Hasbani Announced that Seven Factories had been Referred to the Public Prosecutor for Using the Banned Rhodamine B
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani held a press conference during which he announced the findings of the samples of pickled turnips taken by health inspectors from all the factories across Lebanon.
Hasbani stated that the ministry had conducted inspections on 34 institutions that produce pickles. The following was found:
59% of these factories had a license to operate from the Ministry of Industry
73% of the factories totally abide by the health conditions
Only 50% of these factories used proper containers to store food while 50% used partially or totally containers that are not proper for storage.
Health Minister reminded that the Ministry of Public Health had conducted inspections on pickles factories at the beginning of 2017 and issued warnings to the users of unhealthy containers.
Rhodamine B, the internationally banned dye for potentially causing cancer, is not a registered substance that the Ministry of Public health allows to enter to Lebanon as a food supplement (according to law No.912/1 issued on 5 may 2014.)
This substance is also banned by decision issued by the Minister of Industry (No. 119/1 of 15 September 2017.)
Hasbani added that the findings show the following:
25% of the samples taken from 28 factories that produce turnips contain Rhodamine B
68% of the samples contain dyes other than Rhodamine B, which are also banned by decision No. 119/1 issued by the Minister of Industry
Therefore, the Ministry of Public health referred 7 factories to the public prosecutor and reports were sent to the Ministries of Economy, Agriculture and Economy on the inspections and findings.