Legal action against errant coconut oil importers | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Legal action against errant coconut oil importers

28 March, 2021
Dr. Bandula Gunawardana
Dr. Bandula Gunawardana

Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana told Parliament on Friday that legal action will be taken against those who imported unrefined coconut oil that contained carcinogens.

The Minister said that no political intervention will be allowed when the culprits are brought to book. He said, “In Dambulla, traditional coconut oil producers had revealed to the media that there is an attempt to release a consignment of imported coconut oil that contains carcinogens. When this was published in the media, I called the Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority and asked him to investigate. It was learned that unrefined coconut oil has been imported to the country for a long time.”

Minister Gunawardana said investigations revealed that the oil contained toxins and the stock of oil has been stored in warehouses for re-export. “These stocks have not been released to the market. They have to be re-exported,” he said.

Dr. Gunawardena said the Sri Lanka Standards Institution and the Food Division of the Department of Health investigated the matter. Due to the quantity of coconut oil which is unfit for human consumption in these containers, it has been ordered to re-export it.

A party has requested an investigation from the CID in this regard. We urge the IGP to expedite the investigation and find out the culprits. Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) Director General Dr. Siddhika Senaratne issuing a media release on Friday, said it has been observed that the media and social media have hyped a fabricated and false allegation that senior officials of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution had authorised the sale of unhealthy coconut oil imported to the country by four importers.

The SLSI, being the standards body for quality to the nation, will not compromise the set standards for any commodity or material that will be detrimental to the lives and livelihood of Sri Lankans.

The media release added that the SLSI continuously conducts laboratory testing for Aflatoxin in coconut oil imported into the country by all importers to ascertain that it conforms to the set standard of 10micro grams/Kg.

Contrary to false media reports, 13 containers of coconut oil have not been approved for sales to consumers by any authority. The Consumer Affairs Authority has also decided to test the quality of coconut oil in the market.