The Director of Public Health Kepha Ombacho has directed wholesalers, supermarkets and retail shops to undertake laboratory analysis of all their sugar consignments to test for any poisonous substances therein.
In the new directive, the traders will have to undertake the tests at their own costs despite having the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) mandated to ensure quality of goods sold to the public.
According to blogger Abraham Kiplangat Mutai alias Lord Mutai, the move is misinformed. “We have a budget set aside for Kebs to ensure that all goods consumed by Kenyans are safe. It is the job of Kebs to guarantee safety of all Kenyans and protect us from unscrupulous businessmen who have now held Kebs hostage,” he tweeted.
On his side, Dr Ombacho said businesspeople will then have to provide proof of sampling through sugar clearance certificates issued by the government laboratories.
“We have noted with concern that unsafe sugar has been placed in the market for human consumption, which could be injurious to the health of consumers.
“As a supplier/stockist, you are advised to subject all sugar to sampling testing and analysis to ascertain its safety before selling the same to the public,” he said in an letter to traders.
Ombachi has promised stern action against any entity or person who goes against the directive in the war against fake goods in the country.
“Be notified that the active surveillance by national and county health ministries will sustain active surveillance of sugar to ascertain compliance and if found to have contravened the said laws and national standards, the product will be withdrawn from the market and legal action taken against the offending person,” he said.
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