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40% of imported unrefined coconut oil contains toxic chemicals: Arundika

Minister of State Arundika Fernando said in Parliament today that about 40 percent of the unrefined coconut oil imported into the country contained toxic chemicals.

He also stated that the reason for this is due to the efforts of companies to import cheap coconut oil.

The stock of unrefined coconut oil unfit for human consumption was questioned at the commencement of Parliament today (26).

Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated that the release of imported coconut oil to the market has been suspended until it is re-examined as to whether it is unfit for human consumption.

Meanwhile, MP Patali Champika Ranawaka stated that the stock of unrefined coconut oil rejected by the Food Unit of the Ministry of Health as unfit for human consumption should be destroyed.

However, Minister of State Arundika Fernando denied the allegations and said that about 40 percent of the imported cheap unrefined coconut oil contained toxic chemicals.

“A report has been sent on March 4 that the stock of imported coconut oil contains a large percentage of aflatoxin but it will not be refined completely. Therefore, the Director General of Customs has instructed us to re-export coconut oil in this manner,” he said.

Speaking further, he said, “The importers are adding only 60 percent of coconut oil and then synthetic oils as the rest.”