Lebanese Minister of Health Officially Denies the Information about the Detection of Russian Wheat Consignment Containing High Ochratoxin Levels
Lebanese Food Industries National Day Conference was held on April 6, 2016 in Beirut, capital of Lebanon. The Rosselkhoznadzor delegation, which came to Lebanon in order to clarify the situation about allegedly detected carcinogens in imported Russian wheat, took part in the event, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Rosselkhoznadzor.
The representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Trade, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of health and Ministry of Environment also took part in the conference. In the course of the conference and in the presence of the Russian delegation Lebanese Minster of Health Wael Abu Faour declared that his statement had been a mistake due to unreliable information provided by the Lebanese Ministry of Economy responsible for grain storage control.
In his speech Wael Abu Faour stressed that the wheat concerned had not been of the Russian origin. This fact was confirmed by additional checks. «Our statement concerning the fact that the tested wheat was of the Russian origin was based on the information given by the grain storage management authorities. After that it was found out that it was not true. I also would like to say that the statement had no political implications and it is not the fault of the Ministry of Health», the Minister’s speech reads.
The Russian delegation also visited Beirut port and met the Director of port grain storage management and maintenance unit. In the course of the talks the Director said that 70% of wheat consumed in Lebanon is Russian and also assured the Russian delegation that there were no claims for the grain quality. After that the Russian delegation familiarized itself with grain storage operation, which was constructed in 1970-ies and needs additional financing and renovation. When ships are unloaded 2 kg of grain are sampled every hour and then the 20 kg final sample is submitted for laboratory testing.
On April 7, 2016 the Rosselkhoznadzor delegation accompanied by the representatives of the Russian Embassy in Lebanon held another personal meeting with the Lebanese Minister of Health. During this meeting Wael Abu Faour apologized again and stressed that there were no claims for the quality of grain imported from Russia. The Minister also confirmed the information that the root of the problem was in Lebanese grain storages and not in the grain imported.