Over 500 tons of sesame seeds contaminated by ethylene oxide were seized by the Guardia di Finanza of Turin during an operation that affected the entire national territory. The investigations were triggered by the reports of some consumer associations, which had highlighted the presence of the toxic substance in foodstuffs from abroad, in particular from India, China, Paraguay and Argentina.
Following the reports, the financiers began monitoring commercial activities involved in the sale of the food, subjecting to chemical analysis some samples, both of sesame seeds and of products containing the ingredient, found on the shelves of retail businesses. also of large-scale distribution, active in Turin. The investigations revealed that the concentration of the dangerous chemical compound exceeded, in some cases, by 520 times the maximum dose required by sector legislation.
Therefore, the financiers, coordinated by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office, carried out over 50 searches on the national territory in warehouses, port areas and factories for the production and packaging of foods containing sesame intended for unsuspecting final consumers. The dispute in cases of irregularity is the trade in dangerous food substances towards over 30 Italian entrepreneurs, in competition with their foreign suppliers. The substance is used as a preservative and pesticide during intercontinental transport but is subject to specific limitations in Europe.