Govt committees demand suspension of food standard specifications

Agriculture Ministry committees on Monday demanded the suspension of the current food standard specifications, saying they “intentionally harm citizens’ health.”

Ministry sources said Dr. Fathi al-Nawawy, a professor of health control at Cairo Veterinary Medicine University who represents veterinary science committees, delivered an urgent note to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the prime minister and the attorney general to suspend the specifications.

Former Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid issued the current standards in 2005.

“These specifications contributed to granting businessmen unbelievable profits, they harmed public health and are unfair to consumer rights. They allowed importing below-standard meat to use for manufacturing luncheon and pastrami,” Nawawy told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The note implies that the standards were set to allow businessmen and importers to make profits at the expense of consumers, manipulate people’s food, and allow fraud in the food commodities market.

It claims that 7000 standards for importing food commodities are against international standards.

The note also criticizes Rachid, who approved the standards “even though they strongly contradicted the philosophy behind standard specifications, which is setting safe limits for food values, quality standards and safety.”

The note demands that the far stricter standards from 1991 be implemented until new standards are issued.

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