Food Scandal: Lebanon PM , Jumblatt, back Health minister’s effort


abou faourProgressive Socialist Party( PSP) leader MP Walid Jumblatt told As-Safir newspaper in remarks published on Wednesday that Health Minister Wael Abu Faour has his full backing in fighting food corruption in Lebanon and urged him “to keep up the fight till the end because people’s health is in danger”

Abu Faour who represents PSP in the cabinet told the press yesterday that it will be a disaster if the Lebanese knew what they are eating .

The Lebanese citizen’s food is not only dipped with sweat, but also in diseases and bacteria,” Abu Faour said during a news conference at his ministry on Tuesday . “The Lebanese does not know what he eats, and it will be a disaster if he knows.”

The health minister named and shamed several establishments across Lebanon that are violating the country’s food safety standards and posing potentially health hazards to citizens.

Jumblatt called for a concerted effort by the government, the judicial authorities and the civil society in ensuring the success of the food safety campaign and punishing the violators jeopardizing the lives of Lebanese.

“A simple visit to Beirut’s slaughterhouse is sufficient to understand what we are talking about,” Jumblatt said, deploring the fact that despite past warnings, it had not been rehabilitated and modernized.

Abu Faour’s investigation has not yet reached the capital, Beirut.

Jumblatt said he would ask Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb, who also represents PSP in the cabinet to investigate the agricultural sector in Lebanon and report any violations including the quality of water used in the irrigation of crops .

Similarly Prime Minister Tammam Salam backed Abu Faour’s efforts and promised him total support in his bid to preserve citizens’ health, National News Agency reported

But Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon cautioned that Lebanon’s tourism sector and world reputation are at stake and urged thorough investigation to avoid defamation of the food sector.

“There should be a diligent and meticulous study of the issue, before jumping to conclusions,” Pharaon said

“I am against bad publicity that would tarnish the country’s image,” Pharaon said, stressing that “more than 90 percent of Lebanon’s restaurants are safe.”

Similarly , the Union of Owners of Restaurants deplored the risks of defaming the sector, underscoring their duty to ensure food safety.