The 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.
As nations and individuals around the globe gear up to participate in the world’s largest grassroots environmental movement, WWF’s Earth Hour has kickstarted the countdown to the 2015 event with the release of the official campaign video.Video: Earth Hour 2015 Official VideoSet to the international hit song ‘Pompeii’ by British rock band Bastille, the two-minute video demonstrates how Earth Hour is empowering individuals and organisations around the world to take action on climate change.Showcasing memorable moments and achievements from past Earth Hour events as well as powerful statements from world leaders and personalities such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US President Barack Obama and actors Emma Thompson, Li Bingbing and Mark Ruffalo on the issue of climate change, the Earth Hour 2015 video aims to inspire people with the message to act and ‘use your power to change climate change’.“This is the ninth time the Earth Hour movement will roll across the world. Millions of people will come together to use their power to change climate change and we want to work with them to deliver real solutions for a sustainable future for our planet,” said Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications WWF International.In the past eight years, Earth Hour has grown from a symbolic lights-off event in Sydney, Australia to the world’s largest open-sourced environmental campaign mobilising hundreds of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities and 162 countries and territories.“We would like to thank the band Bastille, Universal and EMI Publishing for helping us create an inspiring video that captures the energy and power of the Earth Hour movement to impact climate change,” said Sarronwala.Earth Hour 2015 will take place on 28th March 2015 between 8:30 and 9:30 P.M. in your local time zone. To know more about the event and activities happening in and around your city and how you can use your power to change climate change, visit www.earthhour.org.