Human Rights Commission Warns of Counterfeit Medicines in Libya

Human Rights Commission Warns of Counterfeit Medicines in Libya
Human Rights Commission Warns of Counterfeit Medicines in Libya

The Head of the National Commission for Human Rights in Libya (NCHRL), Ahmed Hamza warned against the continued spread of counterfeit medicines in the country.

Hamza said that the spread “is another disaster added to the series of disasters committed against the Libyan people.”

“These inferior medicines do not meet Libyan standards,” he added. Hamza also recalled the Attorney General’s statement in exposing the use of potassium bromate in bread.

“Stop the spread of these medicaments before it is too late. Stop the slow killing of the Libyan people,” he concluded.

Last month, the Libyan Attorney General’s Office announced that samples analyzed by the German Expertise House confirmed the use of the banned potassium bromate in 27 factories and bakeries inside Libya. This sparked widespread outrage on social media, and among activists.

This has also caused a state of panic among Libyans, given that the substance is considered to be carcinogenic. As it contains a high percentage of sodium and potassium and several health risks.

Potassium bromate, an extremely strong oxidizing chemical, was used as a dough enhancer. As well as sterilizing water and cosmetics, but after some of its health complications were discovered, its use has dwindled.

Dozens of countries prohibited its use, given its negative health impacts. In August 2021, Potassium bromate was banned from being imported and used in Libya.

However, in August, laboratories belonging to the Libyan Ministry of Education discovered that many bakeries continue to use the chemical in making bread, and in flour supplies.

The Attorney General’s Office said that it had confirmed that 232 cases were recorded. It said that it had taken measures to see if it was used as an ingredient in some foods.

The Office said in a statement that the Public Prosecution’s first measures were conducting investigations into the incident. It added that it had submitted 600 samples of wheat, flour, and other materials used in making bread and pastries. As well as noting 411 people were charged, for not complying with health requirements.