
But Consumer rights groups have questioned the move by saying that another country will be affected as a result. Instead they say to destroy the stocks.
Despite government claims that the contaminated oil had not reach the markets tJanatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Nalinda Jayatissa claimed that one of the importers has released stocks to the market.