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Consumer ministry suspends semi-dairies production to ease people resentment

State-run media said the prices of milk and its derivatives have increased significantly during the past two days, following a decision by the trade ministry suspending the manufacture of semi-dairies products.
The ministry for trade and consumer protection allowed last week the manufacturing of semi-dairy, such a decision sparks a wave of widespread resentment among residents, economic experts and social media activists.
Experts said the decision is disregarding the people's health as the semi-dairy products contain non-hydrogenated oils, modified starch and emulsifying salts.
The government newspaper Al-Thawra did not provide any figures about the prices of milk and its derivatives, which it said had risen significantly, and focused on the government pricing mechanism which is higher than market prices.
The trade ministry justified its decision that semi-dairy and cheese products have been on the market for more than 10 years, and the need to legalize them has become urgent.
''We seek to provide two types of milk, the first is natural at a relatively high price, and the second is semi-dairy, which will be provided to people with low incomes at an appropriate price,'' the ministry added.
In his turn, the head of the Dairy and Cheese Association, Abdul Rahman Al-Saidi, said the semi-dairy products have been present and sold in the market for more than 10 years, and people have been buying them as real milk and cheese, as a result of the deterioration of the livestock herd, and about 80% of manufacturers have been involved in semi-dairy production.

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