‘Bogus’ tuna prevented from entering local market

An attempt to infiltrate the local market with a fake brand of Tuna was recently thwarted by the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD). The body tasked with monitoring the importation of the country’s foods and drugs, in a statement issued yesterday, said that it is “hereby advising consumers and the general public that the Department in collaboration with the Customs and Trade Administration (CTA) had cause to refuse entry to a total of 2000 cartons 48 x 170g of Tuna imported from China.” According to the statement, the ‘bogus’ product was outfitted with the label “Buiwick” instead of the widely known “Brunswick” name, and with the exact address of the manufacturer. However, the country of origin was not stated.
According to the Laws of Guyana, Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03 part (ii) section (6), such a label is prohibited because “it is false, misleading and deceptive.”
In addition, the products’ label was found to be inadequate based on the Food and Drug Regulation of 1977, Regulation 18 Part (2) (a) clause (iii) – Labels.
The action of the Department, according to the Food and Drug Director, Mr. Marlan Cole, was as a result of an Inspector’s report on samples taken from a container on March 9, 2017.
The Department, Cole said, has since written to the Commissioner of Customs to suspend the processing of documents of a known third party agent out of the United States “that knowingly and deliberately facilitates the importation of products into Guyana that are substandard and/or are with inadequate labels.”
Cole revealed too that “this company would have also, on many occasions, exported items of food to Guyana in the absence of documentation (Free Sale Certificate) in the prescribed form from the country of Origin and this is a breach of the Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03 Section 32 (II).”
As part of its effort to arrest a reoccurrence of such importation, Cole said that “the Department will notify the regulatory agency of the People’s Republic of China on our findings and action, because official documentation with attestation was used to facilitate the shipment of falsely label Tuna to Guyana.”
“The Department will also be notifying Environmental Officers and Public Health officers in the respective regions and municipalities on our finding and action and consumers are asked to notify the Department or any Environmental Health Officer and/or Public Health Officer/Inspector of products that they suspect to have misleading or inadequate labels,” Cole added.
The Food and Drug Department in its appeal to the public said that “consumers are being advised to always take a second look at labels/brands and to ensure the country of origin and the exact name and address of manufacturers are stated on the label.” (Kaieteur News)

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