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Kerala: Govt allegedly distributes banned coconut oil in food kits to Idukki tribals; food poisoning reported

A banned coconut oil brand, Kera Sugandhi, was included in food kits distributed by the state government to tribal settlements in Idukki, causing food poisoning in many individuals.

Kerala: Govt allegedly distributes banned coconut oil in food kits to Idukki tribals; food poisoning reported anr
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First Published Jul 10, 2024, 2:45 PM IST

Idukki: According to reports, a prohibited coconut oil brand, Kera Sugandhi, was included in food kits distributed by the government to tribal communities in Idukki, despite being banned in 2018 due to adulteration. As a result, numerous individuals, including over 60 Adivasi families in Venniani village, have fallen ill with food poisoning after consuming the contaminated oil.

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After the incident, the Adivasi Coordination Committee and Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) sent the coconut oil for testing.

A tribal youth, who fell ill allegedly after consuming the coconut oil, sought answers from tribal department officials but was met with an unhelpful response. Instead of addressing the issue, the officials merely offered to replace the oil with a different brand.

The tribal extension officer arrived at the scene to address the issue, stating that the exact cause of the health problems is still unknown and test results are pending. The food kits were distributed by government-approved agencies, and it has only now been brought to their attention that the coconut oil was previously banned. The officer assured that the matter is being investigated by the health department, and further action will be taken once the facts are verified.
 

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