Corruption Blamed for Imports of Bad Food and Medicine

The danger to citizens' health compelled the Pharmacy Syndicate to accuse “entities that attempt to control the drug market and resort to threats to impose their agenda of counterfeit drugs.” However, the syndicate chose not to name these entities.

The syndicate also stated that the efforts of the Ministry of Health to follow up on the medication and pharmacies sector are weak and that corruption, bribes and favoritism prevail in the ministry when it comes to pharmaceutical contracts.

The Ministry of Health immediately denied the accusations of dereliction and deficiency. Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Rodainy vowed before the local media that smuggling spoiled medications and food supplies into Iraq is “related to the Border Crossing Authority and the Customs Authority.” He added, “The ministry is a long way off from this."

On Feb. 22, officials said they confiscated 23 nonrefrigerated containers carrying spoiled medications into Iraq under fictitious names. Also that day, Aliya Nasseef, a member of the State of Law Coalition, told local media, “Thousands of tons of Chinese poisoned food were smuggled into Baghdad after a shipment was detained at Basra port for two months."

Officials also reported that a 17-year-old female student died after receiving expired flu shots. On Nov. 15, citizens in Babil province were poisoned by spoiled Indian rice. In 2016, the incumbent council of Karbala province accused the trade minister of importing and distributing spoiled rice.

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