The food importers claim damages from delays caused in releasing their goods from ports. The clearing delays began after Health Ministry indicted fiveHealth Ministry officials
18 Food importers are suing the state for NIS 1.8 million, claiming damages from resultant delays caused in releasing their goods at the ports.
The clearing delays began after Health Ministry indicted fiveHealth Ministry officials, including the former head of the National Food Service, in the 2003 Remedia baby formula affair, in which three babies died and 20 suffered serious harm.
The ministry employees who were indicted include Dr. Dorit Nitzan-Klosky, who was in charge of the National Food Service at the time of the affair, and four supervisors at the Ashdod and Haifa ports, whose job it was to examine food imports.
The deaths and serious injuries to the babies were caused by the fact that the formula did not include Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), even though the cans stated that they did. Vitamin B1 is used by the body to break down sugars, releasing energy into the cell. Vitamin B1 deficiency reduces the amount of energy available and can harm bodily systems, particularly the central nervous system.
Vitamin B1 also prevents concentrations of lactic acid. Without it, too much acid accumulates in the body, which affects the baby's sense of balance. Damage to the central nervous system creates neuropathological symptoms including sleepiness, slowness, depression, lack of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting.
The officials were charged with inadequate inspection of imports, leading to overly zealous inspection and long delays at the ports, say the importers.
The result according to the importers is that food rots on the Haifa and Ashdod docks.