On Tuesday, June 15th, The Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection in the Government of the Syrian regime, froze the decision to allow the production and commercialization of imitation dairy and cheese.
Minister of Internal Trade Talal al-Barazi issued a decree freezing Resolution No. (1293), issued in 2021. The Resolution deals with the contents and specifications of dairy and cheese products added to non-hydrogenated vegetable oils -resulting in imitation dairy and cheese products. The Minister backed his decision, saying “I’m widening my research with the relevant stakeholders.”
Private sources told Hashtag Souria that the domestic trade’s decision faced a lot of criticism, which was the main reason for its suspension.
The sources added that-Barazi, was planning to justify the decision to allow the manufacture of these imitation products during a television interview. However, he was pressured by higher authorities to retract the decision.
Hashtag Souria obtained documents confirming that the idea of allowing the sale of imitation dairy and cheese products was suggested in 2015 and got rejected at the time. The Directorate of Technical and Quality Affairs at the Standards and Metrology Authority mailed the Ministry of Industry in mid-2019, rejecting the idea of adding full and partial hydrogenated vegetable fat types to dairy and cheese products.
The decision was also rejected in 2019 after the Ministries of Health, Internal Trade and Defense, the Consumer Protection Association, the General Organization for Food Industries, the Center for Industrial Testing and Research, and the Syrian Standards and Metrology Organization voted against it. The General Authority for Scientific Agricultural Research abstained from voting. However, the Chamber of Industry in Damascus and its countryside, and the Artisan dairy and cheese Association, approved the draft resolution at the time.
On Sunday and as living conditions worsen in Syria, local pages circulated on social media a decision issued by the Ministry of Interior Trade and Consumer Protection allowing the manufacture of imitation dairy and cheese products, defined as “food products mainly constituted of milk and its substitutes. If desired, non-hydrogenated vegetable oils, modified starch, emulsification salts, and permitted food flavoring can be added.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.