The Government Analyst-Food & Drug Department (GA-FDD) yesterday issued a warning to importers, wholesalers, and retailers to discontinue the importation and sale of food, drugs and cosmetics which are labeled in a foreign language.
Accompanying a release issued by the Department were photographs of three such examples, Ovaltine, Corned beef loaf and Onion rings.
It was explained that the Food and Drug Regulations of 1977 section 18(15) stipulate that declarations made on labels of any food, drugs, cosmetics or medical devices must be in English Language and makes it an offence to import, sell or distribute those foreign labeled articles on the local market.
“The Department is therefore urging importers to ensure that only items labeled in English or with English translation are imported and to immediately cease the importation and sale of same. This decision has become increasingly necessary because of the illegal practice of some importers tampering with labels, consumer complaints and observations made by the Department”, the release said.
According to the Department, members of the National Food Safety and Control Committee were briefed at the statutory meeting held on December 12th, 2017 of this malpractice. As a result “enforcement actions will be taken countrywide to remove all foreign labeled food items from our local market”.
The release noted that the Department will continue to work in close collaboration with the Guyana Revenue Authority- Customs Department to ensure only items labeled in English Language are released for sale on the local market. It was made clear that foreign labeled items will be refused entry.
“Consumers are strongly advised to purchase items that are properly labeled in English Language”, the release added.