South Sudan Customs officials at the Nimule border point have reportedly released back to Ugandan consignments of maize impounded since last month over toxicity, according to local media.
The unwanted goods were released back to Kampala a day after the Executive Director of SSNBS Dr. Mary Gordon Mortat said the goods will be destroyed.
According to Uganda’s most popular newspaper Daily Monitor, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed the release of maize products found to be containing aflatoxin – a cancer-causing substance.
“Our embassy continues to engage with South Sudan officials and our lorries have all been released and they come back to Uganda since Wednesday. They were forced to come back with the maize and their consignment,” Uganda’s Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem said.
The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards was not immediately available for comment.
Last month, officials at the Nimule border point confiscated at least 120 tons of food items deemed unsuitable for human consumption.
Samples from the shipment were confirmed with high aflatoxin after the grains were subjected to several laboratory tests by the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards.
But the Ugandan Foreign Minister reportedly said “we wonder why because UNBS (Uganda National Bureau of Standards) has got higher standard then theirs.”
On June 15, 2023, Ms. Mortat told Eye Radio the truck drivers would be released, and the poisonous grain dumped according to certain procedures and standards to protect the environment.
“The government has decided to dump and destroy them accordingly, but the procedures for the dumping will be followed according to standards,” while saying that “the truck drivers will be released. ”
In February this year, Ugandan food scientists found that maize, sorghum, and groundnuts produced locally pose a cancer risk.
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