In a surprise check in a private godown near Villapuram Housing Board Colony here on Thursday, the officials unearthed adulterated edible oil packed in 500 ml plastic containers and kept in over 150 boxes – each box carrying 20 plastic containers.

Following complaints from consumer forum members about sale of adulterated edible oil, District Collector L. Subramanian ordered the officials to take action. A special team comprising officials drawn from Revenue Department, District Supply Office, Food Safety wing and Commercial Taxes Department was formed.

After locating the unit adulterating oil, about 50 officials surrounded the premises. The officials found that the operator of the unit, I.M. Selvaraj, was adulterating oil.

Mixing 20 per cent of groundnut and gingely oil, and 80 per cent of palm oil, Selvaraj was selling it in 500 ml plastic containers as gingely oil under the brand name of ‘Vetrivel’ and ‘Thanga Mayil’.

Selvaraj was procuring oil in bulk from traders in Virudhunagar district. Around 20 workers were engaged in the operation every day. According to Joint Director (Agriculture) Jayasingh Gnanadurai, Selvaraj admitted to having a network spanning the southern districts and parts of Kerala. It is likely that he may be selling substandard oil at least for a year.

The samples have been taken by Food Safety Officer Sujatha for examination. RDO Arumugam recorded the statement of Selvaraj, and Commercial Tax officials, led by Joint Commissioner (Enforcement) Illango, assessed the purchase and sales recorded by him.

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