EghtesadOnline: Thanks to the executive order of President Hassan Rouhani, judicial action has been initiated against the importer of a contaminated corn consignment after its customs clearance was halted.
Kazem Palizdar, advisor to the president and secretary of the Office for Combating Economic Corruption, tweeted the announcement on Friday.
A total of 126,000 tons of aflatoxin-contaminated corns were imported to Imam Khomeini Port in Iran’s southern province of Khuzestan in the fiscal 2017-18.
“Carcinogens in these corns are five to seven times higher than the permitted level and there is no way but to destroy them in special, isolated furnaces as they cannot even be buried or dumped into the sea due to the high level of contamination,” Fars News Agency quoted Nayyereh Pirouzbakht, the head of National Standards Organization, as saying.
According to Financial Tribune, aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by mold fungi. They are harmful or fatal to livestock and considered carcinogenic to animals and humans.
A greater portion of these contaminated corns have been imported from Brazil and despite repeated directives by authorities on returning the products to their country of origin, no action was taken by the importer.
This is while extensive influence peddling was undertaken by the importer to prompt the consignment’s clearance.
Back in fiscal 2014-15, another cargo of 22,000 tons of contaminated corns was seized at Imam Khomeini Port, investigation into which has remained open until now.
At present, more than 140,000 tons of contaminated corns are in the warehouses of the second largest port of the country.
As per the law, shipments that fail to complete the customs clearance process for four months after the date of entry should be declared as abandoned and must be put at the disposal of the Organization for Collection and Sale of State-owned Properties of Iran.
According to Majid Movafeq Qadiri, chairman of Iran Feed Association, Iran buys 30% of Brazil’s corn.
Brazil’s exports to Iran stand at $2 billion annually, most of which are corn, meat and sugar.