Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Salt dealers welcome calls for crackdown

Salt dealers welcome calls for crackdown

Salt dealers welcome calls for crackdown

THE Cambodian government has called for institutions to join forces to end the trade of illegal untreated salt, as a UNICEF study showed the banned product had gained market share.

Officials say that untreated salt is often smuggled to Cambodia from neighbouring countries and sold at market without adding iodine – which is put into the product to aid an estimated 4 million Cambodians consuming insufficient iodine.

A sub-decree titled Managing Iodised Salt Business, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and enacted into law in October 2003, laid out punishment included fines of up to 1 million riels for those selling untreated salt.

But stricter enforcement of the regulation was necessary, according to Sub-national Commission of the Elimination of Iodine Shortages representative Chan Pong Vathana, speaking at a conference in Phnom Penh this week.

Consumption of iodised salt in Cambodia fell from 98 percent in 2008 to just 53 percent last year, according to a UNICEF study.

Salt was being increasingly smuggled into Cambodia from Thailand and Vietnam without the required processing, officials said.

“We are looking at measures to crack down on the smuggling of such non-iodised salt,” said Peung Sivlay, chairman of the Sub-national
Commission.

Dealers yesterday welcomed the calls for stricter moves to regulate sales. Duong Phalla, a salt dealer near Phnom Penh’s Psah Chas (Old Market), said yesterday she supported the government’s stance, adding it did not affect her business as she stopped selling non-iodised salt in 2002.

“Nowadays, we sell only iodised salt supplied by salt producers in Kampot and Kep salt, because it’s the customers’ favourite,” she said.

Kampot and Kep Provinces Salt Producers Community reported yesterday it had sold 60,433 tonnes of iodine salt during the first nine months of 2010 worth US$2.87 million, after selling 73,226 tonnes for $8.36 million during the whole of 2009. Co-president Bun Baraing said that salt was commanding half the price of last year due to excess supply.

The organisation began mixing iodine into its salt in 1999, supported by UNICEF.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said