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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] All sunflower oil to be withdrawn

  • [01] All sunflower oil to be withdrawn

    All sunflower oil on the Greek market, regardless of its origin or the date it was imported into Greece, is to be withdrawn for testing after authorities detected a batch of contaminated oil imported into Greece on January 7. This was announced during a press conference on Wednesday by the acting president of the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) Antonis Zabelas.

    The announcement came one day after authorities announced that they would be withdrawing all sunflower oil imported into Greece during 2008 for testing. The decision was made after a batch of oil contaminated with mineral oil was found on the Greek market.

    Zabelas said the seized sunflower oil would only return to retailers once it had been checked and found to be safe, adding that all businesses and prefectures had been informed of the measures.

    Regarding the 3,000 tonnes of contaminated oil that had already been released on the domestic market by Soya Hellas on March 17, Zabelas said that this had been refined and reduced to a quantity of 2,885 tonnes. Of these, 2000 tonnes were sold to a wholesale oil trading company and EFET teams were now trying to locate the remaining 885 tonnes.

    He also referred to the repercussions of the contaminated oil on human health, saying that the acceptable limit for daily consumption was 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This meant that, at a concentration of 300 parts per million contained in the tainted oil already found, the average person would have to consume up to four kilos of this oil a day in order to exceed the safety limit.

    In comments on the issue from Thessaloniki, meanwhile, main opposition PASOK's sector head for development Mihalis Chrysohoidis referred to the affair as "the greatest dietary scandal of recent years" and proposed the unification of all services involve in checking food safety.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the 2nd International Meeting for Energy Dialogue in South East Europe, Chrysohoidis accused the government of trying to cover up the affair and said that the decision to pull all sunflower oil from market shelves had no practical value, since businesses had no system for tracking their products and did not know where they had ended up.

    In addition to withdrawing the sunflower oil, the former minister also called for the withdrawal of products that had been made with the oil.

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