Gov’t warns against buying foreign labelled condensed milk
The Government Analyst- Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) has issued an advisory against the importation, distribution, sale of a foreign labelled brand of sweetened condensed milk – “Nouveau ! New ! Promex Nova Leite Condensado Cheio”.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department said the label on the item is “deceptive [and] misleading.”
It explained that the brand is not pure sweetened condensed milk exclusively from a dairy source but it is actually what is termed a Filled Milk.
Filled Milk is a mixture of milk solids and edible vegetable oil.
This is also not stated on the label for consumers to know or be aware of.
In addition, the label on the tin depicts a pictorial representation of a cow to mislead the buyer.
It also lacks the disclaimer “Not suitable for children less than 2 years” which is necessary because the digestive system of children is not sufficiently developed to process its contents.
“This product –Promex Nova, therefore is a very serious public health risk to consumers, more so, when the true Common name to represent its composition is omitted and the label sets out to be deceptive, misleading and in a foreign language,” the Food and Drug Department said.
Members of the National Food Safety and Control Committee from the ten administrative regions were briefed about the circulation of the product on Wednesday and were advised seize any of the item found.
It will also seize any of the items if it is intercepted at any ports of entry or in the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) – Customs ASYCUDA system,.
The Department also threatened legal action against importers of the product for breaking the laws.
According to the Laws of Guyana Food and Drugs Act Chapter 34:03 Part IV “condensed milk or sweetened condensed milk shall be milk, or a milk product, from which water has been evaporated and to which sugar has been added, and shall contain not less than:- 28.0 per cent of milk solids and 8.0 per cent of milk fat; and may contain Vitamin D”.
Also, part II (6) (1) of the Food and Drug Act states that “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, quality, composition, merit or safety is guilty of an offence.”
Consumers are also being advised, especially during this period with restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, to pay closer attention to labels and not to purchase items that are improperly labelled or those that are in a foreign language.