The government takes measures to suspend palm oil imports while sending back five containers of coconut oil confirmed to contain the carcinogen Aflatoxin to Malaysia,official sources announced. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered to immediately suspend Palm Oil imports to Sri Lanka.
According to the President’s Media Division, the President’s Secretary had informed the Department of Imports and Exports Control to issue the respective gazette on Monday (05).The Director-General of Customs was also instructed to immediately suspend the release of Palm Oil already imported to Sri Lanka.In addition, Palm cultivation in Sri Lanka will be completely prohibited.
Five containers of coconut oil confirmed to contain the carcinogen Aflatoxin will be sent back to Malaysia tomorrow (06), a senior Customs official said. The five containers of coconut oil, owned by a private company in the Katana area, contain about 100 metric tons of coconut oil, Customs said.
The quality control analysis conducted by the Food Safety Unit of the Ministry of Health, the Sri Lanka Standards Institution and Industrial Technology Institute have confirmed that 13 containers of coconut oil imported by four private companies contain the aflatoxin carcinogen.
Relevant institutions have instructed the Customs to send back the coconut oil containers.The Customs official said that other stocks of coconut oil which failed the quality test will also be re-exported in the future and this stock is the beginning of the process.
The official said that steps were taken to bring the coconut oil back to the port from the warehouses of the company and it was confirmed that no coconut oil had been released from the warehouses of the company,Two tankers of coconut oil belonged to another company that failed the quality tests have been seized in Dankotuwa recently and they are currently in the custody of the Customs.
A container of suspicious coconut oil was also seized and sealed in Dambulla recently.Although coconut oil samples from these coconut oil bowsers and containers have been sent for testing, their results have not been received so far.