Cannabis chocolate stirs debate in Egypt, pushes government to take action



Thu, 07 Apr 2022 - 03:36 GMT


Thu, 07 Apr 2022 - 03:36 GMT

Cannabis chocolate – Wikimedia Commons

Cannabis chocolate – Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO – 7 April 2022: Former President of Cairo University Gaber Nassar, initially a professor of law, stirred debate when he posted Tuesday on Facebook that a certain brand of chocolate contains cannabis, which shows in the blood tests mandated for public employees, who get in trouble as a consequence.


On the same day, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement stressing that samples will be acquired from different shops, and analyzed to determine if the ingredients meet international standards. That is because cannabis seeds are used in the production of some products, after getting processed to not have a narcotic effect.


Head of the Complaints Unit at the Food Safety Authority Basma Soliman told Sky News Arabia that if the tests results show the presence of a narcotic substance, the importing company would be subject to legal measures.


Soliman added that all imported food products are subject to tests to ensure their safety before the shipments are allowed in. That is relevant to the issue at hand, given that the chocolate brand subject to accusation is Germany-made Schogetten.


The deputy CEO of the importing company, Mahmoud Hassan Shahin, commented to Al Watan TV that the shipment entered Egypt in June 2021, and that its expiry date was March 2022, which means that the stock has been entirely consumed, and no longer available in the Egyptian market.


Nevertheless, Shahin stated that the Ministry of Supply and other governmental bodies contacted the company, which provided them with samples to be tested. He further noted that the shipment was subject to analysis before allowed entry into the country, which means it was compliant with the standards.


The deputy CEO of the importing company finally added that cannabis, at the end of the day, is a plant, and that it is added in very precise amounts to food products, such as some types of bread.  


Shahin concluded by negating allegations about the chocolate being the cause narcotic substances show in blood tests. He also highlighted that the company imports the products of 20 global brands, and that it has been dealing with the German chocolate manufacturer for 25 years with no complaints.


On the other hand, Chairman of the Anti-Drug and Addiction Treatment Fund Amr Othman told Sky News Arabia that half a million public employees have been screened for drug use, but none of those who tested positive and appealed the result attributed that to something they ate.



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