Iran bans imports of palm oil
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 23
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran's Health Ministry banned imports of palm oil.
In a directive to the Customs Administration, the Health Ministry said palm oil should not be imported to be used as raw material, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on Dec. 23.
Iran decreased the importation of palm oil during the past two Iranian months (September 23-November 21) due to health concerns, so that some 2.068 million metric tons of palm oil was imported, showing a 16 percent decrease compared to the same period in the previous year.
Mohammad Qebleh, secretary of the vegetable oil producers union, said that based on an approval of the administration, palm oil accounts for 30 percent of total vegetable oil imports. So, 420,000 metric tons of palm oil is allowed to be imported annually.
Iran's Health Minister Seyyed Hassan Hashemi has previously warned people against consuming high-fat milk and yogurt produced by industrial dairy companies.
He said that some dairy companies are using palm oil in high fat milk and yogurt, saying such companies are endangering public health by adding the industrial oil to the milk.
The Health Ministry has not given license to any dairy company to use palm oil, he added.
Iranian Health Ministry statistics show that last year 120,000 metric tons of palm oil was used in dairy industry in the country. Palm oil constitutes one third of oil consumption in Iran.