Dough fat racket unearthed

The unlabelled product was found to mislead and give false information

OCP: One month after launching the consumer protection rules and regulations by the economic affairs ministry, the office of consumer protection (OCP) received a complaint about misleading the people and giving false representation of a product.

The complaint was concerning an imported dough fat, known as Kagye Maa, without label.  The dough fat imported from India was sold as from Singapore.

Dough fat is produced from palm oil.  It is usually used in confectionery and bakery production in Bhutan.  It is further processed to make ritual cakes.

Jigme Dorji, deputy chief with the OCP, said that, after the office received the complaint, officers were sent to shops in Thimphu to inspect and found the information to be true.

The OCP found that two importers bring dough fat from Singapore and India and distribute to retailers or re-packers in the capital.  The product comes in a 15kg package.  It is re-packed to make one kg packets and supplied in the market.

Jigme Dorji said the product could not be distinguished, because there is no label or any information.  It was also found that the product that is being sold in the market as a product from Bangladesh is actually from India.

Sonam Tenzin, executive director of OCP, said all the products for sale in the market should have labels and price tags.

Jigme Dorji said that such offences are liable for administrative penalties.  Repetition of the offence and failure to pay fine, or to rectify the false and misleading representation, can lead to cancellation of business license.

OCP has warned and instructed the importers concerned, retailers and re-packers to rectify representation immediately.

“Since this is the first case, we need to educate them. The retailers are warned,” said Sonam Tenzin.

The minimum labelling requirements for goods should include trade or brand name, trademark, business name, address of the manufacturer, importer and of re-packer of the product in Bhutan, ingredients and compositions, net weight, measure or numerical count, country of manufacture and date of manufacture and expiry date.

Labelling can be either be in Dzongkha or English and must be legible.  Where the labelling is in a language other than Dzongkha and English, it should be translated into Dzongkha or English and affix either on product or on the shelf.

By Dechen Tshomo

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