The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has begun collecting coconut oil samples in order to search for the existence of carcinogenic chemicals in the coconut oil on the market. An official said that samples are being taken from a variety of shops around the island.
The stock of imported coconut oil reported as having a higher amount of the carcinogenic chemical aflatoxin has not been released to the market, according to Asela Bandara, Director, Consumer Affairs and Information, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). However, samples of coconut oil would be sent for testing to assuage public concerns, he said.
Accordingly, warehouses of three companies that imported coconut oil containing carcinogens have been sealed. There are 13 containers in these warehouses.
Dasitha Niroshana, Director General of the Coconut Development Authority, said that the Consumer Affairs Authority had sent samples of coconut oil obtained from the market to his institution for testing.
The Official also emphasized that the public should not be afraid to consume locally produced coconut oil.
he CAA’s report on the 13 containers of imported coconut oil allegedly containing carcinogens is due to be released by the middle of next week.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Industrial Technology states that it is also ready to conduct tests on the quality of coconut oil under the current circumstances.
The Food Safety Unit of the Ministry of Health had earlier informed the Customs that 13 containers of imported coconut oil contained the carcinogen called Aflatoxin. The traditional coconut oil manufacturers in the country had claimed that the toxic coconut oil has been released to the market.
However, State Minister Arundika Fernando confirmed in Parliament yesterday that the coconut oil confirmed by the Food Safety Unit of the Ministry of Health to contain toxic chemicals has not been released to the market.
The local manufacturers point out that these coconut oil containers should not be re-exported to another country but should be destroyed locally without endangering the lives of others.