Iran rejects banning palm oil import
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 24
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
A senior Iranian official with Iran's health ministry has dismissed reports about imposing permanent ban on palm oil imports.
The Islamic Republic's Food and Drug Organization head, Rasoul Dinarvand said that import of palm oil should be limited to 30 percent of the country's total vegetable oil imports per year, the official Mizan news agency reported Dec. 24.
He said that the imports should not exceed the specified ceiling, explaining that the importers have imported the mentioned annual volume during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Dec. 21).
"The importers can import other approved types of the oil during the remaining three months till March 21, 2015," Dinarvand said.
Iran's health and industry ministries are at odds over the amount of permitted palm oil import.
The country's Industries, Mines and Trade Ministry believes that the 30 percent of the country's total oil import is equal to 420,000 metric tons, meanwhile the health ministry puts the figure at 360,000 metric tons per year.
Earlier, Iranian media outlets reported that 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 Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh 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's statistics shows 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.
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