The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman joined the four other Gulf Arab states on Monday, July 9, in suspending imports of Spanish olive oil over reports that it could contain carcinogenic substances.
Officials in the UAE ordered Spanish olive oil made from pomace, or pulpy residue of olives, to be removed from shops and markets.
A suspension in Oman, meanwhile, "will remain in force until samples are tested and the products confirmed as safe," said a health ministry spokesman in the neighboring state.
The UAE and Oman followed the example of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have all slapped bans on the import of olive oil and withdrawn stocks while tests are carried out.
The Spanish health ministry on July 3 issued a "food safety alert" following the discovery of a carcinogenic substance called benzopyrene in a particular brand of olive oil. ― (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )