Mauritania.. Tea pollution raises concern and the government is investigating

Concern has prevailed in Mauritania, about two weeks ago, after a study that spoke of the contamination of imported teas with pesticides exceeding the permissible limit, and the government announced that it was investigating the matter.

On December 15, a study – prepared by the (non-governmental) Mauritanian Diaspora Forum and published by local media – revealed that samples of tea consumed in the country on a large scale contain pesticide residues that exceed the permissible limit.

A study conducted on 10 brands of circulating tea said, “26 molecules were found, 8 of which exceed the permissible limit of residues, and 3 of them are found in all types of tea with rates ranging between 200 and 11000% of the permissible limit.”

She stated that the pesticides that were found pose a danger in terms of chronic harm to humans, some of them are carcinogenic and some are probable carcinogens, and others affect the glands and are harmful to nerves. The study called on the authorities to immediately suspend the import of all tea samples.

Serious data
Commenting on this, Khalil Ould Khairy, head of the Mauritanian Consumer Forum (a non-governmental organization), said that the data presented in the study are dangerous and worrying, as they relate to a substance that is the most consumed in the country.

In a statement to Anadolu Agency, Ould Khairy stressed the need to work to fill the shortage in the control of widely consumed materials in the country.

“The authorities must take the initiative to provide infrastructure that can inspect the safety of foodstuffs and medicines,” he added. He continued, “What was revealed by the report of the Forum of Mauritanian Experts in Diaspora is shocking and extremely dangerous, with regard to consumers’ health.”

Study: The pesticides found are dangerous in terms of chronic harm to humans and some of them are carcinogenic (Anatolia)

50 samples for analysis in Europe

For its part, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said, in a statement issued on December 61, that it had selected samples of 50 commercial brands of tea, and had sent them to one of the most efficient European laboratories in the field of food safety, after contracting with him to study them.

The ministry added that the study it is carrying out aims to take note of all the elements and risks that may be associated with this sensitive substance, such as heavy metals, pesticide and dye residues, verify the plant source, and conduct microbiological analyzes.

She stressed that she will not compromise in implementing the recommendations issued by this study, the first of its kind in the country. It also called on all citizens to be careful and not to follow all that is published or circulated of news and information that may be intended to confuse consumers.

The results of these laboratory analyzes were not announced until (8:10 GMT).

Food Safety Lab

Last week, government spokesman Mokhtar Ould Dahi announced, during a press conference in the capital, Nouakchott, that the country’s President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani had given orders to the ministers of competence to establish a food safety laboratory.

According to a study published in 2015, 99% of Mauritanians (about 4 million people) drink tea (Pixels).

Weld Dahi added that “the president gave orders to establish the laboratory urgently, in order to inspect the safety of foodstuffs consumed in the country, including tea.”

He stated that the tea crisis was discussed at length by the president during a cabinet meeting, which was held last Wednesday. Ould Dahi pointed out that the government took samples of all the tea materials in the country and sent them to European laboratories for examination.

And last June, information was widely circulated in the local media about the contamination of samples of tea consumed in the country. At the time, Minister of Commerce Al-Naha Bint Menkas said, in press statements, that the government is conducting analyzes to ensure that the tea on the market does not contain toxic substances. However, the ministry has not, since that date, announced the results of its analyzes.

Tea in Mauritania is described as the friend of the inhabitants of this Arab desert country (West Africa), as its people are keen to have it with them wherever they are inside or outside their country.
According to a study on tea published by researcher Abdo Sidi Mohamed in 2015, 99% of Mauritanians, who number nearly 4 million, drink tea.

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