Lebanon’s Agriculture Ministry on Friday denied reports that Israeli tomatoes
were making Lebanese sick.
The Beirut-bases Daily Star quoted the
ministry as saying it was responding to reports that Israeli tomatoes were
causing vomiting and fatigue, and were injected with cancerous
“Shipments of imported tomatoes haven’t entered the Lebanese
market for one month and only local production is being consumed,” the ministry
“News about the presence of Israeli tomatoes in Lebanese markets is
inaccurate,” it added.
The report came after reports disparaged Israeli
tomatoes in the Egyptian press this week.
The Egyptian government
launched an investigation to check if Israeli tomatoes contained solanine, a
chemical harmful to the liver, following a report in the Egyptian daily Al-
Ahram, the Star reported.
The Lebanese Agriculture Ministry said that it
regularly monitors imports, and checks stocks in storage facilities.
Arab League boycott of Israel, in place since 1948, is maintained by the Central
Boycott Office in Damascus.
However, its enforcement varies across the
In an article last year in Middle East Economy, Yitzhak Gal,
from Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African
Studies, wrote that “Israel’s exports to Middle Eastern markets in 2011 are
estimated at over $6 billion, about 13 percent of overall Israeli
Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.
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