The Ministry of Commerce’s Cambodia Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Directorate General (Camcontrol) has slammed Sam Rainsy’s recent Facebook post that raised the local food safety issue as “an attempt to reap political gain”.
On Thursday, the former court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader claimed on his Facebook page: “We must protect the Cambodian people from being slowly killed by poisonous chemicals contained in the food that is bought daily from the local markets, knowing that those toxic substances are prohibited in other countries.”
In a letter obtained by The Post yesterday, Camcontrol accused Rainsy of insulting the government without proper understanding and of reaping benefits from the issue for his own political gain.
“There have been some anti-government people who create false information, content, and comments on the likes of Facebook to create chaos.
“They raised an issue of food safety, claiming the existence of plastic rice, highly toxic cooking oil and so on,” said the letter.
“In terms of food safety, the government has applied the appropriate technical and scientific measures to ensure safe, healthy, and quality food for the Cambodian people,” the letter said.
It also mentioned Prime Minister Hun Sen’s call on the people to stop eating food which is contaminated with chemical substances.
“Samdech Techo Hun Sen has urged all Cambodians to be careful and to choose only good food because food safety issue is the issue for all,” the letter said.
In a video posted on Facebook, Rainsy wondered who could ensure the quality of food and how.
“Food in Cambodia, including fruits, vegetable, meat, fish … most of them are contaminated with dangerous chemical substances. We need to know the chemicals contained in the products which we consume and sell in the markets,” he said.
In response to the government’s call for the people to not consume “contaminated” food, Rainsy noted: “Hun Sen’s remark on food safety issue, about the risk that people face when consuming chemical food, showed that he does not understand and is not accountable.
“He should follow the experiments conducted by other countries, not only from the developed ones like the US and the European nations but also neighbouring countries such as India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
Their leaders are highly educated and have the spirit of responsibility. Those countries take actions by setting up special ministries, institutions, laboratory experiments and mechanisms to protect the health of their people.
“Camcontrol’s letter showed that Cambodia has a laboratory which can analyse chemical substances, infectious diseases, and other hazards like that of other developed countries.“And that the equipment and tools are used for laboratory experiments by experts who had been trained in the field in the Kingdom and abroad. The whole thing is an exaggeration and a lie,” claimed Rainsy.
Camcontrol could not be reached for clarification as of press time.