Some Egyptian fruit, vegetable imports banned

DEADLY: Contaminated frozen vegetables, such as mulukhiya, spinach, okra and peas, could cause hepatitis A.
Updated 17 September 2016
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Some Egyptian fruit, vegetable imports banned

JEDDAH: Importers have revealed that the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has halted import of some vegetables and fruits from Egypt, after tests earlier this year proved they are unsuitable for human consumption.
They pointed out that the SFDA began making notes on agricultural products that come from some countries, including Egypt, before the US Department of Agriculture did.
Traders had to make several contacts with the Egyptian exporting authorities to learn the reasons behind the appearance of such vegetables and fruits, in order to reach compromises to start compensatory measures.
Maher Al-Oqaili, an importer of frozen vegetables, explained that SFDA deals firmly with food imports, although it has agreements with several exporting countries that require safety of health certificates awarded to any food product, especially fruits and vegetables.
This comes at a time when the US Department of Agriculture revealed that laboratory analysis confirmed that some agricultural products were irrigated with sewage water, which contaminated many food items exported by Egypt with human and animal waste.
Materials predominantly used in the burial of the dead were also discovered, according to a report on some of Egypt’s agricultural exported products in the form of frozen vegetables such as mulukhiya, spinach, okra, peas, green beans and artichokes, which are major cause of hepatitis A.
According to the report, the US Department of Agriculture is taking very strict measures with Egyptian imports to prevent the import of strawberries or any Egyptian agricultural products contaminated with sewage.
New strict conditions on frozen vegetables coming from Egypt to the US were set, in addition to calls to wash it with pure and filtered water. Laboratory data confirmed that mango and guava products are exposed to the internationally banned processes of adding color and taste. This could lead to the possibility of causing diseases such as renal failure, liver disease, and adverse effects on blood pressure.
The report is not limited to fruits and vegetables, but also prevents the import of cheese from Egypt after analysis revealed presence of formalin used in preserving dead bodies. The report highlighted the use of white lime, which is used in the installation of tiles, in imported Egyptian rice, which could lead to cancer.


Saudi Arabia highlights the importance of the implementation of the UN Vision 2030

Updated 36 min 54 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia highlights the importance of the implementation of the UN Vision 2030

  • Saudi Arabia affirms the importance of preserving natural resources and putting great attention to environmental issues
  • Saudi Arabia is keen to preserve and protect them and ensure that they are not affected by the urban and industrial renaissance in the Kingdom

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s permanent delegation to the United Nations said that the Kingdom puts great importance to the implementation of the UN Vision 2030’s goals encompassing the economic, social and environmental fronts.

This was stated in the speech delivered by the First Secretary Bandar Al-Nahdi during the general debate on Agenda 21, a UN action plan on sustainable development, at the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Al-Nahdi said that Saudi Arabia affirms the importance of preserving natural resources and putting great attention to environmental issues.

It is keen to preserve and protect them and ensure that they are not affected by the urban and industrial renaissance in the Kingdom, he said in his speech.

“Saudi Arabia believes that the preservation and development of the environment lie in finding new modern technologies, reducing pollution, fighting desertification and optimizing the use of water resources (both treated and renewable water),” Al-Nahdi said. “The plan also includes a complete protection of shores, reserves and islands, in a way that everyone would have access to them.”

He pointed out that King Salman has issued a royal order to establish the Royal Protected Areas Council under the chairmanship of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. The council will have authority over six reserves in the Kingdom, and would be made accessible to citizens and residents without walls or barriers.

Al-Nahdi said that the Kingdom also supports international efforts to combat desertification.

He added that the Kingdom has launched two initiatives for the sustainable development of forests and rangeland, and organized investments in these areas, to fight desertification through planting 4 million trees and providing 6 million plantlets. It also rehabilitated 60,000 hectares of agricultural land and pastures. Meanwhile, over the next four years more than 100 sites and 24 national parks will be developed.

Al-Nahdi also referred to the report of the UN Secretary-General – “Oil slick on the Lebanese shores” – and said that Saudi Arabia shared the concern of the UN as Israel continued to ignore all international resolutions urging it to take responsibility for the environmental catastrophe caused when its military forces targeted oil storage tanks in the Lebanese shores.

“This has engendered a devastating environmental impact. It is not surprising to see this coming from a state that always disregards all international laws, decisions and treaties, and continues to occupy the land of Palestine and the Arab Golan,” he said.

Al-Nahdi stressed that the Kingdom was always keen on cooperating with international organizations and countries that believed in collective work to achieve the best.

He said that Saudi Arabia would also support efforts to protect and preserve the environment, including risk-reduction measures for natural disasters that threaten our world.