Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardana said the Consumer Affairs Authority and Sri Lanka Customs will take action against the companies which imported coconut oil containing the highly carcinogenic substance Aflatoxin under the Consumer Protection Act and the Customs Ordinance.
Information about five large scale companies has been received following investigations conducted on the containers of the contaminated oil. A special investigation on the five companies will be conducted immediately. Minister Gunawardana said the CID has already commenced questioning five senior officers of three leading companies.
Knowing the fact that Aflatoxin is harmful to the people, this contaminated coconut oil had been imported violating all imports and other consumer protection laws enacted for health and food commodities.
The Minister said if the investigations conducted by the CID and other relevant institutions confirm that this contaminated coconut oil stocks had been deliberately imported to Sri Lanka, it would be able to charge billions in compensation from those multinational companies which produced such coconut oil.
At present tests are being conducted by the Health Ministry (Food Control) unit, Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLI) and Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) on the coconut oil and other foods that contained Aflatoxin.