Ministry issues directive on sugar standards tests

PD Team @PeopleDailyKe

The Health ministry has warned sugar suppliers and stockists against selling the product without subjecting it to requisite tests to establish its safety.

In a statement to  wholesalers, supermarkets and retailers, Director of Public Health Kepha Ombacho said the new measures have been introduced to curb an influx of counterfeit sugar in the market.

“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,” Ombacho said.

The directive said sugar meant for human consumption must meet the legal provisions of the Food, Drugs and Chemical Substance Act.

Ombacho warned that failure to comply with the directive would lead to the withdrawal of the product from the market and legal action.

He spoke even as West Kenya Sugar Company, which owns the Kabras Sugar brand, issued a statement disowning contraband sugar seized by authorities. The company said its sugar is genuine and certified.

Managing director Tejveer S Rai said the company’s importation of sugar involves Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) certification from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) who work with international quality assurance companies to certify that the sugar conforms to KeBS’ standards.

He said the Kenya Revenue authority (KRA) is also involved to ensure that requisite taxes are paid.Sugar not meant for human consumption has been impounded in an ongoing nationwide crackdown.

In Meru, KRA seized 3,000 bags while a consignment of contraband sugar worth Sh250 million was impounded in a warehouse in Bungoma County. In Machakos 1,000 bags of illegal sugar was seized in Matuu town.

In Eldoret, police impounded more than 12 tonnes of suspected contraband sugar at a warehouse belonging to a leading chain store in North Rift region.

In Nyamira county, Directorate of Criminal investigations officers yesterday netted 65 bags of suspected contraband sugar in a swoop in Nyamira town.

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