Almost a year after seizing a large quantity of “deceptive” milk from a local distributor, the Food and Drug Analyst Department on Thursday had its case dismissed in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.
Back in October 2015, the Department had seized more than 17,000 cans of Milko brand evaporated filled milk with deceptive labels from Ganga Charran Singh and had moved to have the matter prosecuted in Court.
Food and Drug Department Director, Marlan Cole was present in Court on Thursday when Magistrate Annette Singh dismissed the matter.
He said his Department intends to appeal the case and expressed disappointment in the outcome and manner in which the court procedure was conducted.
The case was dismissed on the grounds that there was not sufficient evidence produced to support the claim that the milk was substandard and non – compliant with Food and Drug Regulations.
The legal action by the Food and Drug Department was being prosecuted by a police prosecutor. Cole said there was need for more training of his own officers when bringing these matters to court but still believed that the threat the product has on a person’s public health was not taken into consideration.
He said the Department will not be able to do its work to ensure that food that is injurious to public health, misleading and deceptive is kept off the market.
The dismissal now allows traders to continue to sell the deceptive product which has been banned in the United States.
Evaporated milk is a milk, or milk product which is constituted from animal source from which 60% of water has been evaporated, and contains not less than 25 % of milk solids and 7.5 % milk fat, and may carry a pictorial representation of a cow, while Evaporated Filled Milk is a prepared blend of skim milk, vegetable oil, stabilisers and vitamins.
According to Cole, the label on the evaporated filled milk cannot depict a pictorial representation of a cow and must carry a disclaimer “Not suitable for children under two years”.
In some cases, the content of milk fat declared on the label was only three 3 %, with no disclaimer and a pictorial representation of a cow.