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Food safety project law: still ignored by a number of ministers and violated by food factories


The president of the Parliamentary Commission for public health, labor and social affairs, Atef Majdalani, spoke yesterday during his commission meeting about the use of natamycin in dairy production.  He noted that factories which have used this product in dairy production (namely Labneh production) are in violation of the law in case they do not mention this on its list of ingredients on the Labneh containers.  To be noted that the only product permitted in the manufacture of Labneh is ascorbic acid according to the technical specifications issued by the Lebanese Standards Institution (LIBNOR) and even though natamycin is scientifically proven to be a natural product which prevents the formation of moulds and is deemed harmless.  Majdalani also revealed that there are some 450 food processing enterprises which are not registered and therefore not controlled.  He further hoped that the “Bassel Fuleyhan Law for Food Safety” and which has been in the pipeline for 11 years will soon become a reality even though many ministers are failing to do their duties in approving it so not to give away some of their current responsibilities.
The Minister of Industry, Hussein Hajj Hassan, noted that using natamycin in Labneh manufacture is a mistake no matter what the scientific justification are and manufacturers should stop using this immediately and withdraw their products from the market as well as apologize from consumers.  He added that LIBNOR will meet next Friday to review this matter and decide on a course of action based on available scientific evidence and so as to ensure that local Labneh manufacture is in conformity with the regional food safety protocol.
Source: Al-Akhbar, Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Nahar 27 March 2014

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