Saudis warn: Israeli products are cancerous

Riyadh officials say merchandise from Israel is dangerous (The Media Line).

saudi officials 224.88 (photo credit: )
saudi officials 224.88
(photo credit: )
Saudi trade officials are warning against what they claim to be cancerous products made in Israel and other countries that are allegedly being smuggled into the kingdom. The Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry said smugglers are bringing in the products through Djibouti, Yemen and Somalia. The chamber was urging importers and traders to be watchful regarding this merchandise. The products, said to be manufactured in Israel, China and Taiwan, include pesticides, agricultural fertilizers, children's toys, canned foods, perfumes, cigarettes, juices and candy. Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations. Last month the Saudi Interior Ministry said it had information that smugglers on the coastal areas of the Arabian Peninsula were bringing in illegal and fake products. Saudi authorities were asking importers to take the necessary steps to stop Israeli products from entering the kingdom. An unnamed official from the Israeli trade industry told The Media Line that the rumors of carcinogenic products being smuggled from Israel into Saudi Arabia were "improbable." "Every so often we see reports of this kind in the Saudi media. I believe it's part of the Saudi demonization of relations with Israel," the source said. Israeli industrialists testify to a modest amount of indirect trade between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Israel's exports to the kingdom are estimated to be on a fairly small scale, perhaps a few dozen million dollars. These products are usually transferred to Saudi Arabia through third countries where they are repackaged and rebranded. Israeli products sought after in Saudi Arabia include agricultural products, computer chips, hi-tech, desalination technology, irrigation equipment and security systems. Although those in the industry are reluctant to comment on this trade, experts agree most of the trade is from Israel to Saudi Arabia and less so in the opposite direction. Regarding the allegation that the smuggled items were cancerous, the Israeli industrialist said this was most unlikely, since Israel's manufacturing standards would prohibit dangerous materials in any product. "We make sure no products are manufactured that endanger the Israeli consumer so this claim is unfounded," the source said.