GA-FDD urges consumers to report fake products

first_imgThe Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) is urging consumers to make complaints against unauthentic products sold to them.The caution was issued by the Director of the Department, Marlon Cole during an interview with Guyana Times on Monday.GA-FDD Director, Marlon ColeAccording to him, there is an increased need for monitoring of those supermarkets, especially with the recent incident where the popular milk power was being relabelled.“We normally have National Food Safety and Control Committee meeting every month and they would do monitoring of those Chinese supermarkets for us in the outlining regions. If we got a complaint we would have an investigation performed,” he informed.He added that recently there has been a proliferation of Chinese supermarkets and “if we find that there is a violation, if there is a complaint, or a product is unlabelled and those types of things they (the officers) will deal with it,” the Director posited.Cole warned that members of the business community can be penalised and even lose their business licenses for having illegal, expired or even fake goods on their shelves.It was on that note that the Director pointed out that there is now an increased need for monitoring of certain stores.“There is definitely an increased need for monitoring of these products but you see public health officers are troubled with factory inspection, yard inspection, field inspection and a host of other responsibilities so it could be taxing and challenging,” he said.The Director was unable to say whether there has been a hike in the number of unauthentic products on the market but nevertheless urged that customers should report such instances to the department as well as public health officials.Back in January the GA-FDD said it will be moving to take legal actions against persons or businesses who are selling fake products on the local market.His statement was made after reports surfaced that a Bourda, Georgetown grocery store had sold a woman fake powered milk.Reports are the customer returned the milk to a store and informed the employees that the milk was not authentic and that she could not risk feeding it to her children.The customer examined the product; it was dented and had a label printed in a foreign language.Speaking with this publication, Cole said besides the regular inspections his department conducts, the GA-FDD has to act based upon complaints. He said once a formal complaint is lodged, an investigation will be launched.Part II, section 6 of the Food and Drugs Act states “Any person who labels, packages, treats, processes, sells or advertises any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety is guilty of an offence.”Part seven also reinforces this message, stating that “Where a standard has been prescribed for a food, any person who labels, packages, sells or advertises any article in such a manner that it is likely to be mistaken for such food, is, unless the article complies with the prescribed standard, guilty of an offence.”It was only last year that the Department had cause to refuse entry to these shores some 2000 cases of tuna.According to reports, the containers were labelled “BUIWICK” instead of “BRUNSWICK” and the exact address of the manufacturer in the country of origin was not stated.The actions were taken by the Department after they were informed by an inspector’s report of the issue.The department refused the cartons on the basis of the section six of the Food and Drugs Act previously quoted.last_img

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