Apr 15, 2021

'Didn't initially reveal of cancerous foods as public would be scared' Featured

Director of the Food Safety Unit at the Health Ministry - Dr. Thilak Siriwardana says that although they were aware of cancerous food items being sold, public awareness was not raised because it would lead up to a wave of fear among the public.

He has said thus during an interview with the 'Aruna' newspaper.

During the interview, journalist Sriyani Wijesinghe had sought to clarify whether the authorities had not taken measures to raise public awareness even though they were very much aware of cancerous food items in the market.

‘If we had just initially raised public awareness, people would have panicked. But we took the most correct measure. That is, the relevant carcinogenic products were immediately removed from the market and the relevant products were ordered to be discontinued altogether. By doing so, they were given the chance to produce their products in a healthier and safer manner. In addition, before the products were released to the market, we conducted several laboratory tests and confirmed that they did not contain any harmful substances. However, if the people were informed first, there would be a lot of panic and fear. That cannot be prevented," Dr. Thilak has said.

"However, some foods contain the carcinogen - Aflatoxin. However, they are at WHO recommended levels or less. However, we regularly inspect the market foodstuffs. If they contain a toxin, they will be removed from the market immediately. Aflatoxin levels in our foods are well below recommended levels. It is not possible to reduce it to zero. That is why I previously said if anyone wants to reduce it to zero, they should make coconut oil at home," he added.