It was uncovered over the weekend that industrial salt imported to Iceland has been in turn sold as edible salt within the country, even though it is unfit for human consumption, for the past 13 years.
RÚV reports that brewers Egill Skallagrímsson, who have been importing industrial salt from the Dutch company Akzo Nobel, have been selling it as table salt to food manufacturers in Iceland for the past 13 years, at the very least. This was done with the knowledge and consent of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, even though it is a violation of Icelandic food law.
While industrial salt and table salt are similar in composition, there is a great deal more health regulation and inspection placed on salt that people eat, as opposed to salt that is strewn over the roads or used in chemical manufacturing.
Over 90 food manufacturers in Iceland have bought and used the salt in making food over the past 13 years, but Egill Skallagrímsson reportedly refuses to disclose who they sold the salt to. They would only disclose that they have let these manufacturers know about the salt, and have stopped selling industrial salt as food. However, the Reykjavík Health Authority did disclose a list, and the clients include Sláturfélag Suðurlands, Mjólkursamsala, Kjarnafæði, Síld og fisk, Norðan fisk, Matfugl and more.
The Consumers’ Association of Iceland told RÚV that the response showed disrespect for consumers. Egill Skallagrímsson has responded by saying they were unaware that industrial salt cannot be used as food.