Health store stops fish oil from Western Sahara
Life, the largest health store chain in Scandinavia, has decided to stop new orders of Omega 3-supplements for its brand Biomega, Swedish and Norwegian media report.
Published: 19.03 - 2010 22:05Printer version    
The Nordic health store chain Life has decided to stop new orders of Omega 3-supplements for its brand Biomega, Swedish and Norwegian media report. The ban comes after that Swedish television last week revealed that many of these products are made out of fish from the occupied Western Sahara.

"The decision only concerns our own product. We will stop buying it until we have assurances from our suppliers" says Thomas Johansson of Life to the Swedish news program Rapport.

"For all other Omega 3 products, we will ensure with all suppliers that we receive appropriate documentation and guarantees" says Thomas Johansson, marketing director at Life

At the same time Norsk Medisinaldepot, which is Norway's largest supplier of health care products to pharmacies and hospitals, has decided to withdraw its product Gevita Omega 3+6. The motive is the
same as for Life, they want to get insurances that fish oil used in their products does not derive from Western Sahara, the Norwegian media company NRK reports.

The Swedish documentary about how fish from the waters of Western Sahara is imported to Norway by GC Rieber Oils, turned into Omega 3-supplements by Napro Pharma and thereafter sold to consumers in Scandinavia has caused a lot of debate since it was shown on Swedish television one week ago. Particularly in Norway where these Omega 3-products have been manufactured.

Most Scandinavian Omega 3-producers are now examining their product line in order to ensure the public that their products do not contain fish oil from the occupied Western Sahara. The German-based
international chemicals and nutritional group Cognis, owner of the whole sale producer Napro Pharma, has announced that it will stop buying fish oil from GC Rieber Oils if it derives from Western Sahara, NRK reports.

In Sweden the health product company Cederroth, which earlier has bought its Omega 3-tablets from GC Rieber Oils, has declared that the company will not use fish oil declared to come from Morocco anymore.

"Cederroth from now on will ensure that none of its Omega-3 products contain fish oil from Moroccan waters since doubts have emerged about the fishing grounds" the company writes in a press release.

The international environmental activist group Greenpeace fears that part of the fish oil and fish flour imported to Norway from Western Sahara may also be used in salmon production. The organisation has therefore contacted Norwegian fishing producers and the Norwegian fishing organisation FHL demanding them to document where the products they use come from. "Neither health companies nor fish feed companies should buy fish oil from occupied territories" Greenpeace writes in
its press release.

Sources:
Omega 3-produkter stoppas efter SVT:s avslöjande
http://svt.se/2.22620/1.1932948/omega_3-produkter_stoppas_efter_svt_s_avslojande

Trekker omega 3 med omstridt fiskeolje
http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/norge/1.7043504

Vil lage Omega-3-kapsler uten fiskeolje fra Vest-Sahara
http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/verden/1.7040436

Fiskolja från ockuperade Västsahara blir skandinavisk hälsokost
http://www.greenpeace.org/sweden/nyheter/fiskolja-fraan-ockuperade-vaests

    


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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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