What’s in Iran’s Bottled Water?

The most influential government organizations in this field are the Organization for the Protection of Consumers and Producers and the Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights, whose databases have provided no reports, analysis or even news about the contamination of Damavand’s mineral water during the past month.

Consumer rights violations have become a huge concern among ordinary Iranians since last summer, after Iran’s health minister announced that the country’s main milk producers were using palm oil in their products. This oil, and not the natural fat of the milk itself, made up most of the fat found in their dairy products.

The head of the Health Ministry’s Office for Nutrition, Zahra Abdollahi, said palm oil has a saturated fatty acid content of at least 50%. Some authorities say the product is a suspected factor in high cholesterol and fat levels in the blood, and could eventually result in clogged arteries.

Other reports about food quality problems have surfaced recently. On Oct. 4, Alireza Jamshidi, head of Tazirat-e-Hokoumati, an organization within Iran’s judiciary, spoke about fake lemon juice being supplied to the market. “Seventeen factories were reviewed, and not one drop of natural lemon juice was found in any of them. What is interesting is that all of them had the seal of quality,” Jamshidi said. On Oct. 17, the Health Ministry reported that since the beginning of the current Iranian year, which started March 21, violations had been found in 53 lemon juice factories.

Iran’s Standards Organization — linked to the Ministry of Industry and Mines — is the country’s main body for quality control and regulates products in terms of health and hygienic requirements, granting them a seal of quality.

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