/ Government seeking legal advice on dioxin list
THE DIOXIN food scare continued to dominate the front pages yesterday.
_ reported that food importers were planning to sue the Health Service if
it went ahead with publicising the brand names of Belgian products thought
to be contaminated with the carcinogenic chemicals.
The list was to be published the following day, the paper reported, but the
authorities were getting cold feet after receiving warnings from lawyers
representing major importers.
The Health Service was to seek the advice of Attorney-general Alecos
Markides before going ahead with publicising the list, the paper stated.
The paper said Markides' position was that the list could only include
products known undoubtedly to contain dioxin.
_ stated the list was to be publicised today and focused on the Belgian
Prime Minister admitting that his country carried out no checks whatsoever
on foods produced by local farmers.
The European Commission was meanwhile planning to take Belgium to the
European Court as soon as enough evidence concerning the dioxin
contamination had been gathered, the paper added.
_ reported that the government was about to conduct dioxin tests on locally
produced products, for fear that contaminated ingredients imported from
Belgium might have been used in production.
_ reported that the Cyprus state lab had never carried out any analyses for
dioxin in imported foods. A state lab representative told the House Health
Committee that carrying out such tests was costly and required specialised
equipment. Samples of suspect foodstuffs would thus be sent abroad for
testing, the committee heard.
_ reported that a "huge" number of products was expected to be on the list
of dioxin contaminated products. The chocolates on the list alone would
number about 60, the paper reported.
_ quoted Health Minister Christos Solomis as saying the list would be
released to satisfy consumers' demands but this is no way constituted an
admission of negligence on the part of authorities. All steps necessary for
the protection of consumers had been taken, the minister was reported as
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