KEBS rules out presence of mercury in contraband sugar

KEBS rules out presence of mercury in contraband sugar

- in Business, News

The contraband sugar impounded in the county has no mercury, but high content of Copper and lead, KEBS has admitted.

The new revelations deepen the controversy surrounding the “poisonous sugar’ already flooded in the Kenyan markets.

While appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Kenya Bureau of Standards MD Charles Ongwae said the company had conducted a chemical test on the said sugar and there was no mercury detected.

However, after being pressed further, Ongwae admitted that there were traces of Copper and Lead that could be dangerous for human consumption.

“Acceptable copper in sugar is two milligrammes per KG. But in the samples, it was found to be 20.7 milligrams per KG.” Ongwae told the committee,” Ongwae said.

Ongwae told the committee that their first sample report submitted to the DCI did not contain mercury because the standards they use borrow heavily from the Codex which does not require mercury test for sugars.

He said due to public outcry, subsequent tests have been conducted for heavy metal contaminants on the impounded sugars and mercury had not been detected.

“I want to be very clear Mr Chairman in the samples we have tested there is no Mercury that has been detected,” he said.

He said the sugars had been tested against the country standards of brown and white sugars as required by the EAC standards.

Ongwae said further microbiological tests on Kabras and UGT sugar are being conducted and the report will be issued to DCIO.

Interior CS Fred Matiangi had said the bags of contraband sugar that were seized from a warehouse in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area have mercury and copper components.

The sugar – mainly from Brazil – was seized in Eastleigh estate in Nairobi and suspects arrested.

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