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Don't buy that sugar - Samuda warns

Published:Friday | June 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

Jamaicans are being urged not buy improperly packaged and labelled sugar, starting July 1.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, made the appeal to consumers last Friday as he officially launched the new labelling regime for sugar.

"You must be vigilant in protecting your right to the highest standards being implemented.

"If it is not consistent with the regulations as outlined, do not purchase it because we are not going to be careless in our monitoring in this exercise. So not only are we insisting on the labelling but we are also going to continuously monitor the quality," Samuda told a press conference at the ministry's New Kingston office.

He made it very clear that his administration would not tolerate any flouting of the mandatory standards which will now see retail brown sugar sold in properly packed and appropriately labelled plastic containers.

The measures which take effect next Saturday mandates that information to be documented on the label will include:

- Product name and brand name

- Net content

- Name and addresses of manufacturers, distributors, importers or vendors

- Storage conditions

- Country of origin

- Lot identification

- Date markings

- And instructions for use

"In other words, sugar, like other items, must now provide the stamp of quality assurance to purchasers that they are buying safe food, fit for consumption and meeting international traceability and food-safety standards," said Samuda.


Breaking the law


This means that retailers such as shopkeepers, who have been long used to buying the sugar in bulk and then repacking it into paper or plastic bags, in keeping with the request from their customers, will be breaking the law if they continue to do so.

For this reason, regulatory agencies the Bureau of Standards and National Compliance and Regulatory Authority will be stepping up their monitoring of the trade, while the Consumer Affairs Commission will continue to do its regular checks.