The Public Prosecutor has ordered the detention of 22 senior officials in the Food and Drug Control Centre as a precautionary measure for their alleged breach of job duties resulting in harm to the public interest.

According to the office, the defendants include heads of the centre's departments in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, Zawiya, Tobruk, and Zuwara.

The accused face charges of failing to carry out their duty in the laboratory activities.

Initial investigations revealed that the teams at the laboratory were lenient and the tools used to gather data have been incapable of detecting harming materials, the office said.

Benghazi and Tobruk branches relied on the results of chemical analyses carried out by informal laboratories while refraining from testing the quality of wheat varieties according to specifications, the office added.

The procedures followed the Attorney General's meetings with the Director of the Food and Drug Control Centre and officials of the regulatory authorities concerned with enforcing public health and environmental legislation, according to the same source.