Spain's Health Ministry Lifts Warning Over Sunflower Oil

by VR Sreeraman on  April 29, 2008 at 12:30 PM Diet & Nutrition News   - G J E 4
Spain's health ministry on Monday said that sunflower oil is safe to use once more, insisting that a batch from Ukraine contaminated with hydrocarbons had been removed from the market.
Spain's Health Ministry Lifts Warning Over Sunflower Oil
Spain's Health Ministry Lifts Warning Over Sunflower Oil

"The health warning has ended and there are no health risks. We can guarantee the safety of all bottles of sunflower oil which are on the market," Health Minister Bernat Soria told a news conference.

"There are no toxic bottles and I invite you to bring me a bottle that you like so that I will consume it in your presence. Not all at once because it would be too much but I would gladly share it with you," he added.

The ministry's food safety agency said 3,500 tonnes of sunflower oil had been pulled from outlets since it issued the health warning on Friday following information from French officials.

It did not identify which brands had been found to contain contaminated Ukrainian oil as had been expected, but instead issued a list of 200 brands of sunflower oil that were found to be safe after testing was carried out.

Earlier Monday, a European Commission expert said mineral oil was "deliberately added" to 40,000 tonnes of Ukrainian sunflower oil headed for shops in the European Union.

The contaminated sunflower oil arrived in France on seven ships and was also distributed to Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

A commission spokesman said "tracing is going on" and underlined that the level of contamination was not "sufficient to cause acute health problems".

In 1981, rapeseed oil adulterated with aniline, a coal tar extract, sold in Spain, was blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people.

It was sold as olive oil in working-class neighbourhoods of Madrid and several other cities.

Source: AFP

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